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Casting Couch: Natalie Portman Is the Lady of ‘Macbeth,’ Jessica Chastain Is ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,’ and More

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What is Casting Couch? Maybe not more casting news than you can shake a stick at, but just enough so that you’ll feel comfortable shaking a stick at it. Today we have news of movie roles for TV stars Allison Williams and Jon Hamm. Get shakin’.

Back a few months ago it was looking like Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender were going to be working together on Jane Got a Gun, but we all saw what happened there. No dice. Those who were hot and bothered by the idea of a Portman/Fassbender pairing need not worry though, because not only will they both be appearing in Terrence Malick’s newest project in some form or another, but they’ll definitely be sharing serious screen time in Justin Kurzel’s new adaptation of Macbeth. Just two days ago we learned that Fassbender would be taking the title role of the stage-to-film adaptation, and now Screen Daily is reporting that Portman has signed on for the role of his scheming, murderous wife, Lady Macbeth. This should give her more of an opportunity to cultivate that creep factor she showed flashes of in Black Swan. Intriguing.dashes

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain’s mammoth career seems to be chugging forward with a momentum that isn’t going to slow down any time soon. According to THR, her latest starring role is going to come in the form of an adaptation of the Diane Ackerman novel, “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” which tells the true story of the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, who saved hundreds of people’s lives by hiding them from the Nazis in empty zoo cages. Her character, Antonina Zabinski, reportedly did her best not only to hide Jews who the Nazis were targeting, but to also provide them with as much social interaction and face time with fuzzy/deadly animals as possible. She’s basically like Matt Damon’s existentially confused character in We Bought a Zoo, except for the complete opposite.dashes

Sharlto Copley

Sharlto Copley

It seems that Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) is pretty fond of directing Sharlto Copley, because Inside Movies is reporting that he’s just cast him to star in his third film in a row, a “science-fiction comedy in an unusual setting” called Chappie. While details about this new venture are still being kept under wraps, reports out of South Africa’s Die Burger [via io9] have intimated that strange South African rap group Die Antwoord will also be appearing in the film, playing themselves. This, of course, means that if Chappie becomes really successful, you’ll no longer be able to hear Die Antwoord’s tracks spun at your local hipster dance club. I hope they know that they’re doing.dashes

Allison Williams

Allison Williams

Natalie Portman isn’t the only one getting into the adapting Shakespeare game. Deadline is reporting that Girls star, Allison Williams, is close to landing her first lead role in a feature, which would come via an adaptation of Rebecca Serle’s novel, “When You Were Mine,” called Rosaline. Serle’s story is a modern retelling of “Romeo and Juliet,” but told from the perspective of the character of Rosaline, who sort of gets pushed aside so that the epic, forbidden romance of Romeo and Juliet can take place and become the thing of legend. Poor girl is understandably bitter. You’d be upset if Olivia Hussey’s boobs showed up and stole your boyfriend too.dashes

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm is such a chiseled statue of handsome that it seems like something of a shame for him to take a role wherein you won’t even get the chance to look at him, but that’s what he’s doing anyway. Deadline is reporting that the Mad Men star has signed on to do voice work for Universal’s upcoming Despicable Me spinoff, Minions. The basic story is that Sandra Bullock is voicing the film’s villain, a world domination-obsessed psychopath named Scarlet Overkill, and Hamm will be voicing her inventor husband, Herb Overkill—which kind of makes it sound like he’s going to be playing a browbeaten little wiener. Oh, Don Draper, say it ain’t so.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at templeofreviews.com

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