What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily casting column that isn’t stalking Maria Bello. It swears.
Sean Penn has been one of Hollywood’s top actors for decades now, but he’s never really been the sort of performer who stars in big budget blockbusters. Doesn’t he deserve to have his own action franchise already? Well, if his latest project takes off at the box office, he might get it. THR reports that Penn has signed on to star in an adaptation of one of French crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette’s books, “The Prone Gunman,” where he will play a badass spy type who gets betrayed by his organization and ends up getting chased all across Europe in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Think of it as being like Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, only starring an actor.
The Intouchables was a 2011 French film about the friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his ex-con caretaker. People liked it a lot. And what does Hollywood do when people like foreign films? They churn out an English-language remake! This one is coming from the Weinstein Company and has Paul Feig rumored to direct and Colin Firth rumored to star. The new news about the possible project comes from Black Film [via ComingSoon], who had a chat with Chris Tucker where he revealed that he’s currently in talks to join the film as well. What do you think? Would Tucker and Firth make for a good onscreen duo? This may be one of those rare remakes that actually manages to be worth a damn.
Maria Bello has back-to-back casting days! Yesterday we reported she was going to be getting married to Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, and today comes news that she’ll be starring in her own spooky thriller for Dimension Films. The movie doesn’t yet have a title, but THR is reporting that it’s about a detective and a police psychologist investigating a mass-murder that may have been committed by a haunted house. How do you get a pair of handcuffs on a ghost? Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see. Will Canon (Brotherhood) is set to direct.
You’re Not You, a drama about a college student caring for a woman who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease that is already starring Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum, has recently rounded out the rest of its cast. THR reports that it’s picked up Jason Ritter and Julian McMahon, who will form a love triangle with Rossum, Ali Larter as Swank’s best friend, and a whole host of other actors including Loretta Devine, Ernie Hudson, Frances Fisher, Marcia Gay Harden, and Andrea Savage. Yeah, you heard that right: Ernie Hudson!
Ronnie Gene Blevins
You may not know Ronnie Gene Blevins by name, but chances are you’ve seen his face before. He’s had guest roles on tons of TV shows like E.R., The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, and every one of those crime dramas that has too many letters in their title. And recently he’s had small roles in high-profile films like The Dark Knight Rises and Seven Psychopaths. That’s all small potatoes compared to his big new news though. Variety is reporting that, in what is probably the highest profile position he’s ever been put in, he’ll be playing the villain opposite Nic Cage in David Gordon Green’s upcoming drama Joe. The film is apparently about an ex-con (Cage) who befriends a teenaged boy from a broken home (Tye Sheridan). Blevins’ character goes by the awesome name of Willie Russell, which just screams evil, so you know Cage is going to have his work cut out for him in this one.
Back in March of last year an indie film about the L.A. jazz scene of the ’60s and ’70s called Low Down cast Mark Ruffalo as legendary jazz pianist Joe Albany. Sounds promising, right? Not so fast. Production on the film recently got pushed back a bit and Ruffalo has consequently had to drop out. Sounds like the end of the world, right? Not so fast. Jeez. Variety is reporting that director Jeff Preiss has already gotten John Hawkes to take his place, which is pretty much a win for everyone involved. In addition to playing with some of the biggest jazz legends of all time, Albany was also something of a heroin addict, so given the drugs and the piano playing, this should be a role that gives Hawkes ample opportunity to show off all of his mad skills, which are myriad. John Hawkes is so awesome.