Casting Couch: Scarlett Johansson Gets a Call From Luc Besson, James Franco Might Get to Weird Out With Werner Herzog, and More


What is Casting Couch? Today it’s mostly just an excuse to post a big picture of Scarlett Johansson. But it also has some news about Adam Sandler’s acting career that actually sounds promising.

As if everyone didn’t love Scarlett Johansson enough, the sultry actress just had to go and kick things up a notch by kicking ass as the Black Widow in last year’s Avengers. Now anytime we see her being sexy without also doing a bunch of sweet-looking karate moves, it’s going to feel like a letdown. That shouldn’t be a problem for her next film though, as Heat Vision is reporting that Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita) has hired the lady to star in his next big action movie, Lucy, which is about a girl who acts as a drug mule for some sort of super serum getting dosed with what she’s carrying and turning into a super-smart, telekinetic, ass-kicking machine. This sounds like exactly the kind of movie the world needs right now.dashes


James Franco

Deadline’s latest report on the next career move for James Franco doesn’t sound like anything that’s close to being a done deal, or maybe even likely to happen, but it’s just too fun a possibility not to report on anyway. According to their sources, Werner Herzog’s Gertrude Bell biopic, Queen of the Desert, is currently trying to convince Franco to come on board to fill the role that Jude Law abandoned to go play Henry V.

The film has sort of stalled out since Law’s departure, and it’s thought that a star of Franco’s magnitude coming on board would get things back on track. Also, this would make for a good pairing simply because Herzog and Franco are both completely crazy. The problem is, Franco is the manic sort of crazy, so he has his fingers in a lot of artistic pies, and nobody is sure if they’re going to be able to come up with a schedule that works. Stay tuned.dashes


Jude Law

Speaking of Jude Law, Deadline is also reporting that focus has just purchased a package that will see him teaming up with director Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland) to make an adventure movie called Black Sea. The film apparently tells the present day tale of an in-debt submarine captain who puts a crew of English and Russian dudes together in order to find a mythical sunken ship that’s supposed to be full of treasure. Things start to go bad though when mistrust and greed corrupts this band of brave, probably pretty sleazy men. Call me crazy, but this movie sounds so weird that it just might work.dashes


Julia Stiles

What is Out of the Dark? It’s a supernatural thriller that’s being shot by director Lluis Quilez through independent means in Bogota, Colombia. Also, it’s relevant to this column because Variety has just announced its cast, which includes a few names that you’re probably familiar with. Apparently Julia Stiles, who’s best known for getting sang to by Heath Ledger, Scott Speedman, who’s best known for getting followed to New York by Felicity, and Stephen Rea, who’s best known for being one of those character actors whose name you never know, have all flown down to Colombia in order to get scared by some ghosts. Boo!dashes


Brit Marling

We’re used to seeing Brit Marling take starring roles in movies that she’s had a hand in writing, like Another Earth and Sound of My Voice, but lately, due to her roles in things like Arbitrage and The Company You Keep, it seems like she’s looking to branch out and start acting in other people’s stuff. This ball will keep rolling thanks to Daniel Barber’s upcoming Civil War-set thriller, formerly titled The Keeping Room, as The Wrap is reporting that Marling is coming on board to fill the role that Olivia Wilde stepped out of. This one will see her teaming up with Hailee Steinfeld and Nicole Beharie to play two sisters and a slave who have to defend their home from a band of soldiers who have broken off from the war and are looking to do some raping and pillaging. That’s scary stuff.dashes

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler is one of those people who gets thrown a lot of shit around these parts, but it’s for good reason—every year the guy stars in some sort of steaming pile of non-comedy that he and his buddies have put together that winds up being the worst movie of the year. The guy isn’t even trying anymore. But every once in a while, when he steps out of his social circle and does some work for someone else, the results can be pretty interesting.

It’s looking like we might get another chance to witness this phenomenon, as THR is reporting that he, Colin Firth, and Emily Blunt have joining the already cast Charlize Theron in a comedy called Murder Mystery that’s getting put together by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden. A real director, some extremely talented co-stars—looks like this is your chance to win back a little good will Mr. Sandler. We hope that it goes well.

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

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