What is Casting Couch? It’s tying a nice bow on this work week with casting news concerning lovely ladies like Michelle Yeoh, Olga Kurylenko, and Chloe Moretz. Oh yeah, and there’s some stuff about some dudes in there too.
The upcoming adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical Into the Woods that Rob Marshall has been putting together for Disney hasn’t been too secretive about its casting process. James Corden is rumored to be on board as the film’s lead, the Baker, we know for sure that mega-stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep are signed for sizzle roles as the wolf and the witch, and we even recently learned that Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal are close to landing the roles of a couple of bumbling princes. But the one key ingredient that’s always been missing is who’s going to play the female lead, the Baker’s wife. Until now. Variety is reporting that Emily Blunt is finalizing a deal to take the role, and —oh man—does that super-talented angel coming on board instantly make this movie that much more appealing or what? The Wrap has a report that the delightful Christine Baranski may soon be getting an offer to join as well, but let’s take these things one step at a time.
Back in December 2010, Universal acquired the rights to a sci-fi action short called The Raven, with the hopes that they would eventually turn it into a feature. Things haven’t gone so smoothly on that front though. The deal took longer to get together than expected, and eventually things didn’t work out with the leading man they had attached to anchor the film, Liam Hemsworth, so the project has kind of been on the back burner for a while. But now Heat Vision is reporting that things are starting to move along again and Gerard Butler is in talks to take the lead, which would be really welcome, because Butler has had some success as an action lead before and, good lord, nobody wants to see him take anymore of these soulful surfer or sexy soccer player roles. Just yell a lot and break things, please.
The Weinstein Company seems to be hoping that everyone has fond memories of Ang Lee’s 2000 kung-fu epic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, because word is they’re putting a sequel into production. Neither Lee nor any of his writers are coming back to make the sequel or anything, but Screen Daily does have word that Michelle Yeoh is going to be on board to reprise her role as Yu Shu Lien, and ultimate martial arts badass Donnie Yen will be taking the starring role of a character named Silent Wolf. That should be enough to get fans of martial arts movies intrigued right there, even without Lee in the director’s chair. Don’t you think?
Remember Dev Patel, that kid who starred in Slumdog Millionaire and seems really nice? He’s about to play a genius in a biopic about a math prodigy. THR is reporting that he’s signed on for the lead role in The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan, which, perhaps predictably, is about a guy named Ramaujan. Srinivasa Ramanujan, to be exact, who is a math wiz who was plucked from the obscurity of Edwardian India and taken to the bustling intellectual hub of Cambridge, probably so that he could write out huge equations on giant chalk boards or something. Think of him as being like Will Hunting, only real and with a less annoying accent.
The Pierce Brosnan-starring espionage thriller November Man seems to be making great strides toward filling out the rest of its cast. The film will see Brosnan playing an ex-CIA guy who has to battle his former pupil in order to find a woman who holds the key to an international conspiracy. As generic as that sounds, the film’s PR people have just announced [via Coming Soon] that GI Joe: Retaliation actor Luke Bracey is now on board as the pupil, and Olga Kurylenko has signed on to play the mysterious girl, so suddenly the movie is starting to look pretty interesting anyway. A little Kurylenko goes a long way.
Remember how cute Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz were together in Hugo? Well, these days they’re a little bit lankier, and a little bit less cherub-faced, but we’re still going to get to see them star in another movie together again. Variety is reporting that the duo are now attached to a dark fairytale that Terry Gilliam is producing called The White Circus. The first feature from the directors of the Oscar-nominated short, Madame Tutli-Putli, Circus is about a pilot who crashes his plane in a war-torn town and winds up falling in love with a cabaret singer. After that, there’s running from evil despots, talking bears, and who knows what else. It all sounds fairly interesting so far, but let’s just hope it doesn’t get as boring as Brave once that talking bear shows up.