After Precious became a hit, director Lee Daniels ended up looking into dual true-story films with civil rights interests. The first, Selma, lined up an impressive cast (Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, David Oyelowo, Robert De Niro, Cedric the Entertainer) for a tale about the relationship between Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson, and the desegregation campaigns and civil rights marches that centered in Selma, Alabama in the mid-’60s. The other was The Butler, about a man who worked in the White House under several generations of US Presidents.

Neither film ended up being Daniels’ Precious follow-up — that was The Paperboy, which was savaged at Cannes, but also became a tabloid object thanks to the scene in which Nicole Kidman urinates on Zac Efron. But Daniels is getting The Butler ready to go now, and he’s about to corral former Selma collaborator Hugh Jackman for a new MLK story. This one, Orders to Kill, will have a more confrontational story, as it follows an attorney who insists that King assassin James Earl Ray was not really responsible for the activist’s death. Read More »

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We’ve got a diverse set of projects on which to report in this latest casting break: a political prestige project, a more routine-sounding thriller, and a dark comedy with quite a good pedigree. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Brit Marling seems to have settled on Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep as her next big role,
  • Gerard Butler will play a rogue former FBI agent in The Bricklayer,
  • and Natasha Lyonne joins Kristen Wiig’s passion project, Imogene. Read More »

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