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Casting Net: Joaquim de Almeida and Zoe Kazan join Sandra Bullock in 'Our Brand Is Crisis;' more

• Joaquim de Almeida (Fast Five) has signed on to play the male lead opposite Sandra Bullock in David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis. Zoe Kazan (What If) has also signed on for the political dramedy. In addition to Bullock, they’re joining Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, and Ann Dowd. The film is based on Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name, which explored American political campaign strategies in Bolivia. Green’s film stars Bullock as “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a retired American political consultant, with de Almeida as Castillo, the former president of Bolivia who is running for office again. Kazan will play a young woman who uncovers the secrets of political candidates. Peter Straughan wrote the script. Smokehouse partners George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing. Bullock is executive producing. Warner Bros. executives Courtenay Valenti and Racheline Benveniste will supervise the project for the studio. Our Brand Is Crisis kicks off production this fall. [The Wrap]

• Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) is heading to Mr. Right. Paco Cabezas is directing from a script by Max Landis. The action romance tells the story of a girl (Anna Kendrick) who finally lands her dream guy (Sam Rockwell); problem is he’s a hit man. Mount will play New Jersey crime syndicate member Richard Cartigan. Michael Eklund (Bates Motel) also joins the cast as thug Johnny Howl, and Katie Nehra (Alex of Venice) joins as Kendrick’s nerdy roommate, Martha. Michael Helfant, Bradley Gallo, Lawrence Mattis, and Rick Jacobs are producing the Amasia Entertainment and Circle of Confusion film. Stephen Emery and Landis are executive producing. [Deadline]

• Olivia Thirlby (Juno) and Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) have been cast in The Stanford Prison Experiment. With Kyle Alvarez at the helm, the film tells the story of the 1971 psychological exercise that divided students into prisoners and prison guards. The film stars Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, and Billy Crudup as Dr. Philip Zimbardo, the Stanford professor who later wrote a psychology book on good and evil behavior. Thrilby will play Zimbardo’s wife, Christina, also an academic. Ellis will play Jesse Fletcher. Other castings include: Tye Sheridan as prisoner Peter Mitchell, James Frecheville as guard Townshend, Johnny Simmons as prisoner Jeff Jansen, and Ki Hong Lee as prisoner Gavin Chan. Tim Talbott wrote the script. Sandbar Pictures and Abandon Features financed the film. Coup d’Etat Films’ Brent Emery is producing alongside Lizzie Friedman, Greg Little, Brian Geraghty, and Lauren Bratman. [Deadline]

Watch Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan preview their new rom-com 'What If'


There are many things that can get in the way of true love, but one surefire way to put an end to a relationship before it even starts is, well, by already being involved in another relationship. That’s the idea behind What If, the upcoming romantic comedy from writer Elan Mastai and director Michael Dowse.

What If stars Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe as Chantry and Wallace, two people who seem more or less destined to fall in love—if only it weren’t for Chantry’s boyfriend. So now that the couple is forced into friendship, where will their journey take them? Well, we’ve got an exclusive preview of the film, in which the cast explains what makes this romantic comedy a little different from what you’re used to.


Can Daniel Radcliffe bring rom-coms back? -- VIDEO


As a genre, the romantic comedy has been coasting on fumes for several years. Its last really big box-office hit was Hitch, and that premiered in 2005. What was the last rom-com that you loved enough to see twice? Mine was Knocked Up — which came out seven years ago.

But despite the genre’s recent, sluggish track record, maybe Hollywood should stop trying to reinvent the wheel and instead double down on old-school convention. That seems to be the course of What If, a throwback to the likes of When Harry Met Sally that stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Girl has a boyfriend. Boy and girl become friends. Boy pushes boyfriend out window. You know the rest.

There is something sweet about What If, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival last fall when it was still titled The F Word. Are you willing to risk a blind date on it?

Watch the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

Joss Whedon's 'In Your Eyes' available on Vimeo for rental -- VIDEO

Joss Whedon fans got a nice surprise last night when Whedon revealed that April 20 wasn’t just the day his latest film, In Your Eyes, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival: It’s also the day anyone with an internet connection could rent the film for $5.

Whedon wasn’t able to attend the New York screening, but he taped a video message to play after the movie that revealed April 20 was also In Your Eyes‘s worldwide release date. “This is exciting for us because it means we get to explore yet another new form of distribution, and we get $5,” Whedon explained. Can’t argue with that.


Joss Whedon's 'In Your Eyes': Watch the gripping first three minutes before Tribeca -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Avengers) puts a supernatural twist on the timeless boy-meets-girl storyline for In Your Eyes, which he wrote and executive produced. Now, you can watch the first three minutes of the film before it premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend. READ FULL STORY

'The Pretty One': Jake Johnson and Zoe Kazan get personal poolside -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

After the success of New Girl‘s post-Super Bowl episode, Jake Johnson is hoping lightning strikes again this week as his indie film The Pretty One opens.

In the film, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) does double duty as twin sisters. When one passes away, the other assumes her twin’s identity and falls in love with her sister’s boyfriend (Johnson). “Zoe Kazan does an amazing job in that movie,” says Johnson. “I think she’s such a phenomenal actress and just kills it.”

For anyone put off by the stranger-than-fiction plotline, Johnson qualifies, “It’s a romantic movie… a sweet story.” Click through for proof via an exclusive clip, which shows off the two leads’ chemistry, as well a few peeks at Johnson and Kazan at work. READ FULL STORY

Toronto: Skinny-dipping Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan enjoy (but now regret) nude swim in 'The F Word'

What part of making The F Word did Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan enjoy the most?

Getting naked.

That was their answer to a question from an audience member after the romantic-comedy screened Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The two actors, who star as friends (that’s the “F” word in question) who are hiding a mutual attraction for each other, answered without hesitation.


Movie Talk with Owen & Lisa: 'Ruby Sparks' is a romantic comedy 'told with a freshness'

In select theaters now, Ruby Sparks tells the story of a heartbroken author with writer’s block, who suddenly meets his dream girl — but only because he has written her. The movie stars real life couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan (Revolutionary Road), with a script penned by Kazan. EW movie critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum discuss the film, which was directed by Little Miss Sunishine helmers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, in the latest installment of “Movie Talk with Owen and Lisa.”

“If there is any review that’s easy for a critic to write, it’s of a bad Hollywood romantic comedy,” Gleiberman says. “But now relief has arrived in the form of a mini wave of indie romantic comedies. And I emphasize these are not quirky, annoying indie romances, they are genuine romantic comedies, but told with a freshness. Case in point… Ruby Sparks.” Watch the rest of their chat below!


Casting Net: Jeremy Renner eyeing David O. Russell drama. Plus: Daniel Radcliffe, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Depp

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) have signed up to star in The F Word, which sounds much less edgy than its title first implies: It’s an indie romantic comedy about a couple who meet and have great chemistry, but end up trying to just be friends — ergo, the title. Michael Dowse (Goon) is directing from a Black List script by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan). [Variety]

• Juliette Lewis is in talks to join the feature adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning play August: Osage County, as the dizzy youngest daughter to Meryl Streep‘s hard-hearted family matriarch. Julia Roberts is also set to star as the assertive eldest daughter. John Wells will direct from Letts’ adaptation of his play. [Deadline]

• Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones) will star opposite Karl Urban in Overdrive, a thriller about American car thieves who relocate to France. Antonio Negret (Transit) will direct from a script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (Wanted). Claflin is also reportedly in the running for the role of Finnick in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which would likely shoot soon after Overdrive finished production. [Variety]

• Kristen Bell will headline The Lifeguard, about a woman who leaves her job as a reporter in New York City to get her high school job as a lifeguard. Mamie Gummer (CBS’ The Good Wife), Martin Starr (Party Down), Alex Shaffer (Win Win), Josuha Harto (The Dark Knight), and Amy Madigan (Gone Babby Gone) costar. Liz W. Garcia (CBS’ Cold Case) will direct from her screenplay. [Deadline]

As had been reported last week, Johnny Depp has signed up to star in Wes Anderson‘s next feature film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. [Deadline]

Read more:
Casting Net: Anthony Mackie may join ‘Captain America’ sequel as the Falcon. Plus: Richard Jenkins, Vince Vaughn
Daniel Radcliffe to star in supernatural thriller ‘Horns’
‘Catching Fire’ zeroing in on actors for Finnick and Beetee — REPORT

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