Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger was forced to make some changes when Disney balked at its $250 million price tag, but happily, it doesn’t seem the cuts have stopped the project from continuing to land some solid talent. Deadline reports that rising star James Badge Dale is now the frontrunner to join the cast in the role of Dan Reid. The older brother of the titular character (Armie Hammer), Dan Reid is an ex-ranger and hero himself. Johnny Depp, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dwight Yoakum also star in the Western, which is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

The one possible downside to this news for Dale’s fans, however, is that if he officially boards Lone Ranger, it’ll pull him out of the running to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard. Either way, though, Dale’s obviously on his way up. He was most recently seen in last year’s Shame, and will next appear in this month’s The Grey opposite Liam Neeson. In addition, he has two more high-profile projects, Flight and World War Z lined up for this year. Lone Ranger is scheduled to enter production next month.

After the jump, Orphan and The Hunger Games star Isabelle Fuhrman buddies up with Jaden Smith.

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Ever since it was revealed that the fifth installment of the Die Hard franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, would include one new major character in the form of John McClane’s son, rumors have been circulating about who might be up for the gig. Now a new report has surfaced claiming that the studio and director John Moore are getting closer to casting the role. They’ve apparently narrowed down their options to just four actors: Aaron Paul, James Badge Dale, D.J. Cotrona, and (because no casting search is complete without him, apparently) Liam Hemsworth. More details after the jump.

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Robert Zemeckis is collecting quite a cast for Flight, his return to live-action filmmaking. Oscar winner Melissa Leo and Rubicon star James Badge Dale are the latest additions to the project, which stars Denzel Washington as an alcoholic, drug-addicted pilot who becomes a public hero when he rescues a troubled flight. However, his own issues may have contributed to the flight’s problems to begin with. Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman are also set to appear, while Don Cheadle, Brian Geraghty and Kelly Reilly are in negotiations to board the project as well.

Leo would play the role of an investigator who believes the pilot is guilty of negligence, and wants to expose the truth about him. Dale is negotiating to play a dying cancer patient. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Kylie Minogue makes a movie with Juliette Binoche and Footloose remake star Kenny Wormald may be up for another ’80s classic.

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As the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of Max Brooks‘ novel World War Z gears up to shoot, one might marvel at the fact that the film will exist at all. It was on the brink of being scrapped for months, but then came back from the dead with a new financing plan. And just in time for Paramount, since it is looking like there is no way that the Star Trek sequel will hit in time for summer 2012.

Brad Pitt, against all odds, remains set to play the lead role of a UN researcher investigating a zombie outbreak. James Badge Dale was recently cast as Captain Spake, and Mirielle Enos will play the wife of Brad Pitt’s character. Now Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are on board, too. Read More »

‘World War Z’ to Shoot in Glasgow This August

After being stuck in development for years, World War Z found a new life this past spring when additional financing saved the project from being shut down altogether. Since then, the project’s been fast-tracked — likely in order to beat the deadline before Paramount’s short, expensive option runs out. Based on the bestselling novel by Max Brooks, Marc Forster‘s film will star Brad Pitt (who’s also producing), James Badge Dale, Anthony Mackie and Mireille Enos. Production begins this month, but it sounds as though a large chunk of the film will be shot in Glasgow this August. More details after the jump.

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Ben Affleck bailed on acting in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in order to direct his third film, a picture called Argo. (Good choice!) The film is from a Chris Terrio script that follows a true-life story about a CIA effort to pull diplomats out of Tehran in 1979. The hook: they use a plan that has them posing as a Hollywood studio crew making a sci-fi film called Argo. (Much more background detail is here.)

The first piece of casting (other than Ben Affleck, who is taking a role) is now out: Alan Arkin will play Lester Siegel, the OSS agent turned film producer who is key to the plan. The role is described as “equal parts bookie and rabbi,” in which case Alan Arkin is perfect. But then, when is he not close to perfect? George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the film, and if that conjures up images of the tone of Men Who Stare At Goats — another partially true military/political tale — then you’re probably thinking along the right track. Only, let’s hope, better. [Variety]

After the break, World War Z and the G.I. Joe sequel get new cast additions. Read More »

Movie blogs like this one run so many stories about gossip, rumor and early attachments, it’s nice to finally write one about that all important green light. A “green light” is the term for when financiers and filmmakers agree on a budget, script, cast and finally give the go-ahead to begin production. And in the realm of movies we report on, it doesn’t always happen.

We’re happy to report that though it took about a year, and we reported on it in the casting phase, The Grey, co-written and directed by Joe Carnahan, starring Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Nonso Anozie, and Joe Anderson, has just gotten that all important green light. It’s about a group of oil-rig workers who crash and find themselves stranded on the Alaskan tundra in the presence of a group of deadly wolves. Sounds kind of like Armageddon meets Frozen. Read more about it after the jump. Read More »

Trailer: AMC’s New Television Series Rubicon

Rubicon

AMC Television has released the first trailer for their new conspiracy theory series Rubicon. Let me first remind you that Rubicon is the third series AMC has ordered, and their track record so far is amazing: Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

It looks to me like AMC might have another hit on their hands, and something very different than their other two series. Watch the promo trailer before it premieres afte the season finale of Breaking Bad, after the jump. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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