Archive | Casting

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Liam Hemsworth Rumored For INDEPENDENCE DAY FOREVER Lead

Posted on 28 January 2015 by Rich Drees

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The re-invading aliens of Independence Day Forever might not have to face off against Will Smith again, but they may have Liam Hemsworth to contend with. A rumor is currently circulating that the Hunger Games co-star has been offered the lead role in the sequel to the 1994 science-fiction blockbuster Independence Day. It was earlier confirmed that the original film’s star Smith would not be returning for the follow-up. Smith’s co-stars Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are already signed to reprise their roles.

Hemsworth has been turning in some good work in the Hunger Games franchise and a high-profile role such as this would certainly go along ways in continuing his career trajectory from out of the shadow of his older brother Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in Marvel Studios’ interconnected comic book adaptations.

Independence Day Forever takes place 20 years after the first alien invasion was defeated thanks to a computer virus and the fact that the aliens’ computers were Apple-compatible. Since science has had two decades to study the left behind alien technology, placing society at a more advanced level than here in the real world.

Independence Day Forever is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2016.

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Your GHOSTBUSTERS Reboot Cast Has Been Announced

Posted on 27 January 2015 by Rich Drees

GhostbustersLogoIt has taken years, a number of false starts and a complete shift from threequel to remake, but the all-female Ghostbusters reboot took a major step forward today as writer/director Paul Feig tweeted out a picture of the four funny ladies who will be donning proton pack to do battle with a plethora of pesky poltergeists.

If you don’t recognize all of the faces here, they are, clockwise starting in the upper left, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. Wiig and McCarthy, of course, co-starred for Feig in the hit Bridesmaids. McKinnon has been turning in some strong work every week on Saturday Night Live, with her recently satirizing of the recent Calvin Klien’s ad campaign featuring Justin Bieber became an overnight viral hit. Although she had previously served on the writing staff, Jones only joined the on screen cast of SNL earlier this year and hasn’t really had a chance to break out yet.

While I am still disappointed that we won’t be seeing the originals back in their work jumpsuits for one last hurrah, I do have a good feeling about these four ladies. Of the original Ghostbusters, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray were also SNL alum, so even though we’re decades separated from their respective runs, perhaps some of the magic will carry over.

As to what shape will the story of this remake take? Feig has already stated that he hopes to have the film scarier than the original, and Drew McWeeny over at Hit Fix is reporting that the our l will not be just playing female versions of the original characters.

Erin Gabler and Abby Bergman are the first two leads, and as the film begins, they are former colleagues. They co-wrote a book about the paranormal together, then went in different directions. Erin works for Columbia, and she’s getting close to tenure, while Abby is more involved in the pursuit of ghosts, with a new partner named Jillian. In a world where there are thirty different “Ghost Hunters” style TV shows out there, the set-up makes sense, and it sets up a tension between serious academic motives and mainstream pop parapsychology.

If I was guessing, I’d bet Wiig is Erin, Jones is Abby, and McKinnon is Jillian. That’s because I’m almost positive Patty, an MTA subway ticket employee who stumbles across the main ghost in the film, is going to be McCarthy. Seems like a perfect fit for her, and I can see how all four of them will fit together as a team…

[T]here’s another role that, if they cast who they want, is going to be the most interesting part of the film. Like I said, these aren’t direct one-to-one corollaries, but there is a character named Martin Heiss who is a professional supernatural debunker. When our new Ghostbusters post some videos of what they’re doing online, Heiss becomes determined to prove that they are fakes, and he ends up at odds with the team for the whole film.

And who do they want to step into William Atherton’s shoes?

Bill Murray, of course.

OK, color me intrigued.

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MAZE RUNNER’s Kaya Scodelario Signed For PIRATES 5

Posted on 26 January 2015 by Rich Drees

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Johnny Depp may be having a bit of a bad streak at the box office recently, as the disastrously bad returns from last weekend’s Mortdecai reinforced, but that will surely turn around when the next installment of his increasingly inexplicably popular Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise opens in July 2017. And the newest member of the cast for that film has been announced – Kaya Scodelario.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer made the announcement via twitter –

The English actress was seen this past summer in the teen-lit adaption The Maze Runner. She’ll be joining Depp and franchise newcomer Brenton Thwaites when filming commences next month in Australia with Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg behind the camera. There is no word as to what their characters will be. Javier Bardem is currently in talks to play this installment’s villain.

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Tom Hardy Exits SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 15 January 2015 by Rich Drees

Tom-HardyOne of the most interesting things about Warners upcoming comic book adaptation Suicide Squad was its cast, which sports some pretty big names like Will Smith and Jared Leto for a genre movie like this. Unfortunately, another big name that was initially announced for the film will not be appearing on the marquee when Suicide Squad makes it to theaters in 2016 – Tom Hardy.

Hardy was set to play Rick Flag, one of the leaders of a government black ops team of supervillains working off their sentences by going on lethally dangerous missions. Fury writer/director David Ayer will performing the same duties on this film, which is currently scheduled to start shooting mid-April.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources that state that the Locke actor has dropped out of the project. No definitive cause was given for his defection, but the Hollywood Reporter’s source suggests that it may be scheduling related. Hardy is currently at work on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s frontier drama The Revenant, and production is reportedly running over schedule.

As to who may replace Hardy, the Wrap is already reporting that Ayer is eyeing his End Of Watch star Jake Gyllenhaal to step into the role. Expect an announcement soon.

Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5, 2016.

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Viola Davis Signs On For SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 17 December 2014 by Rich Drees

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Suicide Squad gets another heavy-hitter added to its cast as the twice Academy Award nominated Viola Davis in the role of Amanda Waller. In the comics, Waller is the head of the secret government program that forces supervillains to perform covert missions from which they may not return. Previously, Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer were reported as two actresses that studio Warner Brothers were interested in casting in the role.

Davis joins an all-star cast which includes Tom Hardy as Rick Flag, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Cara Delevinge as Enchantress and Jared Leto as The Joker.

The character previously appeared in 2011’s ill-received Green Lantern movie, played by Angela Bassett, and her appearance there was thought to be a building block for a shared DC Comics cinematic universe. While Suicide Squad is one of the first installments in Warners’ current attempt at constructing something similar to what Marvel Studios is doing with their comic book properties, it is not clear if Viola is only signed on for this film or if she has been contracted for multiple film appearances.

Production on Suicide Squad is set for April, with Viola presumably reporting for work after she wraps the first season over her new television series How To Get Away With Murder. It hits theaters on August 5, 2016.

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Chris Pratt In Talks For MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Redo

Posted on 05 December 2014 by Rich Drees

chris prattChris Pratt may be following up his success as the lead of the ensemble cast of Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy with a role in another ensemble movie – director Antoine Fuqua’s planned remake of The Magnificent Seven. The Hollywood Reporter is stating that the actor is currently in early talks to participate in the film which already has Denzel Washington signed to star.

Famously, director John Sturges’s 1960 western The Magnificent Seven was just a retelling of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. Both stories centered on a small group of heroes brought together to protect a poor village from outlaws. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fuqua’s version will center “on a guardian angel who fights crime,” so it sounds as if he is continuing with the tradition of reinterpreting the material into a new setting.

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Benedict Cumberbatch IS DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 04 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

BenedictCumberbatchHe was one of the first of many, many names entered into the running for the role, and it turns out that he was the last as well.

Marvel.com has just confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch has officially signed on to play the title role in 2016’s Doctor Strange, ending months of casting rumors that had just about every male actor of a certain age being considered for the role.

Cumberbatch was first rumored to be up for the role back in June, which he quickly squashed during San Diego Comic Con in July, stating work conflicts that might keep him from the role. His name came back into contention in late-October and stayed there until today. In between, actors such as  Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac were rumored to be in the running.

“Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity,” said Producer Kevin Feige in the press release. “In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.”

I agree with Mr. Feige. Cumberbatch is good at playing haughty characters that the audience can’t help but feel for. And if the film Stephen Strange hews at all close to the comic book version, he’ll rock as the character.

Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay. It is set to arrive in theaters on November 4, 2016.

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Will Smith, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy Officially Headlining SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 02 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

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Okay, let’s call this a win in the DC/Warners category.Whereas Marvel Studios picks reclamation projects, up-and-comers, and off-genre actors to be the leads in their films, Warners is going to the A-List for the cast of their first mostly non-Batman, mostly non-Superman entry into their newly christened shared universe.

Variety is reporting that Warner Brothers’ upcoming adaptation of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, which is set to begin production in April, has cast a number of its actors. And the list is full of recent Oscar winners and worldwide box office draws.

Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne have been cast as, respectively, the Joker, Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress in the super-villain team-up.

One look at the character line-up and comic fans can tell that the film will be based on the last 30 years of the concept from the comics, where super-villains are consigned into service to the government to go on suicide missions for them. If they survive, they get pardoned. If they try to escape before the job is done, they are maimed if not killed.

It is also clear that the film will not follow too closely any particular storyline. Rick Flagg has been involved in every installment of the team, but Harley Quinn has only been part of the most recent version and, to my knowledge, the Joker was never part of the team at all, or if he was, not for very long.

Another thing that is known is that Warners is not fooling around with their comic book movie slate. Will Smith is coming off the disappointing After Earth, but he is still one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood, and his films always score well overseas. Add to that newly-minted Oscar-winner Jared Leto, a Tom Hardy that is on the cusp of superstardom, two young actors in Margaret Robbie and Jai Courtney who have started making names for themselves in high profile projects, and the relative unknown Cara Delevigne, you might have one of the best casts ever in a comic book film.

Warners has yet to cast the team’s government liaison, Amanda Waller yet. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey are on the shortlist, with Winfrey supposedly being the studio’s favorite. It seems highly unlikely that Warners would be able to woo Winfrey for this role, but if they do, I hope they add in a line of dialogue that states “You get an explosive bracelet! And you get an explosive bracelet! And you get and an explosive bracelet! And you!”

Of course, Waller has already appeared on the big screen before, played by Angela Bassett in Green Lantern. This is probably a pretty good sign that Warners is going to pretend that film never existed. Amanda Waller has also appeared in Smallville and Arrow, as has Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is set to appear in Arrow and The Flash. None of the above cast has appeared in these shows as these characters, so this is another sign that Warners’ DC TV and Film universes are to be considered separate. I hope they consider the two media separate universes and have a crossover between the two. Until then, I wait to hear what Steven Amell has to say.

Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.

 

 

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

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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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

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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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