It always happens at this time every year: producers go to the Cannes marketplace with armfuls of potential projects, and we get a flood of casting reports as actors are attached left and right. Some of these will get made, some won’t, and some will get made with an entirely different cast.

One of the big ones today is a boxing drama called The Bleeder, which has Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber and Christina Hendricks set to appear. Before The Fighter I’d have guessed this might be one that we’d hear about during Cannes and never again, but in the wake of that success it might happen. The Bleeder has Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston) directing from a script he wrote with Jerry Stahl, based on ” the true story of former New Jersey heavyweight boxer and womanizer Chuck Wepner who boxed 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali and inspired Sylvester Stallone to pen Rocky.” That connection to Rocky might be all this needs to put it over the top. [Variety]

After the break, Dexter‘s next season gets Def, and info on a romantic heist movie.  Read More »

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Brad Anderson‘s most recent film is Vanishing on 7th Street, but he’s best known for two other films: the abandoned mental hospital ghost story Session 9, and The Machinist, in which Christian Bale wastes away into madness before our very eyes. (He also directed a couple episodes of The Wire and several of Fringe, among other things.) Because of Christian Bale, The Machinist is probably his most-seen film.

So what say you to a new film that once again brings together the director with Scott Kosar, the writer of The Machinist, and Christian Bale? How about if the script is an adaptation of Concrete Island, a novel by the peerless author J.G. Ballard? Read More »

Briefly: At the end of May it looked as if John Cusack would be playing the lead role in Jack under director Brad Anderson. At that point the film was set for a late summer shoot, but has been delayed. (We don’t know whether that is due to financing, the director’s festival and other responsibilities promoting Vanishing on 7th Street, just picked up by Magnet, or another cause.)

Now Bloody Disgusting reports that an offer is out to Liev Schreiber to play the lead, said to be “an amnesiac killer who falls in love with a doctor and faces his resurfacing memories. Does he live a ‘normal’ life, or, in real Jim Thompson fashion, embrace his inner killer?”

Samuel L. Jackson is reportedly negotiating to play another role, Pete Chandler, but we don’t know how he fits into the story. More on this one as it unfolds.

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John Cusack will have company in The Raven, V For Vendetta director James McTeigue‘s fictionalized account of the final five “mysterious” days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life, but Jeremy Renner won’t be taking part. His schedule wouldn’t allow it, sadly, as he’s going to be off shooting the fourth Mission: Impossible. Stepping in for Renner is Luke Evans, a British actor who will fill the role of “a detective who partners with Poe (Cusack) to search for a serial killer who has kidnapped the author’s fiance and has gone on a murders spree that mimics the author’s work”.

Evans is a newcomer to Hollywood, but he’s had no trouble finding work. In a single year, he’s been cast as one of the titular musketeers in Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3D action-adventure adaptation of The Three Musketeers, as the thunder god Zeus in Tarsem’s Immortals, and alongside Jason Statham in the London-set serial killer thriller Blitz. Best case scenario: he’s an acting talent to be reckoned with, and filmmakers can’t resist his talent. Worst case scenario: the studios have found their next Sam Worthington.

After the break, Edgar Allan Poe gets a fiance, and Jim Carrey gets some financial support. Read More »

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Brandon Routh won’t be in the new Zack Snyder-directed Superman, or so we’re told. Which is too bad; after meeting resistance when he first got the role, I think a lot of people have grown used to the idea of Mr. Routh as Superman. Earning good will in Scott Pilgrim didn’t hurt, through the rather dire-looking Dylan Dog might. Regardless, now he’s booked a role in the indie Missing William. He may play opposite real-life wife Courtney Ford, who is in talks for the lead female role.

Mr. Routh will be the childhood sweetheart of a woman who is trying to nurse her husband to health after he’s injured in a fight. A love triangle naturally develops, “with the woman torn between the brain-damaged husband she loves and the hunky former flame who got away.” Kenn Macrae will direct from a script by Daniel McKinnon. [TheWrap]

After the break, Ray Liotta works with Christian Slater, and Jay Baruchel’s hockey comedy Goon gets Liev Schreiber. Read More »

Nicolas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds

So I guess someone gave Nicolas Cage a copy of Joel Schumacher‘s recent film Twelve. The actor was set to co-star (with Nicole Kidman) in Schumacher’s film Trespass, which had been planning to shoot later this month. But with only weeks to go until principal photography, Cage left the film, went on vacation, and (supposedly) can’t be reached. Will Trespass still shoot, or will Cage face a lawsuit? And is there more to the story than we currently know? Read More »

Liev Schreiber has confirmed something that seems pretty obvious to me, something that most people suspected – His character Cotton Weary will not return in Scream 4.

“Cotton is dead!” Schreiber told IGN. “I know, I keep reading on the Internet that I’m doing Scream 4, but I don’t know where that comes from. No one ever told me I was doing Scream 4. No one ever mentioned anything to me.”

While Schreiber isn’t expected to make an appearance in the new sequel, yet another Scream series veteran has announced his plans to return for the fourth film. I’m not talking about the previously announced Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette or even Roger L. Jackson, the voice actor who provides the creepy voice of Ghostface. Who is it? Find out after the jump.

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Brett Ratner

Relativity Media announced today that Peter Farrelly (of the famous comedy directing team The Farrelly Brothers), Brett Ratner, actress Elizabeth Banks, Bob Odenkirk and Griffin Dunne (The Accidental Husband) are directing a sketch comedy feature film. More directors are expected to be announced shortly. Originally set up at Overture Films, the yet-to-be-titled comedy project takes a unifying storyline for a series of sketch comedies in the vein of the 1970s hits Kentucky Fried Movie and Groove Tube. Not much more is known about the premise.

The growing cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kieran Culkin, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Sean William Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Emma Stone, Matt Walsh, Patrick Warburton, Naomi Watts, and Kate Winslet. The producers will announce additional cast members as further deals are solidified, and production will continue thru late May 2010.

I expect that we’ll be seeing more and more movies like this after the success of Valentine’s Day, which was able to cram an impressive ensemble cast into a modestly budgeted romantic comedy. And a Sketch movie allows you to cram even more stars and directors into a two hour feature for a low cost and time commitment. You can read the full press release after the jump.

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