What is Casting Couch? It’s a casting news column that has a theory casting agents are kind of just coasting going into the Thanksgiving holiday.

Bryan Cranston. For a long time he was viewed as being an under appreciated character actor, or even “the dad from Malcolm in the Middle,” but these days he’s basically the most universally beloved actor in the business. It’s amazing what cooking meth in your tighty-whities can do for your career. What a coup for the upcoming crime drama, Eye of Winter, then, that it’s landed Cranston as its lead. He’ll be playing a blind criminal who takes a struggling motel owner (Alive Eve) and her daughter hostage so that they can be his eyes while he attempts to retrieve a package from a crooked cop (Logan Marshall Green). Tze Chun (Children of Invention) will direct and has co-written alongside Osgood Perkins and Nick Simon. [Variety]

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf

After working together on Lawless, actor Shia LaBeouf and director John Hillcoat felt like they had formed a professional relationship that was going to go down in the history books. What chemistry! So Hillcoat wasted no time bringing LaBeouf onboard his upcoming ensemble police thriller, Triple Nine. Unfortunately, Coming Soon has a quote from the director indicating that this is no longer going to happen. Hillcoat explained, “I don’t think it’s going to be with Shia after all his schedule thing, but it’s a huge ensemble, so it’s all in relation to balancing people’s dates so that is still being worked out actually. … Ensembles are really tricky because of the balance of availability and schedules and all that.” Damned scheduling conflicts. Have no fear for Hillcoat and LaBeouf’s personal relationship, however, as the director assures that he and the LaBeouf will surely team again sometime soon. Excelsior!

 Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Though fans of Law & Order have undoubtedly been appreciative of having versatile performer Christopher Meloni as a member of their Special Victims Unit over the course of the last decade and some change, the truth is, the man’s best work has always come from films. Think about it: fondling sweaters as Gene in Wet Hot American Summer, organizing gangbangs as Freakshow in Harold & Kumar, these are the roles one gets remembered for. So, it’s good to see Meloni back to getting more feature film work now that his show is done. Deadline says his latest gig will be joining a quartet of already cast lovely ladies (Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Shiloh Fernandez, and Gabourey Sidibe) in Gregg Araki’s new drama White Bird in a Blizzard. Wait… what? Shiloh Fernandez is a boy? Good lord, he’s pretty.

Caitlin Stasey

Caitlin Stasey

If you’ve seen Lucky McKee’s previous works, May or The Woman, you know that he can do some creepifying and downright disgusting things when he’s handling disturbed, female characters. So word that he and his old college buddy Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me, yuck) are teaming up on a new movie called All Cheerleaders Die is a little unsettling. Apparently the film is about a cheerleading plot to “take down” the douchey captain of the football team turning into a supernatural battle, and it’s got Caitlin Stasey (Tomorrow, When the War Began), Sianoa Smit-McPhee (Hung), and Tom Williamson (??) all on board to star. Admittedly, I have no idea who Smit-McPhee or Williamson are, but that Stasey—she’s gorgeous and has some grit—she’s going places. It should be interesting to see what McPhee has in mind for her. [Variety]

James Corden

James Corden

Though he’s had a promising career on the BBC, starring in Gavin & Stacey (let’s do him a favor and forget the horribly reviewed Horne & Corden), British actor James Corden hasn’t had much of a chance to break into U.S.-based entertainment. He was the comic sidekick in Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers last year, but let’s do everyone involved in that movie a favor and forget it as well. Corden’s big chance seems to be coming though. THR reports that he’s been signed to star in the upcoming School For Santas, a Richard Bean-penned film about a man trying to win back his kids that sounds like Mrs. Doubtfire with dressing as Santa in place of dressing as a woman. With the right marketing, that could have some crossover appeal, and could possibly be the thing that launches Corden on his way to international stardom. Or it could go straight to VOD. We’ll see.


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