Here’s a lovers and spouses collection of casting news, leading off with a nice change of pace report of an actor being cast as the ‘love interest’ for a major actress, rather than the other way around. After the break you’ll find:

  • Matt Dillon will woo Anette Bening in Imogene,
  • The Killing actress Mireille Enos joins Gangster Squad,
  • Stephanie Szostak cozies up to Ryan Reynolds in RIPD,
  • and some of the Jersey Shore knuckleheads appear with famous fictional whackos The Three Stooges.

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Glee star Darren Criss has landed a part in Imogene, a dark comedy by American Splendor directors Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini. The Michelle Morgan-penned script revolves around a New York playwright (Kristen Wiig) who fakes a suicide in order to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention. Instead of winning him back, however, she winds up forced to move in with her gambling-addicted “tacky Jersey Shore mother” (Annette Bening).

Criss will play “a younger love interest” who catches the eye of Wiig’s character, but let’s be real — the really intriguing bit of info here is the fact that Bening will be, as Vulture put it, “channel[ing] Snooki” to play “the mother who’s a little inappropriate all the time.” Shooting for the project will begin in New York City this summer. [ThePlaylist]

After the jump, Frank Grillo picks up two new roles on either side of the law, and Patricia Clarkson gets ready to scare the living daylights out of Ron Fucking Swanson.

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Ruben Fleischer has assembled a fantastic cast for his third major studio feature, Gangster Squad, but recently he lost one key player. Bryan Cranston, originally cast as Texan cop Max Kennard, transplanted to LA and roped into the mob-busting gangster squad, had to drop out in order to do Ben Affleck’s film Argo. So we still win, as we’ll see Mr. Cranston in what might be a solid film.

But that left the Max Kennard role open, and now Robert Patrick is stepping in. Can I get a .GIF photoshop job of the T-1000 morphing from metal Bryan Cranston into Robert Patrick? Please? Read More »

Emma Stone in Talks For ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: One of Emma Stone‘s biggest breaks was being cast in Ruben Fleischer‘s Zombieland. Superbad was a good introduction for many audiences, but Zombieland led to Easy A and Spider-Man. Now she’s likely to re-team with the director for his true-life 1940s LA cops and mobsters film Gangster Squad. Read More »

Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are set to team up for an untitled R-rated comedy based on a pitch by Judd Apatow associates Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. The pairing itself seems unlikely enough, but perhaps even more surprising is which role each actor will play — in this film, it’ll be funnyman Rogen who plays the straight man, while the clean-cut Efron tackles the part of a hard-partying frat boy.

The story revolves around Rogen’s character, a normal guy with the bad fortune to live next door to Efron’s loud, obnoxious frat house. Rogen is also set to produce the film along with his partner Evan Goldberg. [Deadline]

After the jump, Hilary Swank picks up a graphic novel adaptation, while Ruben Fleischer’s star-studded Gangster Squad loses a cast member.

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Last season, FX’s boxing drama Lights Out entered the canon of brilliant-but-cancelled television series, when piss-poor ratings brought about its demise despite plenty of critical love. Thankfully, things seem to be working out better for the series’ acclaimed star, Holt McCallany, than they did for the show.

The actor is now in talks for Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer‘s highly anticipated (well, by us) period cop drama. McCallany would be joining an absolutely top-notch cast which already includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, and Giovanni Ribisi, with Bryan Cranston in negotiations. How can you not get excited with a cast like that?

Based on a series of articles by Paul Lieberman, Gangster Squad tells the story of an LAPD task force which was formed to fight organized crime and corruption in 1940s Los Angeles. Gosling, Brolin, Mackie, and Cranston will be on the LAPD side; Penn will play real-life mob boss Mickey Cohen. McCallany is eyeing the part of Cohen’s bodyguard. Production for Gangster Squad will begin September 7. [Variety]

After the jump, Julia Stiles and America Ferrera team up, Dennis Quaid gets a much younger wife, and Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ivan Sergei find love.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

We’ve got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double fighting…um…the boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:

  • Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
  • Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
  • J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator. Read More »

Bryan Cranston Cast in ‘Gangster Squad’

What did I just say hours ago about Bryan Cranston being on a tear? He’s just in the process of taking a role in Argo, the new film that Ben Affleck will direct. And now he’s in talks for Gangster Squad, a film that Ben Affleck was offered to direct before Argo came into being. Read More »

Anthony Mackie Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is just not messing around when it comes to the cast of his new film, Gangster Squad. The film, scripted by LA cop Will Beall and formerly reffered to as Tales From the Gangster Squad, is based on a series of articles in the LA Times that recounted efforts of a ’40s LAPD squad to curtail the influx of organized crime in Los Angeles.

Sean Penn (as Mickey Cohen), Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Michael Peña were already in the cast and now Anthony Mackie has joined, too. He’s been rumored for this one (and for World War Z), but now he’s locked Gangster Squad. He’ll play Rocky Washington, ex-cop and the first black lieutenant in the LAPD, who is ultimately recruited to work as part of the gangster squad. Just when conventional wisdom says that a major studio will never fund an adult-oriented film like this, we get a period piece, with this cast. Cross your fingers that it works better than Public Enemies… [Variety]