It seems like every studio in Hollywood is rushing to get a Julian Assange / WikiLeaks movie out there, but one of the first out of the gate will be from Bill Condon. As the film hurtles toward a January start date, it’s picked up a new title and a new star.

Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens has just signed on for the film, which is now going by the title The Man Who Sold the World. Stevens joins a hot cast that also includes Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds), and Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange. More after the jump.

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It looks like James McAvoy won’t be reuniting with his Atonement and Starter for 10 co-star Benedict Cumberbatch after all. Earlier this month, we learned that McAvoy had signed on for Bill Condon‘s WikiLeaks movie in the role of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, right-hand man to Julian Assange (Cumberbatch). Unfortunately, negotiations have now broken down over McAvoy’s commitment to X-Men: Days of Future Past.

But the news isn’t without a silver lining. Replacing McAvoy in the part will be Daniel Brühl, best known in the U.S. for playing Nazi soldier Fredrick Zoller in Inglourious Basterds. More details after the jump.

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Rush reunites director Ron Howard with his Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen), to tell the story of real-life racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose competition came to a head during Formula 1 series in the mid-’70s. Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Cabin in the Woods) plays Hunt and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) is Lauda, who nearly died in a terrible crash in 1976, but strapped himself back into the driver’s seat only weeks later to challenge Hunt. Also appearing in the movie are Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Christian McKay, and Natalie Dormer.

We’ve seen on-set pics from the production, but the still above is one of four images that recently hit the film’s official site. Given the fact that the opening date is more than a year away we’re not likely to see much footage any time soon, but the official stills give us a fairly good idea of how things look, at the very least. Read More »

Before we once again see Chris Hemsworth as Thor, legendary director Ron Howard snatched him up to co-star in the true racing story Rush. Hemsworth plays James Hunt, a world champion Formula One racer whose lifestyle choices made him a direct rival of another world champion racer, Niki Lauda, played by Inglorious Basterds star Daniel Bruhl. Howard has been shooting his period piece for several months, incorporating real race footage, precision driving and more.

After the jump, you can see a nearly 4 minute featurette about the making of the film that cuts between Howard’s production and the actual footage he’s trying to recreate along with interviews and behind the scenes action. It’s fantastic. Read More »

Olivia Wilde has landed the coveted role of ’70s supermodel Suzy Miller in Rush, Ron Howard‘s Peter Morgan-scripted drama about the real-life rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Miller married the womanizing Hunt, but then fell in love with Hunt’s friend Richard Burton. Burton agreed to pay the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owned Miller, and then married Miller.

Howard is reportedly eyeing Russell Crowe to play the supporting role of Burton, but it doesn’t sound like negotiations are too far along at this time. Rush began preliminary shooting last month, but real principal photography is starting soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Billy Crudup gets to show off his comedic chops while Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace, and Aaron Paul get to fight breast cancer.

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Gentleman, start your engines. Director Ron Howard can’t officially start filming his historical Formula One film Rush until star Chris Hemsworth finishes The Avengers, but the director will be at the Nurburgring Race Track in Germany this weekend getting some early footage to use in the film. Both Hemsworth and co-star Daniel Brühl will be on hand as cars from the film’s 1970s time period blaze around the track helping to tell the story of legendary racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. We’ll explain the story and what’s being filmed early after the jump. Read More »

I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds featured three breakout performances by actors who were previously little-known to US audiences. Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender have gone on to very high-profile studio work, but Daniel Brühl, who played the Nazi sniper hero Frederick Zoller, has taken his time choosing Hollywood roles. (He has continued to work, doing so mostly in Europe.)

Now he is in talks for a film by a major Hollywood player — he’s looking at the role of Austrian Formula One champ Niki Lauda for Ron Howard‘s racing movie Rush. Read More »

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