What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily info dump of casting news. Today we’ve got reports of new jobs for Internet favorites like Simon Pegg and Peter Dinklage, as well as a bunch of pictures of actors holding animals, because why not?
Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming film, Inherent Vice, is said to have somewhere around 20 important speaking roles, so it’s starting to look like it may call for the most star-studded cast he’s ever put together; or at least the most star-studded since he last did an ensemble piece like Magnolia. Anyway, Cigarettes and Red Vines is reporting that the next big name likely to join the film is Sean Penn, as he’s currently in negotiations, and if the PTA-centric blog had to take a guess as to what role he’s up for, they imagine he’s going to be playing hard-nosed loan shark Adrian Prussia. They also have the interesting news that Penn’s signing would make him the fourth member of his family to work alongside Anderson. They’re really a very thorough blog.
Antonio Banderas’ next job will see him playing Super Mario, but not the Italian plumber, the Chilean miner, Mario Supulveda, who was one of the victims of that terrible collapse that trapped him and 32 of his comrades underground for 69 days back in 2010. Patricia Riggen will be directing this reality-based drama, called The 33, which already has names like Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro on board its cast. Given the fact that there were 33 of these guys trapped down there, one would imagine that this is going to call for a pretty large ensemble cast, but also it was presumably very dark where they were trapped, so maybe Riggen can just hire a dozen or so and fake it? [Variety]
If you thought that the Weinstein Company’s upcoming vampire-related literary adaptation, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, was already sexy enough, given the fact that its cast already includes pretty people like Olga Kurylenko and Danila Kozlovski, you ain’t seen nothing yet, because Deadline is reporting that the film has just rounded out its casting process by adding fresh-faced young beauty Sarah Hyland and smoldering Lothario Gabriel Byrne to the lineup. Byrne is set up to play the head of this mysterious academy, and Hyland will be playing his daughter, who is also the main characters’ (played by Lucy Fry and Zoey Deutch) best friend. Let the teenage vampire girl bonding begin.
There’s good news for everyone who worried Zach Braff was going to try to save money while making his latest film, Wish I Was Here, by playing all of the parts himself. In addition to actors who we already know he’s hired to join the film, like Anna Kendrick, Josh Gad, and Jim Parsons, Deadline is now reporting that another big name, Kate Hudson, has also been signed. Their report says that she’s going to be playing the Braff character’s wife, who’s presumably fed up with him because he’s a spoiled manchild who lives out his days indulging in fantasies rather than providing for his family. This is great news, because not counting Braff, Hudson is perhaps the Internet’s most beloved celebrity.
What’s Simon Pegg up to next? If you guessed acting in a genre project that sounds like it’s kind of off the beaten path and cool, then give yourself a pat on the back. Screen Daily is reporting that he’s signed on to appear in an Australian thriller called Kill Me Three Times that’s all about blackmail, murder, revenge, and young girls. What role he’s going to play has yet to be revealed, but the film’s director, Kriv Stenders, promises that it will be, “a delicious role for him,” and “an exciting surprise for audiences around the world.” So what are we thinking here? Killer baker? Yeah, probably killer baker.
The people over at Paramount bombarded everyone’e email boxes today with news that Michael Bay’s upcoming fourth Transformers film has hired Chinese actress Li Bingbing to join its cast. In addition to being adorable and having a fun-to-say name, Bingbing is a big star over in China and will reportedly be filming some of her scenes in her homeland, so you know what that means—Bay and his people backed up the armored truck and it’s currently being filled with that sweet, sweet Chinese money. Expect to see this happening more, as Chinese interests seem to be increasingly willing to dole out big bucks in order to achieve influence in Hollywood, and the way they seem to be doing it is by demanding that blockbusters include Chinese actors and scenes set in China.
Ever a respectable and literary chap, Peter Dinklage has just signed on to star in an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe story called Hop Frog. The tale is about a puppeteer who poses as a court jester in order to get close to the knights who killed his uncle and kidnapped the woman he loves. You see, the reason he wants to get close to them, is because he wants to get revenge. A Lannister always pays his debts, after all. Penelope director, Mark Palansky, is on board to steer the ship. Flowery quotes from all the involved parties about how great everyone else working on the project is can be read if you go over to where the story was originally broke at Screen Daily.
According to a report from Deadline, Liam Hemsworth—of the Australian Hemsworths—has just signed on to star in a new movie. The film, from A Man Apart writer Christian Gudegast, is called Aurora Rising, and it will see Hemsworth playing a Southern California surfer turned military fighter pilot who gets recruited to be part of an elite team that’s being assembled to test a new generation of technically advanced aircraft. Before they settled on the title Aurora Rising, the film was reportedly going to be called The Exact Movie All of Us Would Have Made If Given the Chance When We Were Twelve-Years-Old, so it should be lots of fun.