With Saoirse Ronan already locked in for Andrew Niccol‘s The Host, the search is on for two handsome young lads to play the male leads. Jake Abel has just been selected for the part of Ian, beating out several competitors including Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines), Thomas McDonnell (Prom), and Augustus Prew (Charlie St. Cloud). Abel, who’s still negotiating his deal, has worked with Ronan once previously on Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. More recently, he’s also starred in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and I Am Number Four.

Based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, The Host revolves around a woman named Melanie (Ronan) whose body is possessed by an alien parasite named Wanderer. Ian is a human who initially attacks Wanderer, but eventually falls in love with her. The other major mail character, that of Melanie’s boyfriend Jared, is still being cast; Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (One Shot), and Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) are among the contenders for that part. [Deadline]

After the jump, Taken 2 adds another newcomer and Rose McGowan gets some company in Napa.

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M.C. Gainey, a.k.a. Mr. Friendly on Lost, has entered negotiations to star in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained as what sounds like one of the nastiest characters in a film filled with vile characters. Gainey is up for the part of Big John Brittle, an overseer at the Carrucan Plantation who sets the plot in motion by raping Django’s wife Broomhilda and branding Django’s cheek with the letter ‘R’ (for “runaway”). Django (Jamie Foxx) goes on to team up with Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a German bounty hunter interested in the large reward on Big John, to free his wife from the clutches of villainous plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Gerald McRaney, Dennis Christopher, and Laura Cayouette are also signed on to star in the “Southern-fried spaghetti Western,” while Kurt Russell is in talks to replace Kevin Costner as Candie’s right-hand man Ace Woody. Production is expected to begin next month for a Christmas 2012 release. [Variety]

After the jump, RocknRolla star Toby Kebbell goes East, while Rose McGowan heads to Napa.

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