Role Call: New Projects for Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Shia LaBeouf, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and More

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 *My god has Russell Crowe had a busy week. Within the span of seven days, he’s been rumored to star in three different (and very distinct) projects. First up is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Deadline believes that Aronofksy wants Crowe to portray the legendary biblical figure, with Liam Neeson playing opposite him as the film’s “bad guy,” a man who believes Noah as a dangerous, deranged man. Aronofsky originally wanted Christian Bale for Noah, but scheduling issues forced Bale to drop out. Still, Russell Crowe AND Liam Neeson? I’m not going to complain.

Russell Crowe

*Russell Crowe is also “in negotiations” to play the villain role in veteran screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, Winter’s Tale. The film tells the story of an Irish robber who falls in love with a dying woman after trying to rob her home. Also, it has flying white horses and rainbow bridges. Yup, one of THOSE movies. Anyways, Will Smith is also in talks to join the project as well, playing a supporting role as a judge. Vulture claims that Akiva Goldsman “called in every favor he had” to get the two stars. I’m also guessing some lower level forms of prostitution were involved. Just saying.

*Finally, Russell Crowe is reportedly up for a role in the new Robocop. Yeah, I know…way to share the roles with everyone else, Crowe! Anyways, Variety’s Jeff Sneider tweeted the news, claiming that the actor was up for a role in Jose Padhilla’s reboot of the hit 80’s series. Who knows what role he’s up for (or if the rumor is even true), but it certainly points to the fact that this reboot is finally gaining some steam. Let’s hope things don’t end in disaster like they did with Aronofsky’s version.

 BradleyCooper

*Okay, we can finally move away from Mr. Crowe now. Let’s talk Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Together, the two are tackling Serena, which tells the story of a newlywed couple who travel to the North Carolina mountains to start a timber company and raise a family. Things get complicated, however, when the wife finds out she can’t bear children. Eventually, there marriage starts to collapse as they start to turn against each other. The film is being directed by Susanna Bier (Brothers), and was previously developed by Darren Aronofsky (who seems to be just as popular as Russell Crowe this week) as a vehicle for Angelina Jolie. The plot is good and I generally like Cooper and Lawrence, but isn’t Lawrence a little bit…young to play Bradley Cooper’s wife? But then again, who am I to judge a fake movie relationship? [Variety]

*Tom Hiddleston of Thor and War Horse has replaced Michael Fassbender in Only Lovers Left Alive, the vampire love story by director Jim Jarmusch (The Limits of Control). Hiddleston will be playing the lead role, one half of a vampire couple who have been in love for centuries. Set to play fellow vampires are Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska. John Hurt also has a role as well. [THR]

Mia-Wasikowska

*Speaking of Mia Wasikowska, the young Alice in Wonderland actress has also been cast in The Double, the sophomore film from Submarine director Richard Ayoades. In the lead role is Jesse Eisenberg, who plays a young clerk that meets a person he believes to be his doppelganger. Things get crazy when Eisenberg starts to believe his “double” is stealing all the aspects of his life. This sounds like a really fun script…also, I hope they cast Michael Cera as Eisenberg’s double. That would just be perfect. Anyways, Wasikowska’s role has yet to be revealed, but we’ll inform you once it is.

*Justin Timberlake has joined Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams in Trouble with the Curve, the baseball drama about an elderly scout who travels cross country with his daughter on one last trip to scout a potentially promising player. The film is being directed by Robert Lorenz, a protégé of Eastwood. Timberlake will be playing a fellow scout of Eastwood’s, a former pitcher now working for the Yankees and wooing Amy Adams. Matthew Lillard (The Descendants) and newcomer Joe Massingill are also in talks to play scouts. [Varitey]

Amy-Adams

*Well we’re talking Amy Adams, let’s move on to Spike Jonze‘s next film. The film is currently untitled, but that doesn’t mean Jonze can’t get a head start on casting for it. Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Carey Mulligan, and Samantha Morton have joined the project, which is about a man who falls in love with an artificial intelligence ala the iPhone’s Siri. What a weird and awesome plot. Thank god for Spike Jonze. At this point, who the four actors are playing is under wraps. 

*Ed Harris and Michael Bay are prepping for a reunion together with The Rock. No, not the movie The Rock, but the actual actor The Rock. Bay is currently in talks with Harris to join the cast of Pain and Gain, which stars Dwayne Johnson as a bodybuilder who teams up with his fellow muscle heads to kill a businessman. Harris would reportedly be playing a private detective who is hired to investigate the actions of the bodybuilders. [Vulture]

John Hawkes

*So Jackie Brown is getting a prequel. The famed Quentin Tarantino film from 1997 was in and of itself based on a book series by Elmore Leonard, so it’s really no surprise that this is happening. If anything, we can be thankful that it’s getting a good cast. John Hawkes, who earned critical acclaim this year with his role in Martha Marcy May Marlene, is currently attached to play Louis Gara, a role made famous by Robert De Niro in the previous film. Yasiin Bey (or as most people know him by, Mos Def) is also set to play the Samuel L. Jackson character, Ordell Robbie. The film will take place 15 years before the first film, and is based off the novel Switch of the same title. Switch is being directed by William Schechter and will hit cameras this May.

*Time for a little voice work news. Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold), Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon on Broadway), and Bill Hader (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) are all set to star in the Dreamwork film Me and My Shadow, which tells the story of a playful shadow (Hader) stuck with the body of a boring human (Gad). Hudson will be playing a love interest to the human. The film will be directed by Alessandro Carloni, who served as a story supervisor on How to Train Your Dragon. One of the most interesting aspects of Me and My Shadow, though, is its use of animation. The “real” world will be Dreamwork’s standard CGI, well the shadow world will be animated in traditional hand drawn animations (this will be the first time Dreamworks has released a film in traditional animation since The Prince of Egypt in the 90’s). Me and My Shadow will hit theaters on November 13, 2013.

Shia LaBeouf

*Shia LaBeouf has a new role. The Transformers actor has been pretty quiet of late, but now he has taken a new starring role in a European pulp film. Entitled The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, the film tells the story of a man who falls in love during a trip to Europe. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Unfortunetly, the women the man falls in love with is the ex-boyfriend of a violent crime boss. Shit, I hate when that happens. Funny enough, LaBeouf was once attached to star in this project, but had to drop out due to scheduling. Thus, director Fredrik Bond cast Zak Efron to replace him. But then EFRON had to drop out, and LaBeouf schedule was clear, so the actor was brought back in. Complicated, isn’t it? Thankfully, everything seems set now.

*Reese Witherspoon and Collin Firth are now attached to star in ANOTHER film about The West Memphis Three, Devil’s Knot. This time around, the story of the three has been expanded into a fiction film under the direction of Atom Egoyan. Firth will be playing a private detective working to find evidence that proves the infamous teenagers behind the West Memphis incident did NOT commit murder. Witherspoon, on the other hand, will be playing a Pam Hobbs, the mother of the victim and the husband of the man suspected to of committed the crime. Devil’s Knot still needs financing and a distributor, but with such a popular subject, I doubt it will take very long.

Viola Davis

*Finally, Viola Davis (of The Help and Doubt) has been cast in two roles; she will be playing a psychiatrist in Ender’s Game, and a librarian in Beautiful Creatures.  In Ender’s Game, she will be playing a psychiatrist who oversees the mental state of the students at Battle School, and designs games around them to test their indurance.  As far as I can recall, this is a completly new character never featured in the book by Orson Scott Card.  However, it seems like a good decision to include her.  I was always concerned how they were going to express Ender’s mental state as he went through Battle School; this seems to be the easiest and most logical solution.  In Beautiful Creatures, Davis plays a librarian who helps two teenagers fight off a curse that’s been affecting them their entire life. Beautiful Creatures is based on the book by Margaret Stohl-Kami Garcia. [Variety] 


Well, that does it for this week!  Check back next week for even more greatness that the world of casting has to offer!  Until then, chow!

-Matthew