Joaquin Phoenix

What is Casting Couch? It’s heading into the weekend with three pieces of casting news about three actors everyone has actually heard of. Star power!

Remember how rumors were going around that Robert Downey Jr. was going to be the star of Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming project, Inherent Vice? Well, turns out that didn’t pan out. Don’t let the news that Downey and Anderson aren’t teaming up get you down for long though, because Variety has a report that says Inherent Vice is now going to star Joaquin Phoenix instead. Though opinions on The Master were a little divided, pretty much everyone agreed that Phoenix’s performance in that film was powerful enough to be hypnotic, so it should be great to watch the actor being directed by Anderson again. And, seeing as this one is supposed to be more of a comedy, it should feel fresh watching Phoenix doing something that isn’t so creepifying.

shaileneThe upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth’s futuristic teen death novel “Divergent” got its bid to become the next Hunger Games off to a good start by casting talented and in-demand actress Shailene Woodley as its lead. Perhaps it was just getting started, though, because it suddenly just made itself look like even more of a viable contender in the race to become the next YA cash machine with the announcement that A-list actress Kate Winslet is in negotiations to join its cast as well. It’s not yet known what role Winslet is up for, but if other young adult novels are any indication, she’ll probably be playing the sad mom who sits idly by while her underage daughter goes off on a dangerous adventure. There’s usually one of those. [Variety]

Reese WitherspoonSpeaking of A-list actresses, busy-as-a-bee Reese Witherspoon is in talks to take on another role. According the THR, she’s negotiating to join the cast of Philippe Falardeau’s (Monsieur Lazhar) next film, The Good Lie. This one is apparently about a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery that allows him to relocate to the United States. There, with the help of a “brash” young woman who’s assigned to assist him, he takes in the modern world for the first time, tries to integrate into a society that feels completely alien to him, and wrestles with feelings of guilt regarding the brother that he left behind. It hasn’t been confirmed by anyone official, but all signs point to the fact that Witherspoon is up for the role of the young Sudanese boy. Unless I’m just completely off base.

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