Archive | Casting

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Oscar Isaac Lands Titular Villain Role For X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Rich Drees


Director Bryan Singer has found who will embody the titular villain for the next installment of the X-Men fanchise, X-Men: Apocalypse – Oscar Isaac.

According to Variety, Isaac was an early contender for the role and the yardstick which Singer seems to have measured other actors up for the role against.

Isaac will be joining returning X-Men franchise stars Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult and possibly Hugh Jackman for the film.

As the last X-Men film Days Of Future Past did in relation to its predecessor, Apocalypse will jump a decade forward from Days Of Future Past‘s 1970s setting into the `80s. Variety also quoted Singer as stating that the film’s level of destruction will live up to the villain’s name –

Apocalypse will have more of the mass destruction that X-Men films, to date, have not relied upon. There’s definitely now a character and a story that allow room for that kind of spectacle.

This will be the second big franchise role for Isaac following his breakout performance in last year’s Inside Llewyn Davis. He recently wrapped shooting for an unspecified supporting role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Cameras are expected to role on X-Men: Apocalypse in Spring 2015 for a May 27, 2016 release.

Here is the the post-credit scene from Days Of Future Past that teased the upcoming appearance of Apocalypse.

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Just Who Is Christoph Waltz Playing In BOND 24?

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Rich Drees


Last week came news that Christoph Waltz was getting a lead role in next year’s untitled, 24th James Bond film and that it very well may be the role of the chief bad guy of the film. Now the Daily Mail (via Bleeding Cool), the folks who broke that story, are following up with a bit more detail.

Waltz’s involvement in the new film – which has the working title ‘Bond 24’ – will be confirmed at a press conference to be held in the first week of December. Eon productions, which owns the James Bond film franchise, will announce the star is playing an unknown character called Franz Oberhauser, son of the late Hans Oberhauser, a ski instructor who acted as a father figure to Bond.

But senior sources believe the casting is a double bluff worthy of 007 himself and that Waltz is actually playing Blofeld. One Hollywood source, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Christoph Waltz is playing Blofeld in the next Bond film. The tone of the 007 films has changed significantly in recent years and the producers have changed the character to fit in with the new-look 007.’

When the story first broke last week, there were a number of sites and fan discussion boards discussing the news and hoping that Waltz would be playing a new iteration of the iconic franchise villain, Ernst Stravo Blofeld. I have to wonder if the Mail‘s “Hollywood source” is playing off that discussion rather than letting slip any actual planned story secret.

Blofeld, the held of the criminal terrorist organization known as SPECTRE, has been a near constant, though at some times unseen, presence in the franchise since it’s second installment, 1963’s From Russia With Love. There and in his next “appearance” in 1965’s Thunderball, Blofeld’s face was never shown, though his voice was supplied by Eric Polhman. It wasn’t until Donald Pleasence took the role on for 1967’s You Only Live Twice that we got a good look at the evil mastermind. Other actors taking on the role include Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and John Hollis in For Your Eyes Only (1981).

If the first description of Waltz’s character, that of the “son of the late Hans Oberhauser, a ski instructor who acted as a father figure to Bond” turns out to be true, than I have to express some mixed feelings. With the exception of 2012’s Skyfall, the franchise has never really delved into Bond’s past and there is plenty of fertile ground there to explore. But with Skyfall examining a fractured familial relation in the form the ersatz mother-son relationship between Judi Dench’s M and Javier Bardem’s Silva, I would hope that the franchise would find some other themes to explore before heading back into that territory again with this potential semi-brotherly relationship between Daniel Craig’s James Bond and the role Waltz will be playing.

The Bond producers will probably supply answers to our questions when they hold their start of production press conference in the first week of December.

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Penelope Cruz Signs Up For ZOOLANDER 2

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Rich Drees


A sequel to Ben Stiller’s 2001 male model comedy Zoolander appears to be a bit closer to reality with the news that Penelope Cruz is signing on to costar in the long in development project. Stiller, of course, will be reprising his role of the super famous, super dimwitted super model Derek Zoolander with the first film’s co-stars Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson rumored to be returning as well. The film will also mark Stiller’s return to the director’s chair following 2013’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, with Justin Theroux providing the screenplay.

It has been thirteen years since the first Zoolander was a mild hit for Stiller, though its reputation has grown since then. Stiller has been working for the last several years at getting a sequel off the ground, and I dare say that the recent success of the sequel Dumb And Dumber To, twenty years after the first film’s release, may have emboldened the studio in moving forward now. Granted, there is not an actual announcement that the film has been greenlighted, but it is a demonstrable move in that direction.

Personally, though, I am of two minds on wanting to see a Zoolander sequel. I really enjoyed the original when it came out. Stiller is at his best when he is playing larger than life comic characters like Derek Zoolander or Dodgeball‘s White Goodman or Tropic Thunder‘s Tugg Speedman. But I am also a fan of Ferrell’s Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Jeremy and anxiously wanted a sequel. That is until, I got it and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues failed to live up to the expectations I had. Can Stiller deliver a sequel at the same level of the original film?

Via Deadline

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Posted on 17 November 2014 by Rich Drees


Daniel Bruhl, who received high critical praise for his role as Formula 1 race car driver Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush, has been cast by Marvel Studios in Captain America: Civil War.

The studio is tight-lipped about his role, but Variety is stating that their sources are telling them that Bruhl “is not the main villain in Captain America: Civil War but could potentially be the top menace in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.”

If so, that raises some interesting questions about Civil War. Specifically, what character can Bruhl be playing? While not a diehard Marvel zombie, I do have about three-and-a-half decades worth of reading their books but I am at a loss as to what character, particularly a villain, could appear in both a Captain America and a Doctor Strange film. That’s not to say that I doubt the report that Bruhl will appear in both movies. I think that Marvel withholding the name of the character he will be playing suggests that, if the Variety report is accurate, the character may be more associated with Doctor Strange and would stand out as part of a Captain America movie if revealed too soon. And with Doctor Strange being released some six months after Captain America: Civil War in 2016 it could be that Bruhl’s

We already know that Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man will be appearing in the film and he will be taking and adversarial role against Chris Evan’s Steve Rogers/Captain America and that superhero Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) would be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe premier before headlining his own film in 2017. And writers/directors Joe and Anthony Russo have indicated that the film would continue the story begun in this past spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the addition of Bruhl in his unnamed role, Civil War is starting to look like a packed movie, with a lot on its plate to accomplish.

But I don’t think that this is going to be quite the Civil War movie that some comics fans may be hoping for. While the movie side of Marvel has looked to the comics for inspiration, more often than note the films have not been fairly literal or faithful translations of those stories, so I am not expecting it to be anything close to the 2006-2007 miniseries event.

For his part, in their press release, studio president Kevin Feige stated –

With Daniel’s ability to deliver intense, nuanced performances, we knew we had found yet another great actor to share the screen with some of our biggest heroes.

Captain America: Civil War is set to start production early next year for a May 6, 2016 release.

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Breaking: Benedict Cumberbatch In Talks To Play DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 27 October 2014 by Rich Drees


In a move that is sure to cause plenty of fan celebration across the internet, word is coming that Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC’s international hit Sherlock, is in talks to headline Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange.

The film has not had a release date officially announced, though it will fall in the midst of the studio’s “Phase Three” cycle of superhero films. The mostly likely date of Marvel’s announced dates that do not have specific films attached to them is July 8, 2016. Currently, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson is prepping the film for a shoot that is thought to start sometime late next spring. Derrickson is currently working with Jon Spaihts on the screenplay.

DrStrangeFor the past several months Cumberbatch was just one of several actors names who were rumored to be on Marvel’s shortlist, even though the actor would deny it. Other names that were floated at one time or another over the last couple of months include Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac.

I had honestly counted Cumberbatch out of the running, given that he has been inundated with offers for numerous projects and some actors claim that the multi-film commitment contract that comes with headlining a Marvel film can be stifling to one’s career. (Yeah, I’m looking at you Norton.) Thankfully, it appears Cumberbatch doesn’t think so.

Of course we know that Marvel won’t confirm or deny such a story right now. But sooner or later, and probably sooner, once the deal is finalized and they are ready, they’ll let us know.

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Eisenberg Reportedly In Talks To Bring Lex Luthor To SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 25 October 2014 by Rich Drees


We’re still 18 months away from the premier of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but Warner Brothers must be feeling pretty confident with the performance of Jesse Eisenberg as Superman’s longtime nemesis Lex Luthor as Deadline is reporting that the studio is in talks with the actor to reprise the role in their other 2016 scheduled comic book feature film Suicide Squad.

Based out of the Louisiana prison, the Suicide Squad us a group of supervillains pressed into service by the government to perform dangerous black ops missions with the incentive of winning pardons if they succeed. As a follow-up to Batman V Superman, this seems like an odd choice instead of going with a solo film for some of the other superhero characters being introduced into that film like Aquaman (Jason Momoa) or Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). It is possible that writer/director David Ayer’s screenplay might be the only one in strong enough shape to go into production. Maybe more will become clear when we see the film and how it relates to the other comic book adaptations on Warners slate.

Reportedly the likes of Will Smith, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie are also being pursued for roles in the picture, but Eisenberg would be a good fit for the film as it adds a major character whom audiences have already seen into a film featuring numerous characters non-comic book fans might not be that familiar with.

Warners did not comment when asked by Deadline for confirmation, so we should take this with a pinch of salt. It should be noted that the studio is working quickly to get the film cast and in front of cameras by next spring in order to meet its August 5, 2016 announced released date. However, Eisenberg does have a lot on his plate already including him possibly headlining director Todd Phillips’ Arms And The Dudes as well as returning for Now You See Me 2, which has also been stated to be a priority 2016 release for the studio.

What’s interesting about this report, and unremarked on in Deadline’s story, is that if Eisenberg is in talks with Warners for a further appearance as Lex Luthor, it suggests that the studio did not secure the actor with options for multiple films in the way that Marvel Studios has signed their leads for numerous film appearances for their shared cinematic comic book universe. We know that the likes of Henry (Superman) Cavill, Ben (Batman) Affleck and Gadot have definitely signed contracts with sequel options, so the idea that the studio just forgot to do so in Eisenberg’s case doesn’t hold much water.

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DOCTOR STRANGE Shortlist Expands To Include Gyllenhaal, Isaac, McConaughey And McGregor

Posted on 15 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

doc strange candidatesI will say this, I do like pretty much all the names that have been thrown out for Doctor Strange. This latest batch is no different.

It all starts out with Badass Digest claiming from sources that Marvel is now considering Ewan McGregor for the lead role. Then ComicBookMovie chimes in to say that not only McGregor has been added to the short list that features the aforementioned Jared Leto (who they say is actively campaigning for the role) and Ethan Hawke (who has expressed interest), but also is joined by Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac to fill out the list.

I don’t have an issue with anyone on this list, as I have seen all of them  do some good work in the past. I will say that McConaughey, who has completed a career renaissance that began with Magic Mike and culminated in an Oscar win and the lead in the highly anticipated Interstellar, might be apple-pie-in-the-sky-high-hopes for Marvel at this point. I think his latest career boost has lifted him out of their price range.

However, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be McGregor. He’s my favorite actor on the list, I loved his work in a lot of films and would bring a lot to the role. And he is still within their budget.

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Ethan Hawke Is The Latest Name On The DOCTOR STRANGE Casting Carousel

Posted on 01 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

ethan-hawkeWhat was it that Andy Warhol said? Every middle-aged actor in Hollywood will be in the running to play Doctor Strange for 15 minutes?

Well, it’s just about time for another name to be thrown in the ring, and that name appears to be Ethan Hawke.

This Is Infamous, the website that also told us both Joaquin Phoenix and Jon Hamm were up for the role, is going all in on Hawke as Doctor Strange. They claim that Marvel has already made an offer to the actor on Friday, the actor accepted over the weekend and now it just comes down to contract negotiations. According to the site, Hawke is signing on for a six-picture deal, so expect him to pop up in other films if this casting rumor is true.

Hawke does appear to have the quality-acting-to-salary-cost that Marvel looks for. He is an Academy Award nominated actor (Best Supporting, for Training Day), yet has a remarkable number of low budget and B-movies on his resume, which lends itself to the fact that he works relatively cheap.

Another positive check mark for this rumor is the fact that Hawke played the lead in Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson’s 2012 film, Sinister, a connection that the site says played a big part in the hiring decision.

I guess time will tell if this is true, but you can say one thing, Hawke certainly looks the part.


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BOND 24 Looking For Next “Jaws”

Posted on 25 August 2014 by Rich Drees


In 2012, the James Bond film Skyfall ended the franchise’s three-film reinvention of itself with a number of classic elements firmly in place. Now it looks as if the producers are looking to add another element to the next film when production gets underway in December, an iconic hulking villainous henchman.

The folks over at MI6 are reporting based off of a casting notice that the still untitled 24th Bond film is looking to cast an actor who could play a bad guy in the vein of such classic characters as Oddjob or Jaws.

Casting has begun for the main assassin, with the search specifically focussed on someone extremely physically fit and over 6′ 2″. Whoever wins the role will have several altercations with Daniel Craig’s 007 throughout the film and also a driving sequence. Former sports athletes will be under consideration along with anyone ‘very unusual’. The character has the working name of ‘Hinx’ (which may change before shooting starts) and is said to be between 30 and 45 years old… The goal is to find the next Jaws or Oddjob – a henchman so different to anything that has gone before that they will become instantly iconic in the film series…

It should be interesting to see who fits the bill.

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Posted on 05 August 2014 by Rich Drees

PrideAndPrejudiceAndZombiesLike the shambling undead in its title, it just seems that the prospect of getting an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride And Prejudice And Zombies onto the big screen seems to never truly die. After a number of attempts have fallen apart, it looks as if the film will be getting in front of cameras as early as this fall.

Deadline is reporting that heading up the cast for this latest attempt will be British actors Lily James and Sam Riley and Australia’s Bella Heathcote with Igby Goes Down‘s Burr Steers directing. James will be playing Elizabeth Bennett, Riley is set as Mr. Darcy and Heathcote will be Elizabeth’s sister.

The adaptation started life shortly after the book was published in 2009, with Natalie Portman in the lead role. Portman is still attached as a producer, but a number of actors being temporarily attached to the film. On the directorial side, the project has seen David O. Russell, Mike White and Craig Gillespie all saw time attached to the project before moving on.

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