Atonement director Joe Wright is likely to do well this weekend with his new ‘teen assassin’ film Hanna, but he’s already looking forward to the future. His next film could well be a return to the more literary work we’ve come to expect from the man: an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy‘s classic novel Anna Karenina. He’s mentioned the film left and right, and has Keira Knightley set for the lead role, with Aaron Johnson and Jude Law previously said to be possible additions.

And now the director says that he’s waiting for a yes or no from Hanna star Saoirse Ronan and from James McAvoy. Read More »

Oliver Stone‘s adaptation of the novel Savages, in which two pot-dealing friends are roped into working for the drug cartel that kidnaps their young female companion, is becoming a hot property. The combination of a young cast, a long-established major director and lively material tends to do that. Multiple studios were in contention for distribution rights, and Universal has taken the brass ring.

Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch are the leads; Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek are looking like the two key cartel characters, and multiple actresses are reading for the role of the female friend. Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish & Teresa Palmer are all said to be possible names, though Deadline also says Oliver Stone might go with a ‘discovery.’ Oliver Stone, Shane Salerno and novel author Don Winslow are working on the script now.

After the break,  a total change of gears: a Universal film based on the musical In the Heights is no longer happening, for the moment. Read More »

Oliver Stone is assembling Savages, which adapts the book of the same name by Don Winslow and has Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch set to star as best friends and pot growers who get roped into working for a drug cartel when the bad guys kidnap their friend/girlfriend.

Salma Hayek is a possible pick to be the matriarch of the drug cartel, and Benicio Del Toro is now signing on to play the cartel’s enforcer, who sets the kidnapping, and therefore the plot, in motion. Some script work is being done now by Oliver Stone, Don Winslow and Shane Salerno, and there are ongoing discussions with a couple of studios to pick up the project — Universal seems like the likely home right now. [Deadline]

After the break, new gigs for Emma Robers, Kenan Thompson and the new Jason Voorhees, Derek Mears. Read More »

A year ago Oliver Stone signed up to direct an adaptation of the Don Winslow novel Savages, and a month ago Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class, The Hunger Games) was set for a key role.

But some things have changed. While Oliver Stone is still making the movie, Jennifer Lawrence has dropped out thanks to her schedule for The Hunger Games. While her role has to be recast, Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) is now in talks to play one of the two main roles, and Salma Hayek is being eyed for another. Read More »

It’s always upsetting to see major roles for animated characters go to high profile celebrities who have no business voice acting — or acting at all, in this case — when there so many more capable voice actors out there struggling to find consistent work. Such is the business of Hollywood. Audiences see a name they recognize, and they’re more likely to buy a ticket. That’s presumably the reason why Zac Efron was cast in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and it’s almost definitely why singer Taylor Swift has been added to the voice roster as well.

Learn more about that, and the potential casting of Jude Law and Aaron Johnson in Atonement director Joe Wright‘s adaptation of Anna Karenina, after the break. Read More »

We’ve reported briefly on Albert Nobbs in the past — Glenn Close co-wrote with John Banville, an adaptation of the story The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by George Moore, and will produce and star as the title character. That’s not a gender mistake — Glenn Close will play a woman who disguises herself as man to get work and escape a life of poverty in 19th century Ireland.

At one point Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom were part of the cast. But the film was delayed, and Mia Wasikowska recently replaced Amanda Seyfried, and Aaron Johnson now has the role that once seemed to be pegged for Orlando Bloom.

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Heat Vision has gotten a hold of the short list of actors (and actresses) being considered for the lead roles in director Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Killer. he 3D fantasy/adventure project has been billed as an “adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend.” The plot summary is as follows: “When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.”

According to the report, Singer and the studio are hoping to do screen tests for the male and female leads in London within the next two weeks. Which actors and actresses are in line for the film? Find out after the jump.

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Aaron Johnson was one of a few actors revealed to be taking meetings to play the titular role in Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Killer back in May, as was Andrew Garfield. Of course, Garfield’s going to be a bit busy now, what with him starring in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot, so that leaves only Johnson and whoever his competition may be—which is apparently every young male actor working today. Read More »

For months now there have been rumors that Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson would be in Fox’s upcoming X-Men: First Class. Matthew Vaughn is the director of both films, adding apparent credit to the rumor, and the popular belief has been that Johnson would play Cyclops. But Tarquin Pack, a producer on both films, says that Johnson is “kind of busy,” which seems to indicate he won’t be in the film. Read More »

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cyclops

Okay, so this might sound familiar because we posted a piece in May that speculated Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson might be in line for Matthew Vaughn‘s X-Men: First Class.

It all started when Johnson was spotted “taking a meeting” with Vaughn and  James McAvoy, who it was later be announced was cast as young Charles Xavier (aka Professor X). An earlier report claimed that producer Bryan Singer (who was originally supposed to direct First Class but was unable to due to his Jack the Giant Killer commitments) was using Giant Killer‘s casting process “as an opportunity to look for potential X-Men, vetting actors who may be qualified to play a young Cyclops or young Jean Grey.” And it was also reported that Singer had met with Johnson and Andrew Garfield about the possible leading role in Giant Killer.

And now a second source is claiming (or confirming?) that Johnson has been cast in First Class.

Read More »