In Deadfall, Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are a brother/sister team who heist a casino and then get stuck near the snowy US/Canada border as they try to make their escape. Bana goes his own way as Wilde leverages the interest of a small-town ex-boxer (Charlie Hunnam) who is en route to a holiday feast with his family (Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek).

That cast is probably enough to raise a little interest in the movie, but the first trailer for Deadfall makes it look like a tense little thriller. Read More »

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In the past few weeks, biopics have been the source of the weirdest casting news. Ashton Kutcher is playing Steve Jobs, and Jane Fonda is playing Nancy Reagan. Now a casting choice that seemed like a PR stunt when first mentioned — Lindsay Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime movie — has come to pass, while Taylor Swift is said to be lining up to play folk and feminist icon Joni Mitchell.

On the other side of casting news, Malin Akerman is doubtful that she’ll really get the chance to play a different feminist icon, one-time porn star Linda Lovelace, in Inferno. And Eric Bana is no longer attached to play Elvis.  Read More »

Robert Luketic‘s The Ugly Truth was among the worst reviewed films of Gerard Butler‘s career, so I can’t say I’m all that thrilled to hear that a reunion is brewing for the pair. Butler has signed on to replace Eric Bana in Brilliant, a thriller about “a small-time criminal who partners with a female thief to pull off a daring diamond heist.” The female lead has yet to be cast.

Luketic’s previous work consists mostly of fluffy romantic comedies like Killers, Monster-in-Law, and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, but he explored more dramatic territory with 2008′s 21. Production begins this May in Boston.

Butler has a slew of upcoming projects on his plate, including this year’s Movie 43, Playing the Field, and Of Men and Mavericks. Brilliant is scheduled to enter production in Boston this May. [Showblitz]

After the jump, ’tis the season for Diane Keaton and Robert Redford to do a holiday-themed ensemble comedy together.

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Armie Hammer has been working his clean-cut golden boy looks to his advantage in The Social Network, J. Edgar, and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror, but the latest addition to his slate will see him transforming into a bit more of a “badass.” Hammer will bulk up and shave his head to star with Eric Bana in By Virtue Fall, a “gritty drama” about an ATF agent (Hammer) who gets framed for corruption and serves time into a maximum security prison. Once out, he’s determined to get revenge on his former partner (Bana), whom he blames for destroying his life.

The project marks the directing debut of Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner, who also penned this script. By Virtue Fall is scheduled to start sometime in 2012, after Hammer wraps up Disney’s The Lone Ranger over the summer. [Deadline]

After the jump, Richard Jenkins becomes Adam Scott’s dad, while Juno Temple and Wes Bentley befriend Amanda Seyfried.

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Here’s one more film to watch crawl towards the screen in the coming months, thanks to the American Film Market. Elvis & Nixon is an indie based on the real-life meeting between the crooner and the President, and will mark the feature directing debut of actor Cary Elwes, who co-wrote with Joey Sagal and Hanala Sagal. (And who is probably still best known for his role in The Princess Bride.)

To play Elvis, Elwes and his producers have landed Eric Bana — strike that, Bana is one of the producers. Meanwhile, Danny Huston (The Proposition, Clash of the Titans, John Adams) will play Richard M. Nixon. And if this week’s release of  J. Edgar proves anything, it is that you don’t need someone who is a dead ringer for a famous figure. Actually, I’m not sure that J. Edgar really proves that, but regardless, Huston will probably make a better Nixon than does J. Edgar‘s Christopher Shyer.

The full press release, with some story detals, is below. Read More »

Actors signing on to play real-life figures is nothing new, but casting, say, Jesse Eisenberg in the role of ordinary-looking dude Mark Zuckerberg is one thing. When the character in question is a larger-than-life icon whose unique looks and mannerisms are recognized all over the globe, that’s something else entirely, whether it’s Michael Douglas playing Liberace, Michelle Williams doing her best Marilyn Monroe — or Eric Bana rocking the King’s pompadour.

The Aussie actor has signed on to star as Elvis Presley in Elvis & Nixon, the directorial debut of Cary Elwes. Bana will also executive produce, through his shingle Pick Up Truck Pictures. Meanwhile, Danny Huston is in final negotiations to play the other title role, of U.S. president Richard M. Nixon.

The story, which was written by Elwes with Joey Sagal and Hanala Sagal, revolves around a real-life visit that Presley paid to Nixon at the White House on December 21, 1970. The meeting came about after Presley wrote Nixon a letter requesting that he be allowed to visit and suggesting that the President make him an agent at large with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Presley brought family photos and a Colt .45 pistol to give the President as gifts. Elvis & Nixon will begin shooting in Los Angeles and Louisiana at an unspecified date. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Robert De Niro also tackles a true-life tale — that of Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff.

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Let’s start off this casting break with a quick one: Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth) is putting together a diamond heist movie called Brilliant, written by Blood Diamond producer Gillian Gorfil. He’s now got Eric Bana set to star. The plot follows “a small-time criminal who joins accomplished thieves in a diamond heist,” with Bana presumably playing the small-timer. I can’t say that Luketic is the most inspiring choice — I don’t expect a serious heist movie here — but Bana could be a good choice for the lead. [Variety]

After the break, Liongate wants more of what Tyler Perry’s got, and Jason Bateman goes back to the land of the indie for two films. Read More »

The current issue of Entertainment Weekly (you know, the one with Jennifer Lawrence on the cover and on the inside) doesn’t only have the first look at The Hunger Games, it also has the first look at 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum and Blackbird with Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde and Charlie Hunnan. One’s a comedy, the other’s a thriller and you can see the photos and read quotes from the stars after the jump. Read More »

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