What is Casting Couch? It’s the movie news column that’s easing into Christmas with a cup of coffee and some casting reports. Let’s take this one step at a time.
Marvel Studios is on such a roll now that any movie they make that ties directly into their upcoming Avengers 2 is going to be a big deal—even if it’s based off of a comic book that nobody’s ever heard of like Guardians of the Galaxy. So, the competition among young actors to get cast as the Guardians’ leader, Star-Lord, is pretty fierce. According to Variety, that competition has been narrowed down to two guys. The trade reports that Jim Sturgess is the sole survivor of the original crop of five actors the studio screen tested for the role, and Zachary Levi impressed so much playing the smaller role of Fandral in Thor 2, that Marvel is looking to give him a larger role in their universe by maybe making him the half-human, half-alien leader of this ragtag crew. Who would you find more believable commanding a gun-toting space-raccoon?
Chad Michael Murray
Remember those C-grade-looking Left Behind movies that Kirk Cameron kept starring in a decade or so ago? Well, they were based on a popular series of books that deal with religious stuff like the Rapture, a possible anti-christ, and a plucky TV journalist, and apparently these books remain so popular that they’ve survived the humiliation of all those low budget film adaptations and are ready to reboot as a bigger budget series of movies that are Kirk Cameron-free. So, who would be playing the lead role of Cameron “Buck” Williams this time around? According to Deadline, One Tree Hill actor Chad Michael Murray is in negotiations for the role… which doesn’t seem to be that much more of a respectable choice than Cameron… and he’s said to be joining an already cast Nicolas Cage… Oh crap, these movies aren’t going to be any more respectable than the first ones at all, are they?
Landing a role as a voice actor on an animated feature from Disney seems like it’s got to be a pretty sweet gig. Not only do you get to show up to work in your pajamas, but at the end of the day you get a big, fat Disney check in the mail for your efforts. Congratulations to Jonathan Groff (Glee, Boss), then, on the news that he’s joined the cast of Disney’s winter wonderland-set adventure, Frozen. The studio announced [via Coming Soon] that the Broadway actor would be providing the voice of Kristoff, the burly mountain man who acts as a sidekick to the film’s protagonist, a young girl named Anna who’s being voiced by Kristen Bell. Apparently the film is about them and a yet-to-be-cast reindeer named Sven going on a journey to find the Snow Queen and make her end the spell that keeps their entire kingdom frozen. Idina Menzel is playing the Queen, which makes this upcoming cartoon one of the biggest wastes of a cast of attractive people ever.
Probably you’ve never heard of any of the cast members of the upcoming action flick Berandal, but seeing as this is director Gareth Evans’ sequel to his completely awesome, kick-your-face-in action movie from earlier this year, The Raid: Redemption, it’s interesting to talk about anyway. Twitch got word that not only is the Raid sequel set to bring back star Iko Uwais, but it’s also got Macabre actress Julie Estelle playing a character named Hammer Girl, Merantau’s Alex Abbad and The Forbidden Door’s Marsha Timothy playing other, undisclosed roles, local stars Mathias Muchus and Tio Pakusadewo doing something that probably involves a lot of punching and kicking, and renowned silat practitioner Cecep Arif Rahman in a major part that will likely see him beating someone mercilessly. According to chatter from Evans’ Twitter account a few days ago, Hammer Girl is indeed a character who fights people while wielding two claw hammers. This movie is going to rule.
That JFK assassination movie that Tom Hanks’ Playtone is producing, Parkland, just added a couple more high profile actors to its ensemble. According to THR, the duo of Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden will be joining names like Paul Giamatti, Jacki Weaver, and Billy Bob Thornton in the principal cast. The report isn’t clear on what roles they would be playing, but if you’re getting too bored from being around your family this holiday season, you can read the book the film is based on, “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” and try to decide for yourself. If you figure it out, please let the rest of us know. That information will prove to be very interesting once we’ve recovered from our eggnog hangovers and start looking forward to a new year’s worth of movies.