What is Casting Couch? The day’s casting news, all in one place, because you’re a very busy person.
At this point we don’t know anything concrete about the secret project Brad Bird is directing over at Disney. It’s largely being developed under the code name 1952, but for a minute it was being called Tesla. It’s rumored to be a science fiction film involving aliens, but in what regard isn’t clear. It’s said that Disney is thinking of it as a major tentpole release, but why it would have such mass appeal is being kept under wraps. All we have is rumors. And the latest rumor for the pile, courtesy of Variety, is that The Facts of Life star George Clooney is currently negotiating to star. If this proves to be true and Bird lands Clooney, that would be a pretty big step toward making this the blockbuster sort of feature that Disney wants it to be. And, generally, what Disney wants, Disney gets.
As if Craig Johnson’s upcoming indie comedy Skeleton Twins didn’t sound like it was going to be funny enough after it cast Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as a pair of estranged twins who reunite after experiencing similar near-death experiences, the dang thing just went and got funnier. According to Variety, Modern Family star Ty Burrell is signed to join the film as the Hader character’s love interest. Burrell has proven over the years to be the MVP of Modern Family, as, even when that show hits a streak of bad episodes, he can always be counted on for a couple of belly laughs, so it should be real interesting to see what he can do next to comedians as talented as Wiig and Hader. The sky is presumably the limit.
Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming dad-tracks-down-his-daughter’s-kidnapper movie, Prisoners, has a packed enough cast that it was probably on your radar already. With names like Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, and Viola Davis on board, that’s something of a given. But Deadline has a report that another name just became official for the film. Apparently Maria Bello, star of the awful Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups, is official to play the Jackman character’s wife. Yes, I know that Bello has been in a lot more movies than Grown Ups, but I just wanted to be mean, because recently she finished shooting on Grown Ups 2, and everyone involved in making that movie a reality is deserving of punishment.
Eric Bana is a guy who people like to see starring in movies, and—hey, look—he’s going to be in another one. The Wrap has word that Bana is in negotiations to star in Scott Derrickson’s (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) next project, Beware the Night, which is a paranormal police thriller about a member of the NYPD who investigates possessions, werewolves, demon attacks, and stuff like that. Given how great Bana’s fight scenes were in last year’s Hanna, the possibility that we might get to watch him do battle with all of the things that go bump in the night sounds pretty promising. Give ‘em hell, lad.
Neil Burger may have dropped out as director of the Dennis Lehane adaptation, Animal Rescue, but that doesn’t mean the project is in trouble. Quite the contrary. Not only do they already have Michael Roskam (Bullhead) in negotiations to take over as the man in charge, but Variety is also reporting that Tom Hardy is currently being recruited to star. Yes, that Tom Hardy, the one who is not only the most manly and charismatic man on the planet, but who is also apparently quite the animal lover. What do you think about that, ladies? Did the thought of Tom Hardy cuddling a puppy just make you make one of those little squealing noises? Yeah, me too.
Ever since Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy turned out to be so slick and cool, trying to get adaptations of John le Carre novels off the ground has been the thing to do, and a consortium of British producers have been trying to do just that for le Carre’s “Our Kind of Traitor.” Already they’ve got Justin Kurzel on board to direct and Hossein Amini adapting the story into a screenplay, and the new news regarding the project [via The Wrap] is that they’re looking to recruit The Hunt star Mads Mikkelsen to join the cast. Mikkelsen, who first became known for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher, has been slowly making himself a force in Hollywood over the past few years, starring in James Bond movies and earning Oscar nominations, so if Our Kind of Traitor were able to attach him to star, it would be quite the coup for the developing feature. Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain have also been rumored for the film, but nothing is yet confirmed.
Steven Spielberg’s next project, Robopocalypse, has pretty much the most ridiculous title of any Steven Spielberg movie ever. But with Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard on board to write the screenplay and names like Ben Whishaw and Chris Hemsworth attached as the leading lads, probably that’s not going to matter. And if all that weren’t enough to make this one sound like a winner, Anne Hathaway has also just confirmed that she’s on board as the female lead of this long-in-development project. “If Robopocalypse happens I will be in it,” she told Empire, “and I believe it’s quite real, though you never want to hang your hat on anything.” Oh, silly Anne. This is Steven Spielberg. Of course you can hang your hat on him. If there’s anyone other than Disney who always gets what they want, it’s Spielberg.