A couple years ago, Precious director Lee Daniels went back and forth on the idea of filming the life of longtime White House servant Eugene Allen for the movie The Butler, or making a civil rights drama called Selma. In the end, he made neither, choosing instead to shoot The Paperboy with Zac Efron, John Cusack, Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey, based on Peter Dexter’s novel of the same name.

But with that film complete, Daniels has cycled back around to The Butler, and is in the process of casting the film. We’ve heard about quite a few possible actors (Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey, Liam Neeson), some of whom were set for roles in Selma before that project died. The only casting that seemed close to set for The Butler was David Oyelowo, who was said to have the title role.

Now Oyelowo is still in talks for the movie, but it looks like he’ll play Allen’s son, instead of the title character. In the lead role is likely to be played by Forest Whitaker. Read More »

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Lots of sequel news today so let’s get right to it. After the jump, read about the following:

  • Shawn Levy gives an update on a sequel to Real Steel.
  • There’s already been talk of a third Ghost Rider according to directors Neveldine and Taylor, who are also still considering Crank 3D.
  • Latino Review has revealed some major plot points in Taken 2.
  • Fox is still moving ahead with a Waiting to Exhale sequel after the death of Whitney Houston.
  • Steven Spielberg says Peter Jackson will be starting production on The Adventures of Tintin 2 this year.

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Things are indeed shaping up quickly for David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot, which Warner Bros. fast-tracked over the summer at the cost of Bryan Singer’s Excalibur remake and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film. Last month saw the casting of Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman in the two title roles, and now WB favorite Marion Cotillard has been offered the part of Morgana, a powerful sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister.

The Arthur retelling, which was written by Dobkin, follows the rise of the legendary leader from his humble beginnings as an illegitimate son being raised by a poor knight, while Lancelot starts out as “a rebellious noble who distrusts the established government.” Arthur & Lancelot will likely begin shooting in March. [Vulture]

After the jump, Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler lands another high-profile movie role, while several more actors join Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker in Pawn — though sadly, none of the new folks are from The Shield.

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Briefly: Attention, fans of The Shield, there is a little mini-reunion of sorts brewing. Actors Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker have both been cast in an indie called Pawn. The movie is, as you might hope, a crime picture, and one that features “a hostage situation that has gone terribly wrong” in which “an ex-con becomes entangled in a manipulative chess game between the Feds, local police and the mob.”

Deadline gets to announce the project, which will be the feature directorial debut of cinematographer David A. Armstrong, who shot the Saw series. He will be working from a script by Jay Anthony White. Common and Ray Liotta are also in the cast, which is already sounding like a pretty solid lineup for a good criminal potboiler.

You might remember some casting notes about a film called Catch .44. They hit in the summer of 2010, and the names involved in the film are notable, at the very least: Bruce Willis, Forest Whitaker, Malin Akerman, Deborah Ann Woll, Brad Dourif and Shea Wigham. We’ve finally got a look at the film and it is easy to see why we’ve heard almost nothing about this since the first casting was announced: it looks like barely reheated post-Tarantino or Guy Ritchie crime foolishness. Still, check out the trailer below just to hear Whitaker’s accent. Read More »

Celebrity Twitter accounts make some first-look reveals pretty easy. I’m surprised it has taken this long for Arnold Schwarzenegger to tweet out a cast photo from his new action movie The Last Stand. And I’ll say this: in this pic at least, he looks the part of an aged lawman who has retreated to a sheriff post in a small down. That’s Jamie Alexander with Arnie in the header pic; see the full image below for a glimpse of Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville as well. Read More »

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Today Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird and I Saw the Devil) begins shooting his English language debut, The Last Stand. The film is notable for being the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to a starring role. Arnie plays a former LAPD officer now working as a small-town sheriff, who has to deal with a drug kingpin who is fleeing to Mexico and will pass right through his town.

The obligatory ‘start of production’ press release is below, complete with the same plot synopsis we’ve had for a while. Along with that is the announcement of a few actors who are part of the film, including Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, and one of my personal faves, Harry Dean Stanton. Read More »

Stacy Keach is the latest actor added to the growing cast of Tony Gilroy‘s The Bourne Legacy, which stars Jeremy Renner as a new ultra-capable agent who emerges from the same training program that created Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. We don’t know Keach’s role, but do know that he will play alongside (or against) Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton in the film that acts as a parallel storyline to the three existing Bourne films. [Variety]

After the break, you’ll find information about Forest Whitaker’s role as one of the two leads of a voodoo thriller, and Katrina Bowden joins the Paz de la Huerta exploitation picture Nurse 3D. Read More »

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Nikki Reed from Thirteen has one of the most horrifying scenes in this week’s The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, when she recounts her character’s backstory. (Spoiler: it involves gang rape, and the scene is particularly horrifying because it is part of the film’s program to define a skewed vision of sexuality for a young audience.)

But don’t hold Twilight against Reed, who is definitely talented. And she manages to come off looking like one of the better performers in Eclipse (not terribly difficult, unfortunately) and so I’m happy to know she’s been cast in Catch .44, along with True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll. Read More »