• A host of young actors are reportedly circling the long-gestating John Belushi biopic. The Weather Man scribe Steve Conrad is set to write and direct and has reportedly met with Emile Hirsch (Prince Avalanche) and Workaholics lead Adam Devine about playing the famed comedian who died of a drug overdose at the age of 33. According to the report, Joaquin Phoenix‘s (The Master) name has also been thrown around. Conrad is also on the hunt for an actor to portray Belushi’s friend and Blues Brothers co-star Dan Aykroyd, and has reportedly met with New Girl vet Nelson Franklin as a possible contender. The Hangover’s Todd Phillips was originally slated to direct the project for Warner Bros., but Conrad will now both write and direct. Shooting is planned to begin in early 2014. [THR]
Tag: Stephen Lang (1-4 of 4)
There is a hint of tragic irony that Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father so celebrated for the revolutionary democratic ideals in the Declaration of Independence, is also responsible for the quote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Perhaps Jefferson, a slave-owning Virginian, suspected those words would one day haunt his wobbly young republic, but it would’ve been difficult for him to envision their brutal manifestation on July 4, 1863, on the battlefields near the tiny Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg.
For three days in July, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate armies engaged Union forces led by George Meade in the battle that both sides agreed would determine the outcome of the Civil War, then in its third year. Close to 10,000 soldiers — four times the population of Gettysburg — died in the field during the engagement that culminated with the Union holding its position against a bold — or reckless — Confederate assault on July 3.
The historic battle, which ended Lee’s invasion of the North and helped turn the tide of the war in the Union’s favor, is the subject of a dynamic new documentary that celebrates Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary. Directed by Jake Boritt and narrated by Stephen Lang (Avatar), The Gettysburg Story utilized aerial drone free-fly cameras and motion-control time-lapse shots to showcase the hallowed battlefield and reimagine the conflict like never before.
Lang, who famously starred as two Confederate officers — George Pickett and “Stonewall” Jackson — in two Civil War movies (one based on Michael Shaara’s novel Killer Angels, the other on his son Jeff Shaara’s Gods and Generals), is practically an ambassador for the town and its National Military Park. “When Shaara’s book The Killer Angels came out, I was just about to become a young actor back in the early 70s,” says Lang. “I remember thinking, ‘Boy, the role I really wanted to play was George Pickett.’ In many ways, he did represent this kind of mythic southern ideal. He was anxious for glory. Just one of those lucky times in life that years later I was fortunate to play the role [in Gettysburg].”
In this exclusive video clip from The Gettysburg Story, Lang narrates the climactic action of the battle, Pickett’s Charge, the South’s all-or-nothing attempt to smash the middle of the Union lines on July 3. READ FULL STORY
Casting Net: Maggie Gyllenhaal joins Michael Fassbender's band in 'Frank.' Plus: Ashley Tisdale, Stephen Lang, Vinnie Jones
Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been a quiet week in Hollywood, so here’s the top casting news of the last few days:
• Maggie Gyllenhaal will star opposite Michael Fassbender in Frank, an indie comedy about a wild band lead by the titular character (Fassbender) and his fearsome right-hand woman (Gyllenhaal), as seen through the eyes of the group’s newest addition (Domhnall Gleeson, Anna Karenina). Scoot McNairy (Argo), and Jack White drummer Carla Aza costar. Leonard Abrahamson (Adam & Paul) is directing from a script by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare At Goats). [THR]
• Ashley Tisdale will play Nicolas Cage‘s daughter in Left Behind, a remake of the popular faith-based novel series about what happens after the Rapture removes all Christians from the Earth. Longtime stunt coordinator and second unit director Vic Armstrong (Thor, I Am Legend) will direct. [Deadline]
• Stephen Lang (Avatar) and Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand) have signed up for The 34th Battalion, an Australian production about an Aussie army unit during World War I. Luke Hemsworth, Emilie de Ravin (Lost), and Charles Mesure (Desperate Housewives) costar. First-time director Luke Sparke penned the script with his father, Ian Sparke. [Deadline]
Casting Net: Ricky Gervais in talks to star in ‘The Muppets’ sequel. Plus: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Eddie Redmayne, Berenice Bejo
Casting Net: Mireille Enos, Scott Speedman sign on for ‘Queen of the Night.’ Plus: Jon Bernthal to play Robert De Niro’s son
Casting Net: Penn Badgley signs on for drama ‘Parts Per Billion.’ Plus: Michael Shannon, Samantha Morton, Scott Bakula
Casting Net: Kelsey Grammer, Kyra Sedgwick join ensemble of 'Reach Me.' Plus: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl plan 'The Nut Job'
• Kelsey Grammer, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Connolly (Entourage), Thomas Jane (Hung), Tom Berenger, and Cary Elwes have signed onto the ensemble drama Reach Me, about a group of disparate people whose lives intersect thanks to a self-improvement book penned by a former football coach. Sylvester Stallone, Danny Aiello, Terry Crews, rapper Nelly, and Omari Hardwick (Sparkle) all costar. Director John Herzfeld (2 Days in the Valley) also penned the script. [Deadline]
• Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang (Avatar), Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method), and ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham will all lend their voices to the indie animated feature The Nut Job, about a squirrel and a rat who plan to rob a nut store of its precious goods. Peter Lepeniotis will be directing based on his 2005 short Surly Squirrel; Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over the Hedge) is penning the script. [Deadline]
• Paulo Costanzo (USA’s Royal Pains) will star in the romantic comedy That Burning Feeling, about a successful bachelor who revisits his past exes when the proverbial rug is pulled out from under his life. John Cho (Star Trek), and Tyler Labine (NBC’s Animal Practice) costar. Jason James is making his feature directing debut from a script by fellow first-timer Nick Citton. [Deadline]
Casting Net: Tom Hardy plugging into ‘Splinter Cell.’ Plus: Benicio del Toro, Alexander Skarsgard, Evan Rachel Wood
Casting Net: Cameron Diaz will be ‘The Other Woman.’ Plus: Chris Hemsworth, Sylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen
Casting Net: Sean Penn eyeing thriller ‘Prone Gunman.’ Plus: John Hawkes, George Clooney, Ty Burrell
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