What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news round-up that’s for some reason talking a lot about suicide today. Um…enjoy your weekend, everybody!
Tired of Jeremy Renner playing the angry little tough guy in all his movies? Then maybe his next project, Kill The Messenger, is what you’ve been waiting for. Deadline confirms that Renner will be starring in this Michael Cuesta-directed feature that tells the true story of Gary Webb, a journalist who was the victim of a CIA smear campaign after he wrote articles accusing the organization of arming rebels in Nicaragua and aiding with the smuggling of cocaine into California. The mounting pressure of said smear campaign eventually got to the point where Webb took his own life, so don’t expect Renner to go into a rage and shoot his way out of this one. Instead, expect to see yourself leaving the theater puffy-faced and pretending that you’re not crying.
Also out of Deadline is the news that Jim Carrey will star in a new comedy from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess. This one is called Loomis Fargo, and it’s a heist movie about a bank worker and the co-worker he has a crush on robbing their employer of $20m and then being hilariously inept at covering their tracks afterward. It’s coming from a script by Emily Spivey, but is said to be based on a true story, so hopefully the movie doesn’t embarrass the subjects who inspired the story as they rot in jail or whatever. That would be a shame. There’s not yet any word on if Ewan McGregor might play Carrey’s cute co-worker.
Julia Stiles has been cast in the lead role for a Hollywood biopic called The First. Deadline reports that the actress will be playing the title role of Frances Marion, a screenwriter who was famous for being the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. She joins Lily Rabe, who is playing Mary Pickford, a silent film actress who worked with Marion on films like Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm and The Poor Little Rich Girl. Next up the production is looking to cast famous male faces like Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith, so aspiring actors better star putting pomade in their hair and growing thin little mustaches now.
Indie director and T.V. star Mark Duplass somehow keeps finding the time to take more film roles. Deadline reports that not only is he the latest in a long line of actors to join the assassination drama Parkland, but he’s also joined the cast of a Stephen King adaptation called Mercy. This is the one about the two boys who discover that their grandmother is a witch. A Haunting in Connecticut’s Peter Cornwell is directing, and Duplass joins a cast that includes names like Dylan McDermott, Frances O’Connor, Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Shirley Knight, and Chris Browning. Given his recent output, expect the news that Duplass is running for some sort of office to hit any day now.
After impressing people with Lymelife and then kind of creeping people out with Hick, director Derick Martini is back with a new project called The Curse of Downer’s Grove. This one was adapted from a Michael Hornburg novel by Martini and Bret Easton Ellis, and it’s about a cursed high school where one student dies every year. Variety reports that X-Men: First Class actor Lucas Till has just joined the cast, which already included names like Aimee Teegarden, Jill Hennessy, and Kevin Zegers. Till will be playing a paranoid senior who’s worried that he might be the next one to die. Who’s up for watching some teenagers get offed? Ah, the magic of the movies.
Finally, any news involving Benedict Cumberbatch is good news, but the news that he’s going to be starring in Morten Tyldum’s next movie is very good news indeed. Tyldum is the guy who directed the awesome Norwegian thriller Headhunters, which more people probably need to see, and his next project is a biopic of famed mathematician Alan Turing, which comes from a fairly well-hyped screenplay by Graham Moore titled The Imitation Game. Turing is famous for being the guy who cracked the Germans’ code in WWII, which is one of the main things that eventually led to the Nazis’ defeat, but his life took a dark turn in later years when he was prosecuted for homosexuality in Britain, an unfortunate event that sparked a series of them that eventually led to the war hero taking his own life. Originally Leonardo DiCaprio was expected to star, but Cumberbatch has proven on Sherlock that he’s quite good at playing a deep thinker, so this one should be quite good; if not completely depressing. [Deadline]