John Cusack and Johnny Knoxville are set to star in Carnaval, a comedy directed by Josh Stern. Cusack will play a sports scout who tavels to Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval in order to sign a soccer star, while Knoxville has been cast as Cusack’s musician best friend who tags along. Cusack’s character needs to bring the player on board so that he can take over his agency, but his plans go awry when Knoxville’s character sleeps with the player’s girlfriend. Carnaval will begin shooting in Rio this January.

Knoxville’s been on a roll lately in terms of landing roles. Over the past few months, he’s signed on for the teen comedy Fun Size, an untitled camping comedy with Patton Oswalt, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick The Last Stand. Cusack also has a handful of movies lined up for next year, including Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, the Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven, and the serial killer drama The Frozen Ground. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, TV actress Katherine LaNasa gains two movie husbands, and a whole bunch of people board Night Train to Lisbon.

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After years of talk, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are finally making a film version of the ’60s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows, and Warner Bros. has just given the film a plum date: it will open on May 11 2012. So one year from now, you’ll be able to join the argument over whether the film is the latest step for one of the most significant director/actor teams of the past two decades, or only another predictable product of Tim Burton’s well-documented idiosyncrasies. I have no idea what to expect out of the film, but the cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Moretz, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jackie Earle Haley, which should be a lineup strong enough to convince even the Burton-averse to take a look.

After the break, info on releases for The Rock’s next movie, and a Will Ferrell/Zack Galifianakis pairing. Read More »

The Tom Hanks company Playtone is putting together Game Change, in which Julianne Moore will play Sarah Palin under the direction of Jay Roach (Austin Powers). The film follows the 2008 Presidential election, and Ed Harris plays John McCain. Now Ron Livingston has been cast as Mark Wallace, senior advisor to the McCain-Palin ticket. In other words, he gets to play the guy who coached Sarah Palin for her debates, and so his scenes with Julianne Moore could be gold. And, no, this movie is not a comedy. At least, I don’t think it is. [Deadline]

Next up is casting for an action/revenge film called Recoil. These two casting announcements couldn’t be more different, but how great would it be to combine them into one film? Anyway, more Recoil news after the break. Read More »

Julianne Moore acted opposite Tina Fey last season on 30 Rock; now she’ll be stepping into the comedienne’s best-known role: Sarah Palin. Julianne Moore will play the former Alaska governor in Game Change, the Jay Roach-directed adaptation of John Heilemann and Mark Halperin‘s book about John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Read More »

What do Austin Powers, the Fockers and Barack Obama have in common? As of this weekend, they’re all characters directed by Jay Roach. HBO Films has confirmed that Roach would be directing Game Change, about the 2008 presidential race. The script will be adapted by screenwriter Danny Strong (a.k.a. Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) from John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s 2010 book of the same title.

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Friday we let you know there a pitch circling Hollywood for a film project, directed by Jay Roach, that would feature Zack Galifianakis and Will Ferrell as political rivals in a comedy timed for release near the 2012 Presidential Election. Well, it only took 24 hours or so for a studio to scoop it up. Deadline reported that Warner Brothers acquired the project Saturday. We also learned that the script was penned by Chris Henchy, who co-wrote Ferrell’s last comedy The Other Guys, and Shawn Harwell, who worked on Eastbound and Down. It’ll be produced by Ferrell, Galifianakis, Adam McKay and Jay Roach. Warner Brothers is thought of as one of the most innovative and exciting studios in town, so this should be a great fit.

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How crazy is it to think that in less than two years we’ll once again vote for President of the United States? Here’s how crazy. There’s currently a pitch going around Hollywood that would pit Zack Galifianakis against Will Ferrell as political rivals in a comedy timed for release near the 2012 Presidential Elections. Oh and Jay Roach, he of both comedy and political films (such as Meet the Parents and Recount) will be directing. No studio is attached yet but, that’s sure to change sooner rather than later. According to Deadline‘s short report, “everybody’s interested.” And who wouldn’t be with those three names attached to one package? When we hear more about this developing story, we’ll let you know, but if you have a few million dollars today would be a good day to call one of these guys.

Not long ago we heard that reshoots for Universal’s threequel Little Fockers were potentially going to involve Dustin Hoffman, who appeared in Meet the Fockers, the first sequel to Meet the Parents. Hoffman had originally declined to be a part of Little Fockers for a variety of reported reasons. (Scheduling, the part written for him, financial differences, etc.)

But changes are being made to Little Fockers, and one of them is that Dustin Hoffman has been written back in, and will take part in pickup shooting in September. Read More »

DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Nope, that’s not a still from an unlikely adaptation of Haruki Murakami‘s novel A Wild Sheep Chase, though I might actually love to see Steve Carell play the nameless protagonist of that story and Jemaine Clement the very odd Sheep Man he encounters at a remote homestead.

No, that’s a new still from Dinner for Schmucks, and I’m mainly pointing it out because, the more I think about it, I actually do really like the idea of a Carell / Clement pairing based on Murakami. But I suppose I’ll take Dinner for Schmucks instead. We briefly saw Clement in this getup in the film’s second trailer, which nicely summarized the conceit of a bunch of rich jerks who invite ‘idiots’ to dinner to make fun of them, and the ambitious young exec (Paul Rudd) who is caught up in the scenario.

This photo is part of a collection of new images over at MTV, a couple of which bolster the image of the film as a collection of insane characters. (It’s also a remake of a French comedy, Le Diner de Cons, but shhh. Don’t tell anyone.) See the full image after the break. Read More »