What is Casting Couch? It’s a compiling of all the day’s most notable casting news. Today we’ve got updates on what big book adaptations the Harry Potter kids are moving on to next, among many other things. You better sit down for this one.
Ever since genre fans got that glimpse of a post-apocalyptic world where robots were in charge and humans lived in little pockets of resistance cells in James Cameron’s The Terminator, they’ve been clamoring to get a proper robot war movie. Well, that may never happen, but Matt Reeves’ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sequel might give them the next best thing: a proper ape war. Coming Soon has word that Dawn is mostly going to be about one of these pockets of human rebels fighting against a world that’s now controlled by the apes, and perhaps most excitingly, they’ve learned that Gary Oldman has signed on to play the leader of this human resistance. This is fitting, because Oldman is so awesome he probably really would be the best guy to put in charge if super-intelligent apes tried to take over the world. He could make them back down with just the authority in his voice.
If there was anyone from Bryan Singer’s first couple X-Men movies who didn’t really seem to be enjoying what they were doing and didn’t really seem to get the whole comic book movie thing, it was Halle Berry. Her Storm never felt like the character from the comics, so much as she felt like Halle Berry in a wig. And she took that “toad struck by lightning” line that was supposed to be a quick little quip and made it into an infamous groaner of a moment by delivering it with over-the-top gravitas. So, as Singer has been announcing names that are returning from his original trilogy to join his new First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s been something of a relief that he’s appeared reluctant to throw Berry’s name into the mix. Until now. Berry just told Shadow and Act that she’s now 90% sure that she’ll be returning for the film, and that there are only a few little details that need to be ironed out. Aw, nuts.
Speaking of nuts, Variety has just got word that Liam Neeson has joined a new animated movie called The Nut Job. This one is coming from Canadian outfit Toonbox, and it’s about a squirrel and a rat who plan to pull off a heist that promises to yield them an unheard of amounts of nuts. Neeson will reportedly be voicing the raccoon villain. This ridiculous-sounding project will see him joining a voice cast that’s already comprised of names like Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, and Jeff Dunham, which just goes to show what an easy payday doing these animated movies is. Imagine if we had this many animated movies back in the golden days of Hollywood. We could have got a hog voiced by John Wayne, or a ferret voiced by Humphrey Bogart. Oh, the possibilities…
Ever since we started hearing about This is Where I Leave You, the Shawn Levy-directed adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel, we’ve been told that it’s going to be about a character played by Jason Bateman having to reunite with his dysfunctional family after their father dies. Up until now that’s mostly been empty promises though, as nobody else has been cast for the film. Well, have no fear, because after every woman in Hollywood has been brought in to read for various roles, one has finally been picked to actually be in the movie. THR is reporting that a newly post-30 Rock Tina Fey has agreed to join the film in the role of the Bateman character’s older sister. What we know about this lady is that she’s currently married, but she also has a first love who’s suffering from brain damage. That sounds like a tough row to hoe, especially when you’re already dealing with a dead dad and having a neurotic doormat like Jason Bateman as your little brother.
This is Where I Leave You isn’t the only comedy picking up new cast members today. Deadline has news that a couple more faces are jumping on board Anchorman 2 as well. Lovely lady Meagan Good has joined the film in the role of Ron Burgundy’s new boss, and virile hunk Dylan Baker is on board as well, though it’s not clear yet exactly who he’ll be playing. It’s said that the plot of Anchorman 2 will see Burgundy and company heading to New York City, which should provide them with plenty of opportunity to chafe up against new personalities, seeing as they’re California boys and all. Maybe this one will allow Baker to branch out from his patented creepy character to play a gruff New York City cop, or a wise-cracking hot dog vendor, or, uh, something else New Yorky.
Whether you think of her as the little girl from Contact, Gretchen from Donnie Darko, or that chick who was on Hatfields & McCoys, chances are you know who Jena Malone is, even if you’ve never consciously realized that you knew her name. She does a lot of supporting stuff. That’s about to change though, because Deadline has word that she’s about to topline a Victorian ghost story called Angela. Teeth director Mitchell Lichtenstein will be helming this thriller, which is an adaptation of an Arthur Phillips novel of the same name. The story involves difficult childbirths, marriages being threatened by doctor-ordered celibacy, and—of course—more ghosts than you can shake a proton pack at. Who you gonna call? Nobody. This is Victorian England, most people haven’t heard of phones yet.
Is Daniel Radcliffe already past his prime? Back in his glory days he was anchoring one of the largest book-to-movie franchises of all time as the boy wizard Harry Potter, and now Variety has word that he’s all set to join another literary adaptation, but this time as the loathsome sidekick. Apparently Radcliffe is close to officially becoming Igor in Paul McGuigan’s upcoming take on the classic reanimated monster movie, Frankenstein. When people think about the character of Igor, they mostly think about Dwight Frye playing the character as a hunch-backed and shrouded figure in the 1931 film. Will a character like this be a waste of star power that shines as bright as Radcliffe’s? Does Max Landis’ script for this film flesh Igor out into a more interesting character than he has been historically? Or is Radcliffe just the awesome sort of dude who thinks that playing a creepy little lab assistant would be a good time? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
A post-Potter casting that would seem to make way more sense is Emma Watson as Cinderella, and Variety is reporting that this could be happening as well, via Disney’s planned live action adaptation of the classic fairy tale. This new Cinderella has had something of a troubled history, but as of now Kenneth Branagh is on board to direct and Cate Blanchett remains in place as the wicked stepmother, so one would imagine that locking down a young actress as Cinderella would be the next big priority when it comes to actually getting the movie made. Watson is said to be the name that the studio wants, but negotiations are still reportedly in their earliest stages. She’ll next be seen in high-profile projects like Darren Aronofsky’s Noah and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This is the End, so she’s not exactly hurting for work. Better toss her a good deal, Disney.