What is Casting Couch? A column full of casting news that today includes stories on Emma Watson, Adam Sandler, Idris Elba, Liam Hemsworth, and Christina Hendricks. How’s that for an eclectic crew?
Hopefully by the time the ubiquitous and centuries long ad campaign for The Heat finally draws to a close, the world won’t be too sick of Melissa McCarthy to go see anymore of her movies. She really is a versatile talent, so it would be a shame to see Hollywood wear out her welcome by shoving her down our throats in the crude loudmouth role until we retch from it. But perhaps her taking a voice acting role in an animated movie could help cleanse the palate. Deadline is reporting that she’s just signed on to talk into a microphone for Dreamworks’ B.O.O (Bureau of Otherworldy Operations), joining Seth Rogen as one of the leads. They’ll be playing partnered up agents who work for a government agency meant to protect humanity from evil spirits, which sounds like R.IP.D., only tons better.
The tagline for the upcoming adaptation of Megan Abbott’s novel “Dare Me” seems to be that it’s “Heathers meets Fight Club, with teenage cheerleaders.” Sure, it’s true that statement doesn’t really make much sense, but you have to admit they had you at teenage cheerleaders. Anyway, Fox 2000 has set Michael Sucsy (The Vow) up to direct this adaptation, and Deadline is reporting that Natalie Portman is being courted to attach herself as the star. Given that this is supposed to be a movie about teenagers, that probably doesn’t make much sense either, but you have to admit they had you at Natalie Portman.
And also, some digging reveals that Portman would probably be playing a cheer coach who becomes something of a cult figure to her squad, eventually sparking an intense competition amongst them which then leads to a suicide.
If teenage girls being at each other’s throats doesn’t sound like your thing, maybe you’d be more interested in hearing about a literary adaptation that’s likely going to be more inspiring for young girls. Variety is reporting that Emma Watson has been attached to star in an eventual adaptation of “The Queen of the Tearling,” which is the first book in a fantasy trilogy that’s being described as “a female Game of Thrones.” The uplifting part comes when you hear that Watson’s 19-year-old protagonist was inspired by a Barack Obama speech in 2007, which presumably had something to do with changing the world for the better and nothing to do with joining a cheerleading cult and committing suicide.
Chris Columbus must be one of the last people in the world who isn’t sick of seeing Adam Sandler movies, because Heat Vision is reporting that he’s just signed on to co-produce a project with him, which Columbus will direct and Sandler will star in. The film is called Hello Ghost, and it’s a remake of a Korean comedy about a man who tries to commit suicide (lots of suicide today, huh?) and is then haunted by four ghosts who each demand that he grant them a wish that will put their spirits at rest. Of course, you know what this means—it’s time to see what Nick Swardson, Allen Covert, Peter Dante, and Jonathan Loughran look like as ghosts.
What’s Idris Elba going to be handsome and smoldering in next? According to Heat Vision, it’s going to be that Pierre Morel movie called The Gunman that’s already starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. This is a movie about secret agents, cat and mouse games across Europe, and whatnot, so it comes as no surprise that the character Elba has signed up for is only being described as “a mysterious operative named Dupont.” Whatever the particulars, it should be good fun getting to see an actor as strong as Elba share scenes with vets like Penn and Bardem. Maybe it will even make up for the fact that he had to be in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Cut Bank, a thriller about a young man who will do whatever it takes to make something of himself and get out of the coldest town in America, has a pretty impressive ensemble cast, but what it no longer has is Armie Hammer as its lead. This isn’t necessarily a reason to fret, however, because Deadline is reporting that it’s just signed up Liam Hemsworth to take his place, and Liam Hemsworth is about the closest approximation of Armie Hammer that you’re going to get. Hemsworth’s addition to the cast will see him rubbing elbows with actors like John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Dern, and Teresa Palmer.
Any excuse to lay one’s eyes on the ethereal beauty of Mad Men star Christina Hendricks is an excuse well worth making, so keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming project called Measure of a Man, which Deadline is reporting she’s in final negotiations to join. This one’s a coming of age drama that A Single Man writer David Scearce adapted from a Robert Lipsyte novel called “One Fat Summer,” and it tells the story of a bullied teen who finds a way to blossom when he’s given a summer job by a reclusive Wall Street executive. Hendricks will be playing the boy’s mother. The boy’s beautiful, beautiful mother.