What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news compilation that has word of a new action movie starring the Muscles From Brussels himself, JCVD. Buckle up.
It seems like there’s always been a segment of the filmgoing audience that has something against Sandra Bullock. Maybe that’s because she teased everybody by starring in Demolition Man and Speed in the early ’90s and then went on to make a bunch of lame romantic comedies where she tries too hard to be goofy instead of doing more action stuff. Whatever the reason, she might finally be able to channel those bad tidings and use it in her next job, because Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the usually sugary-sweet actress is going to be voicing the new villain in the upcoming Despicable Me spinoff, Minions. As you may have guessed, she’ll be playing an evil lady who has her life ruined by her little, yellow, inept minions. This time it’s okay to hate, go ahead.
Speaking of actresses who have made us suffer through a thousand bad comedies, Deadline also has new news about another Jennifer Aniston film. She’s the latest name to join Peter Bogdanovich’s upcoming project, She’s Funny That Way. In the film, Owen Wilson plays a Broadway director who falls in love with an ex-prostitute and tries to help her get an acting career off the ground. Don’t look at this to be Aniston’s Pretty Woman, however, because she’s not playing the hooker. Her role is that of a therapist who’s dealing with having an alcoholic mother in rehab. Put all of this together, and you may have the most New York-sounding movie ever made.
Who doesn’t want to work with Ryan Gosling? Nobody doesn’t want to work with Ryan Gosling. That’s why there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by over the last week without there being a new report of a talented actor joining the man’s directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster. The latest news is that he’s recruited ethereal actress Saoirse Ronan, who should be able to find plenty to do in a movie about dark fantasy underworlds and underwater towns. If you’ve yet to see what this girl can do for yourself, go rent Atonement and Hanna, and prepare to be impressed. [Sierra/Infinity via ComingSoon]
Nicholas Hoult is another name who keeps making casting news. This in-demand young actor has just signed on to yet another project, which will make the upcoming section of his filmography look even more crowded than it already is. According to Variety, this Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Killer, Mad Max: Fury Road, and X-Men: First Class star has just signed on to a World War I drama from Rupert Wyatt called Birdsong. In it he will play a young man who falls in love with a slightly older and much more married woman, and then gets whisked off to war. Want to learn more? Then probably you should read the Sebastian Faulks novel this thing is being adapted from. Therein lie answers.
A new project with Clive Owen attached to star has been put together and picked up over in Berlin. THR reports that the film is called Blue Angel, and it comes from writer/director Richard Levine (Every Day). The story is based on a Francine Prose novel about a successful writer turned downtrodden college professor who is “brought back to life” by one of his female students, and is described as a “psychological roller coaster ride between sex, seduction and emotional manipulation.” I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, that does sound awful. Owen must have finally read “Fifty Shades of Grey” in between his last couple projects and came away feeling inspired or something.
In what may be a new height for inside baseball stories about the industry that creates them, French director Christopher Thompson is making a movie that’s going to be set during the Cannes Film Festival. Cannes is about a film director and his actor wife traveling to the famed festival so that the husband can present a film, but they experience marital problems along the way. Given the icy stare of all the cameras the media has pointed at them, however, they have to try to work through their issues while projecting the image of being the perfect couple. The big news, coming from Variety, is that Adrien Brody is in negotiations to star.
Hugo Weaving is set to star in a prison movie, but not one of the cool ones where people are getting shanked and raped, and eventually there’s a big riot and an escape. Instead it’s a prison film that’s reportedly about “redemption and the discovery of hope,” which sounds like code words for “total snooze-fest.” The basic story, which is based on real life stuff, is that Weaving will be playing a prisoner who serves the last 18 months of a 16-year sentence working in a program that puts prisoners in charge of rehabilitating injured game birds. Likely the birds are going to come to represent their spirits or something. This one sees Weaving re-teaming with Australian director Craig Monahan, so if you’ve liked the stuff they’ve done before, probably there will be something for you here too. [THR]
Once upon a time, This is Where I Leave You was going to be an Adam Shankman-directed film that had Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Goldie Hawn, Malin Akerman and Jason Sudeikis all in starring roles. Shankman ended up leaving the project before any of the actors’ deals could be completed, though, and the whole thing got put on hold for a while. Now that Shawn Levy has stepped in to be the film’s new helmer, however, it appears that the casting process has begun again. According to THR, the first step they’ve taken to getting this one back on track is to rehire Jason Bateman, and the next step is going to be testing actresses like Ari Graynor, Isla Fisher, Zoe Saldana, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Kathryn Hahn to see who he has chemistry with. Various members of Bateman’s dysfunctional family, his wife, and a past love that got away all need to be recast.
He Who Should Not Be Named himself, Ralph Fiennes, is in talks to join another fantasy drama, this one called Sands. According to Variety, Sands is about a New York surgeon and his wife who get in an accident that leaves the wife in a coma. While she’s zonked out, her spirit apparently travels to India where it meets a mysterious man that it promptly falls in love with. Said disembodied spirit is then caught in a love triangle between this apparent ghost whisperer and the husband who’s desperately trying to bring her back to life. Sounds weird. In order to get this project off the ground they’re still looking for, in trade speak, “a prominent Hollywood thesp” to star opposite Fiennes. Any experience playing the ghost on a Scooby-Doo cartoon would probably be a plus.
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Finally, we end with the big news of the day. Variety has word that high-kicking and splits-doing legend Jean-Claude Van Damme has just signed on to star in an action film called Swelter. Less important and internationally famous actors like Lennie James, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Josh Henderson will be appearing alongside JCVD in this heist tale about a team who takes the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas for $100 million. Apparently the team is made up of five folk, and all but one get captured and jailed. Then, ten years later, the deadly quartet blast their way out of a maximum security prison and go looking for their former partner and a missing $10 million. Probably that fifth member of the team is going to be JCVD though, and probably they’re not going to end up getting anything other than kicked in their faces and maybe exploded. This all sounds so exciting. I wonder if he can still do the splits.