Here’s a massive post-weekend catchup casting roundup, with a headlining turn from Jean-Claude van Damme. How can you resist the Muscles From Brussels? Answer: you can’t. Just give in to his suave, over-confident appeal. After the break you’ll find details about:

  • JCVD taking part in a sci-fi film called UFO,
  • Danny Glover joining the cast of a different sci-fi thriller, Mentryville,
  • Sullivan Stapleton becoming the latest member of the Gangster Squad,
  • Nico Tortorella from Scream 4 joining Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan in an indie,
  • and What to Expect When You’re Expecting adds more.

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Inglourious Basterds and Beginners actress Melanie Laurent is set to star opposite Jesse Eisenberg in Louis Leterrier‘s magician heist movie Now You See Me. The story revolves around FBI agents hunting down a group of world-famous bank-robbing magicians (sorry, illusionists) who shower their audiences with the stolen cash.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who was previously offered a role, has since passed. No news has been announced regarding either Philip Seymour Hoffman or Olivia Wilde, who were also circling parts in the film. The involvement of Laurent and Eisenberg seems like a good sign, though — both actors have good track records, and are probably big and respected enough to help draw in other high-quality talent. [Showblitz]

After the jump, two big ensemble comedy casts get just a little bit larger.

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Oh, look what Bridesmaids has done for Ellie Kemper: it scored her a gig in 21 Jump Street in her time off from The Office. The feature version of the ’80s TV show is shooting now with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as cops undercover in a high school to root out drugs and trouble. Late addition Ellie Kemper will be a love interest: Ms. Griggs, “an annoyingly sincere chemistry teacher who’s attracted to Tatum’s character and surprised when she discovers he’s not a real student.” (Sometimes casting like this is actually set for some time before it hits the trades, so it is possible Ellie Kemper isn’t as late an addition as she appears to be.)

The key point of interest here (for me, at least) continues to be that the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller wrote and are directing. [Variety]

After the break, Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford is looking like the co-star with Pierce Brosnan in The House Gun, and rapidly rising talent Joel Kinnaman is cast in the Fox Searchlight film Lola Versus, where he’ll dump Greta Gerwig. Read More »

Up to this point, Baz Luhrmann‘s been filling his 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby with well-known talents: Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Gatsby. So it’s surprising and intriguing that the latest addition to his cast is a newcomer — Elizabeth Debicki, who comes straight out of Australia’s Victorian College of the Arts. Debicki will play golfer Jordan Baker, who in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel is a friend of Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) and the love interest of Nick Carraway (Maguire).

In an interview, Luhrmann acknowledged the unusual nature of his selection:

It was a surprising result, but Elizabeth’s grasp of the material and her chemical connectivity to Tobey Maguire, in addition to her striking, athletic appearance, had us in a place where we were fully confident and ready to take the leap of giving the role of Jordan Baker to what, I guess, people would term ‘a discovery’… We are thrilled.

The major characters yet to be cast is Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan (Ben Affleck was in talks, but bowed out due to schedule conflicts). Isla Fisher has been in talks to play Tom’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. [Deadline]

After the jump, Katie Holmes and Chace Crawford find love, and Alexander Skarsgard signs on for a dramedy.

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It’s a great day for bad trailers. We had the Step Up 3-D trailer earlier today, and now here’s a clip showing off Joel Schumacher‘s Twelve, a film that didn’t actually set audiences on fire at Sundance. (Here’s Peter’s review.) And yet it did get a quick distro deal, from movie newbie Hanover House. Now there’s a trailer that is long, rambling, and possibly NSFW (thanks to a little sex reference). Read More »

Captain America

I like John Krasinski, but I just don’t see the guy as Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. And yet he’s one of the actors reportedly being eyed by Marvel to take the lead role in Joe Johnston‘s film. Who else is the studio looking at? The list is after the break. Read More »

Sundance Video Blog Review: Joel Schumacher’s Twelve

Joel Schumacher’s Twelve

Earlier today I saw a screening of Joel Schumacher‘s Twelve, which stars Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, 50 Cent, Ellen Barkin and Rory Culkin. Twelve takes place in a similar world as Gossip Girl, focusing mostly on super rich upper east side New Yorkers.

A new drama chronicling of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in a tale that involves sex, drugs and murder. Written by Jordan Melamed (the director of 2001′s Maniac), the story follows a young drug dealer who watches as his high-rolling life is dismantled in the wake of his cousin’s murder, which sees his best friend arrested for the crime.”

While most people like to give Schumacher shit for his Batman films, many forget his better films, like The Lost Boys, Flatliners, A Time To Kill, and Phone Booth. Is Twelve a return to form? Or just a disaster? Watch the video blog review I recorded with Frosty from Collider, embedded after the jump.

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Sundance Photo Preview: Joel Schumacher’s Twelve

Joel Schumacher’s Twelve top

As Sundance Twentyten approaches, we’ll be posting mini-previews with photos from some of the films we’re looking forward to over the next month and a half. Last week we posted the first photos from Hesher, I Love Sarah Jane director Spencer Susser’s Feature Debut. Today I bring you the first photos from Joel Schumacher‘s Twelve, which is screening as the Closing Night Film in the Sundance Film Festival Premieres section.

From a filmmaker who has given us such diverse films as The Lost Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Flatliners, A Time To Kill, Batman Forever, Phone Booth and 8mm comes a new drama chronicling of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in a tale that involves sex, drugs and murder. Written by Jordan Melamed (the director of 2001′s Maniac), the story follows a young drug dealer who watches as his high-rolling life is dismantled in the wake of his cousin’s murder, which sees his best friend arrested for the crime. The film stars Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent, and Zoë Kravitz. Five photos after the jump.

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