Friday, September 18, 2009

Summary of Casting Flurry

This week a heap of new castings have been announced over a wide variety of films and I took the time to sum up a majority of them here for you below. For all of the recent casting news scroll down...

First up, Matt Damon has signed on to two different projects. Damon, who can be currently seen in "The Informant!" will play the gay lover of Liberace in the bio-pic being directed by Steven Soderbergh. Michael Douglas had been previously announced to be starring as Liberace himself. Soderbergh told People Magazine, "Matt accepted the challenge." Soderbergh also told People that he is very pleased so far with pre-production. He said, "We've already done some costume and wardrobe tests on Michael, and they're very, very, very good. I swear to you, Michael amazed me. He crushed it." The bio-pic was penned by Richard LaGravenese and will focus on the court-case that ultimately outed Liberace as a gay man. No time table was given to the untitled project either in the report.

Variety reports Matt Damon as also signed on to "Hereafter", a supernatural thriller that Clint Eastwood is directing for Warner Brothers. Eastwood has shown interest in the thriller since it originated over at Dreamworks and will no co-produce the picture under Warner's Malpaso banner. "Hereafter" would mark the first time the 79-year-old director would work in the supernatural territory. Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) has written the script and the feature intends to begin lensing this fall. Unfortunately, WB is keeping all other plot points other than "supernatural thriller" under wraps at this time.

Next up, Paul Giamatti has signed on to play tyrant King John in Jonathan English's "Ironclad". The medieval action which is scheduled to begin production next month in Whales, has been described as the Dirty Dozen of knights films. Variety describes the action as a drama that pits a member of the formidable Knights Templar (Purefoy) and his "Magnificent Seven" cohorts who defend Rochester Castle against King John and his army in 13th century England. James Prefoy stars and joining him in the cast is Robert Carlyle, Bob Hoskins, William Moseley, Pete Postlethwaite and Richard Attenborough. "Ironclad" is written by Erick Kastel and Jonathan English.

Empire reports that Zack Synder's "Sucker Punch" has landed Scott Glen to play a mentor/guide to the film's protagonists. "Sucker Punch" is almost ready to begin filming a story that follows a young girl who is sent by her father to a mental institution to be lobotomised and in turn creates an alternate universe/dreamworld to escape the evil father's plans. Joining Glenn in "Sucker Punch" are Emily Browning as the heroine Babydoll, Jon Hamm as High Roller (also believed to be her father), Carla Gugino as a nurse and brothel madam, Venessa Hudgens as Blondie, Abbie Cornish as Sweetpea, Jena Malone as Rocket and Jamie Chung as Amber. "Sucker Punch" is slated for a March 15th, 2011 release date.

Actor Gael Garcia Bernal has signed on to join Kate Hudson in a drama helmed by The Woodsmen director Nicole Kassell titled, "Earthbound". The Kassell film follows Hudson who is terminally ill and falls in love with her doctor. Empire reports that Bernal will play her doctor. Former actress Gren Wells penned the script and Kassell intends to begin shooting in January. The big question mark with this film is, will it be another Hudson romantic comedy or is it a romantic drama? IMDB has the film categorized as a comedy, but having Kissell attached to direct suggests that this film might not be a comedy after all.

Another casting to a film in early stages of pre-production announced today is Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) joining the cast of Richard Linklater's "Liars (A-E)". Variety reports Hall will play a girl dumped by her rock musician fiance the night before Barack Obama's was elected President. Hall's character joins with a friend (Kat Dennings) and the two set out on a road trip towards the Inauguration of Obama. Along the way the duo stop off at old ex-boyfriends houses to collect personal items she had previously left with them. The film does not have a start date set, but intends to release in 2011.

The Todd Phillips comedy "Due Date" with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis has landed Michelle Monaghan. Monahan will play Downey Jr.'s pregnant wife that he is racing across the country with Galifianakis in order to see his baby born. This will be the second time Monaghan and Downey Jr. have shared the screen, with their first attempt being the delightfully charming Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Variety reports that "Due Date" is set to begin shooting next week with a November 2010 release planned.

Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson next film titled "The Danish Girl" has landed it's lead. Variety reports that Nicole Kidman will play the first person to have undergone a sex change operation in the early 1930's. Kidman replaces Charlize Theron, who was originally attached to the bio-pic. "The Danish Girl" was scripted by Lucinda Coxon off the David Ebershoff's novel about the Danish painter Einar Wegener, who later becomes a woman. Alfredson is hopeful that production should begin by the end of the year.

Half Nelson writer/directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden have nabbed Zack Galifianakis to star in "It's Kind of a Funny Story". THR reports that Galifianakis would play one of the adults apart of the mental institution a teenage boy is sent to. 'Story' is based off Ned Vizzini's young-adult novel about a teenage boy who is sent to a adult mental institution after suffering a bout with depression. In the institution, the boy falls for a quarky teenage girl. Emma Roberts (Lymelife) is being tapped to play the teenage girl. Focus Features and Misher Films are financing the film which intends to shoot by year end.

More news on all of these fronts, as they develop, stay tuned...

What say you? Any casting particularly jump out at you? Strikeback...