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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Dave Franco has become the latest addition to Summit’s magician heist film Now You See Me, boarding a very promising cast that already includes Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, and Woody Harrelson. Franco is probably still best known for being the younger brother of Oscar nominee/host James Franco, but he’s become a rising star in his own right, with his recent turn in Fright Night and his upcoming appearances in 21 Jump Street and the zombie romance Warm Bodies.

Louis Leterrier is directing the film from a script by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt. The film follows a group of illusionists called the Four Horsemen, who pull off bank heists during their stage shows and then shower their oblivious audiences with the stolen cash. Franco will play one of the Four Horsemen, joining Eisenberg, who plays the team’s arrogant leader. [Deadline]

After the jump, Thor’s kid brother books yet another new role.

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Louis Leterrier‘s heist film Now You See Me is one that I think has been flying under the radar for a lot of people so far, but it is shaping up to be a really promising picture. The basics are that Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher and Melanie Laurent make up the bulk of the cast.

The story is crazy, as it follows the pursuit of a group of thieving illusionists by an FBI squad. The illusionists rob banks during their performances, and shower the audience with some or all of the proceeds. It’s an utterly ridiculous premise, and I can only hope that with the cast that has assembled, there’s something to the script that makes it work like crazy. And now Woody Harrelson has come on board to reunite with his Zombieland cohort Jesse Eisenberg and pull some heists. Read More »

Denzel Washington has reportedly been offered the lead role in the English-language remake of The Secret in Their Eyes, which is being helmed by Billy Ray (Shattered Glass). The original Argentinian version, by director Juan José Campanella, was a critical success that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture in 2010. In other words, no wonder someone in Hollywood’s decided to try and make it all over again.

The dramatic thriller centers around a retired criminal court investigator turned would-be novelist who’s struggling to get over a murder case and a romance that have haunted him for decades. Campanella’s film won raves for its unpredictable plotting, impressive camerawork, and excellent performances. I don’t think the American version sounds bad, so much as just pointless — but if it has to get remade, I suppose there are worse choices than Ray and Washington. [First Showing]

After the jump, Will Forte joins Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch, and Isla Fisher lands magician heist flick Now You See Me.

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Now You See Me, a thriller that takes place in the world of stage magic, is a film that might be flying under your radar at this point. So let’s change that, because it sounds like it could turn out to be something worth watching.

Screenwriters Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt have come up with a story about The Four Horsemen, a team of master illusionists who pull bank heists during their stage performances and then distributes the takings to each audience, as an FBI team attempts to take them down. Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans) is directing, which seems to set this as a break from his action-oriented resume. And the cast now includes Morgan Freeman as a former magician who now exposes the secrets of magic to the public. Read More »

Here’s one of several casting breaks to come your way in the next few hours, and this one is pretty damned good. Why? Because after the break you’ll find info on the following:

  • Nick Nolte takes a role in hard-boiled crime thriller Parker.
  • Jesse Eisenberg plays dopplegangers in The Double.
  • And Mark Ruffalo and Amanda Seyfried join the increasingly promising FBI vs magicians thriller Now You See Me. Read More »

Inglourious Basterds and Beginners actress Melanie Laurent is set to star opposite Jesse Eisenberg in Louis Leterrier‘s magician heist movie Now You See Me. The story revolves around FBI agents hunting down a group of world-famous bank-robbing magicians (sorry, illusionists) who shower their audiences with the stolen cash.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who was previously offered a role, has since passed. No news has been announced regarding either Philip Seymour Hoffman or Olivia Wilde, who were also circling parts in the film. The involvement of Laurent and Eisenberg seems like a good sign, though — both actors have good track records, and are probably big and respected enough to help draw in other high-quality talent. [Showblitz]

After the jump, two big ensemble comedy casts get just a little bit larger.

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Jesse Eisenberg and Jake Gyllenhaal have been offered roles in Now You See Me, a magic-infused heist film written by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, produced by Star Trek and Transformers writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and directed by Louis Letterier (Clash of the Titans). The film is about F.B.I. agents hot on the trail of a group magicians who use their skills to perform huge heists during their shows and then shower the money on their audiences. Offers are also reportedly out to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Olivia Wilde and Melanie Laurent to star in the film. Read More »

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