What is Casting Couch? Casting news, all in a list. Yesterday we asked the question of who would be playing the egotistical front man in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s next film, Birdman. Today we already have our answer, and it happens to be a familiar face.
The casting for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes seems to be coming along nicely. Not only does he have Andy Serkis coming back from the first film to play the ape leader, Caesar, but he’s also been picking up some talented folk to round out the human side of the equation as well. Recently he’s signed Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Gary Oldman, and now Variety is reporting that you can also add Dark Skies star Keri Russell to the list. Reeves and Russell have worked together before, as he was the co-creator of J.J. Abrams television drama Felicity, which was her first big break. Their’s is a pairing that’s worked well in the past, so long as Russell has kept a healthy head of springy locks, so let’s hope that Apes doesn’t call for Caesar to take any of the human characters prisoner and give them haircuts. One shaved head could ruin the momentum of the whole franchise.
After this year’s Oscar ceremony gave the world the opportunity to critique its host in real time, one thing became quite clear: there are a lot of people out there who really hate Seth MacFarlane. Like, hate him like he’s bugs crawling under their skin hate him. Liam Neeson might be getting a chance to live a lot of people’s dream then, as THR is reporting that he’s currently negotiating to join MacFarlane’s next film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, in the role of the revenge-seeking husband who comes after MacFarlane’s cowardly farmer. Of course, MacFarlane’s character is the protagonist, so it’s not likely that Neeson is going to be able to kill him, but he should at least get the chance to slap him around real good. That ought to give the haters something to live vicariously through.
That’s not the only news that came out today regarding A Million Ways to Die in the West either. Deadline is reporting that Giovanni Ribisi has also joined the film in the role of the MacFarlane character’s best friend, a guy whose girlfriend is the town prostitute, but who still refuses to sleep with him. Despite the easy-sounding joke, this is great news, because while Ribisi and his eccentric performances can stand out like a sore thumb in a lot of movies, he never looked more at home than he did sipping juice out of a straw and swiveling his hips to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” in MacFarlane’s previous film, Ted. MacFarlane was really able to take all of Ribisi’s creep-energy and harness it into something good. Hopefully he can do the same this time around.
Another actor has signed on to play one of Jason Bateman’s dysfunctional family members in the upcoming dead dad dramedy This is Where I Leave You. Variety is reporting that Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) has joined the film as one of the four adult siblings who have to spend a week together in the house they grew up in, as per their father’s dying wish. Since the beginning we’ve known that Bateman was going to be one of those kids, and Tina Fey recently became the second, so that leaves us with one more sibling and a whole lot of siblings’ significant others who still need to be cast. Maybe we should put on a pot of coffee. This could take a while.
Hugo star Asa Butterfield is way too pubescent at this point to keep getting the cute little kid roles, but it looks like he’s going to continue to get opportunities to act regardless. Not only is he starring in the upcoming adaptation of the legendary sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game,” but now Screen Daily is reporting that he’s also been attached as the star of Morgan Matthews’ next film, X + Y. This one is said to be inspired by Matthews’ BBC documentary, Beautiful Young Minds, and has been described as “a rites of passage drama about a teenage prodigy’s journey to the Mathematics Olympiad, and his quest to find a formula for love.” Prometheus’ Rafe Spall is also in negotiations to join the film, in the role of the love-seeking genius’ tutor.
So, we know that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is going to see Michael Keaton playing an actor who was formerly famous for portraying a superhero trying to regain credibility by directing a prestigious play. We know that Naomi Watts is going to play one of the actresses who he’s working with, that Zach Galifianakis is going to play his conniving producer, and that Emma Stone is going to play his recovering addict daughter—but the original synopsis for the film said that the Keaton character’s play was also going to feature a lead actor, one who is such an egotistical jerk that his antics threaten the whole production. And original casting reports left who was going to be playing that role a mystery. Well—BOOM—wonder no more. Deadline just dropped the bomb that it’s going to be Edward Norton. How’s that for an egotistical jerk?