Casting on the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card‘s sci-fi YA novel Ender’s Game has been falling into place over the past month, with Asa Butterfield (Hugo) signed on for the lead role and Hailee Steinfeld and Ben Kingsley in talks to join as well. Now Canadian teen star Brendan Meyer has boarded the project in the role of Stilson, a classmate who bullies Ender. Meyer is best known for his lead role in the Canadian series Mr. Young, which follows a child prodigy who graduates college at 14 and returns to his high school as a science teacher.

Gavin Hood will direct the film from his own script, about a gifted boy who is drafted into a special military program that trains children to fight against an alien species called the Formics. Ender’s Game will begin shooting early next year for a March 2013 release. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Tom Wilkinson gets some help in Disney’s The Lone Ranger.

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It was announced earlier this week that Ben Affleck and longtime pal Matt Damon would reunite for a biopic about Whitey Bulger, with Casey Affleck set to co-star. We now have a more information about the younger Affleck’s part. He’ll be playing Bill Bugler, little brother of Whitey Bugler (Damon’s role). Unlike notorious gangster Whitey, Billy was an upstanding member of society — Korean war vet, lawyer, politician, and educator. He lost his post as the president of the University of Massachusetts in 2003 when he was found to have spoken with his fugitive brother in secret.

In addition to starring, Damon will also script the film; Affleck the Elder will direct and co-star. It’s unclear when exactly the picture will get off the ground, as both brothers and Damon have plenty of other projects on their plates. But they’ll have to get moving if they want to beat the two other Whitey Bulger movies in the works — there’s one in development with producer Graham King, who produced The Departed, and another titled Black Mass, which was scripted by Russell Gerwitz. [Showbiz 411 via The Playlist]

After the jump, new jobs for Dylan McDermott, Rufus Sewell, Gabriel Byrne, and Toby Stephens.

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Jim Caviezel Boards ‘Transit’

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Briefly: I’m not sure that we’ve talked about Transit: it’s the After Dark Films thriller to be directed by Antonio Negret from a script by Michael Gilvary, with Joel Silver as exec producer. The story is ” about a band of thieves on the run from a bank robbery and the suburban family they come across during their escape. When the criminals stash their stolen money in the family’s SUV at a rest stop, the road trippers unwittingly draw the murderous band of outlaws on their trail.”

Boilerplate thriller stuff, but the cast is starting to get a bit interesting. Yesterday Elisabeth Rohm, Harold Perrineau and Diora Baird signed on, and today James Caviezel and James Frain are on board. Caviezel is, of course, the father of the family (would be better if he was cast against type as the criminal leader) and Rohm is his wife. Perrineau and Baird make up part of the thieving team. Still: Caviezel goes from working with Terrence Malick and being in one of the bigger movies of all time (that Mel Gibson thing) to this? Hurm. [THR]

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