Bill Murray

What is Casting Couch? It’s the surveyor of all that is casting. Today we’ve got joyous news about more incredible actors joining Animal Rescue and sad news about Emma Watson dropping out of some promising projects. Get ready, it’s going to be an emotional roller coaster.

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Melissa McCarthyBill Murray is such a comedy God that every big name comedic actress has reportedly campaigned to get themselves cast opposite him as the female lead of his upcoming dramedy St. Vincent De Van Nuys. The Ted Melfi-written and directed story sees Murray playing a cantankerous old drinker and gambler who develops a bond with a 12-year-old boy when he and his overworked single mother move in next door. The new news regarding the project comes from Deadline, and it’s that Melissa McCarthy has beat everyone else out and is going to be offered the role of the single mother. Reportedly McCarthy has a hole in her schedule in between when she’s directing her own film, Tammy, and when she reports back for work on Mike & Molly, so the deal should work out nicely for everyone involved. And seeing as Murray and McCarthy are both so good at mixing melancholy with dark humor, those the deal should probably work out best for are fans of film, dontchathink?

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Joel EdgertonThere’s been some major cast shuffling going on over on Lynne Ramsay’s upcoming Western, Jane Got a Gun. While Natalie Portman is still firmly in place as the film’s lead, unfortunately conflicts with X-Men: Days of Future Past have led to Michael Fassbender having to drop out of his role as the ex-lover that comes to help her and her dying husband fight off bandits. As big of a loss as Fassbender is, all is not yet lost, because Ramsay seems to have a replacement plan in place. Heat Vision reports that Joel Edgerton, who was originally playing the villain of the film, is now being slid over into the Fassbender role, and Jude Law is being brought onboard as the new villain. Law and Portman showed a lot of volatile chemistry together during their breakup scenes in Mike Nichols’ Closer, so hopefully they’ll be able to rekindle it now that they’re going to be antagonizing each other. And at least Law keeps the streak of no men with American accents being cast in this Western going. He seems like a good replacement.

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Emma WatsonSpeaking of actors not taking roles that fans hoped they would, while Emma Watson was never officially onboard as the title character of Disney’s upcoming live-action Cinderella remake, recently it was reported that she was the company’s first choice for the role, a decision that seemed fine by fans. But a tweet from Variety’s Marc Graser has reported that, ultimately, the in-demand young actress has decided not to take the part. And that’s not the only thing she’s passed on, either. Digital Spy has word that she’s dropped out of the Emma Forrest memoir adaptation, Your Voice in my Head. The film was originally going to see her re-teamed with her Harry Potter director David Yates, but now that he’s gone, she’s gone. The good news is that the lovely and talented Emily Blunt has stepped in to take her place, but the bad news is the film has still yet to find another director.

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Maggie QCasting seems to be coming together for Neil Burger’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s much-hyped YA novel Divergent. We’ve known forever that The Descendants star Shailene Woodley was attached to the lead role, but now Heat Vision is reporting that three more actors have joined her in bringing this dystopian tale of a divided civilization to life. Live Free or Die Hard actress Maggie Q has been signed to play the owner of a tattoo parlor who helps Woodley’s character during the ceremony where people get divided into factions, Carrie actor Ansel Elgort has landed the role of the brother of the Woodley character, who turns his back on his family in order to join another clan, and Zoe Kravitz has come on board as a member of the Dauntless faction, who becomes one of Woodley’s close friends. Wait… isn’t Kravitz already in The Hunger Games? Are you allowed to be in two YA franchises? Somebody check the rule book.

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James GandolfiniMichael R. Roskam’s followup to Bullhead, Animal Rescue, already looked impressive enough, seeing as it’s got Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace cast in lead roles, but with a couple more deals in the works it’s suddenly started looking even more exciting. Not only is Variety reporting that James Gandolfini is in talks to join this crime film about a reluctant protagonist, a heist gone bad, and a lost dog, but they’ve also got another report that Animal Kingdom actor James Frecheville has signed on to the film. This further proves the theory that everyone who acted in Animal Kingdom is eventually going to break out on the international scene in a big way. And deservedly so. Animal Kingdom was full of great acting.

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Adam DriverGirls star Adam Driver seems to be on the verge of a career explosion. Not only has he turned a lot of heads due to his work on that HBO drama, but he recently had a role in Lincoln, he’s soon going to show up in films made by arthouse darlings like the Coen brothers and Noah Baumbach, he’s set to star in a film called The Coward, and now THR is reporting that he’s negotiating to join Jason Bateman in the ensemble dramedy This is Where I Leave You. If his Girls schedule allows it, he’ll be playing the fourth of the adult children of Jane Fonda’s matriarch character, alongside the already cast Bateman, Tina Fey, and Corey Stoll. Reportedly the role that Driver is up for is the “rebel” of the family, which doesn’t sound like a reputation that would be too hard to earn when your siblings are people like Jason Bateman and Tina Fey, but hey, more power to him.

More Casting Couch: Horrible Bosses Needed, Gozilla‘s New Human and more…


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