What is Casting Couch? All of the day’s casting news, here in one spot. Stick around to find out which screen veteran has become the latest member of Jason Bateman’s dysfunctional family in This is Where I Leave You.
Modern Family star Sofía Vergara seems poised to start transitioning over to big screen roles. Not only does she have a featured part in Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming schlock sequel, Machete Kills, but now Variety is reporting that she’s also negotiating to be the female lead in Simon West’s remake of Heat. Of course, every time this remake is brought up, it seems a requirement to bring up the fact that it isn’t a remake of Michael Mann’s Heat but a remake of the Burt Reynolds movie from 1986 about a gambling addict taking on the mob, so let’s take care of that. We just did. If Vergara’s casting becomes official, it will see her acting opposite leading man Jason Statham, which, as far as I’m concerned, is every little girl’s dream.
It’s been only a few days since we first heard about Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s upcoming comedy project, Birdman, and already we know that it stars names like Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Stone — so it seems like they might have played all of their casting cards a little too early. How do you improve on this ensemble? Well, how about by adding an actress as talented as Amy Ryan? Would that about do it? Screen Daily has the news that she’s the latest to join, and though they don’t have any information on what her role in the film is going to be, who really cares? It’s Amy Ryan.
That’s not the only Birdman casting news that’s broke in the last 24 hours, either. The casting people are busy little beavers over there, building some sort of metaphorical dam out of great actors. Deadline reports that they’ve also signed up Happy-Go-Lucky and Never Let Me Go actress Andrea Riseborough, and unlike with Ryan, we do know what role she’s going to be playing. They report that she’s going to be playing the role of “Laura,” which, okay, honestly tells us nothing. How about that cast though?
Up-and-comer Bella Heathcoate has another job to add to her resume. Variety is reporting that she’s just joined director Marc Lawrence’s latest Hugh Grant comedy, which has yet to get a title. The movie will reportedly see Grant playing a formerly hyped but currently washed-up screenwriter who is forced to take a job teaching his craft at a small college. Heathcoate would be playing one of his students (hopefully not one he has a romantic tryst with, because isn’t that the place that these sorts of movie always feel the need to go?), and Marissa Tomei is on board as some sort of older lady. Maybe like a wife, or a co-worker, or something. Who knows? I could see Tomei pulling any of those off. She’s great.
Speaking of Bella Heathcoate, remember that one project she’s set to star in about the cursed high school that has a senior get killed every year, The Curse of Downer’s Grove? The one that Derick Martini is directing and co-wrote with Bret Easton Ellis? Well, we’ve got some new news regarding that one as well. Variety is reporting that Helen Slater has joined the film in the role of the Heathcoate character’s mother. Yes, that Helen Slater, the one you remember as Supergirl or “the blonde with the blue sweatpants” from Seinfeld. Almost thirty years out from when she was filling out that S-shield, and she’s still getting regular work. Impressive.
But if you want to talk staying power, you have to talk Jane Fonda. She was overexposed and getting on everyone’s nerves as far back as the ’70s, but she’s persevered and still stuck around, regardless. Deadline is reporting that her latest role will come in Shawn Levy’s dramedy, This is Where I Leave You, which is a film we’ve been talking about in this column quite a bit lately. She’ll be playing the widowed matriarch of the four dysfunctional siblings forced to live together in the house they grew up in for a week. If you’ll remember, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Corey Stoll are already signed to play three of the four kids, with the fourth still left to be determined. Is it possible that they’re close to having that last piece of the puzzle figured out? Check back in after the weekend, maybe we’ll have some news for you. Or maybe we’ll be dead.