I’m starting to suspect Steve McQueen watches the same TV we do. The British director of Hunger and Shame has already cast Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam, and Raising Hope‘s Garret Dillahunt in his upcoming Twelve Years a Slave, and he’s now added another small-screen favorite. Michael K. Williams, a.k.a. Omar Little on The Wire, has just boarded the cast, which also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. More details after the jump.

UPDATE: A few hours after this post went up, it was announced that Beasts of the Southern Wild star Dwight Henry had also joined Twelve Years a Slave.

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A young, struggling author begins to fall in love with the woman he’s writing about and then, one day, she manifests herself in his apartment. Is she real? Where did she come from? Is their love something that can endure? These are the questions central to Ruby Sparks, a new film by the directors of Little Miss SunshineJonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. It’s written by and stars Zoe Kazan as the title character along with her real-life boyfriend, Paul Dano, as the author. The supporting cast isn’t too shabby either: Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould and Chris Messina.

Fox Searchlight will open the film July 25 and you can check out the first trailer below. Read More »

At this point I’d be lying if I claimed I knew what to expect from the live-action version of Akira that Jaume Collet-Serra will direct early next year. The film is budgeted in the $90m range — not a lot to create a post-apocalypse future version of Manhattan in which motorcycle gangs do battle as a precursor to psychically-powered mayhem. We know that Garrett Hedlund is playing Kaneda, a biker gang leader whose brother, Tetsuo, is wounded and finds his own psychic power awakened, leading to madness.

We don’t know who will play Tetsuo, but a new list of actors testing for the role includes surprising names like Michael Pitt, Alden Ehrenreich and Paul Dano. Read More »

After a promising start that included sweet, gentle About a Boy, Paul Weitz‘s career hasn’t been doing so well these past few years. His more recent work include American Dreamz, Cirque du Freak, and Little Fockers, none of which are exactly creative smashes. But if the moving trailer for his next project, Being Flynn, is any indication, Weitz could be on his way up again.

Based on Nick Flynn‘s acclaimed memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Being Flynn centers around the relationship between a young writer (Paul Dano) and his absentee father (De Niro). The two cross paths one night at a homeless shelter, where the son works and the dad is seeking a room. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The Die Hard 5 news continues Thursday. We recently learned that the film, directed by John Moore, would be called A Good Day To Die Hard and released February 14, 2013. It’ll focus on John McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, heading to Russia to get his son out of prison which then escalates into some kind of massive terrorist threat. With the McClane’s son seemingly the second lead and possible torch-bearer for the franchise, it surely will be a sought after role.

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The long Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us, and between that and the Venice and Telluride film festivals, it seems like a lot of Hollywood has shut down in anticipation of the last relaxing days of summer. But we’ve got a few new casting bits to throw your way regardless. After the break,

  • Ed Helms will remake a French pimp comedy,
  • Paul Dano is among the cast additions to Kelly Reichardt’s new film Night Moves,
  • The unlikely duo of Stephen Dorff and Steve Coogan are in an adaptation of the novel The Catastrophist,
  • and found footage film Evidence gets new players.

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Wes Jones‘ script College Republicans, a dramedy which centers on the early days of Republican strategist Karl Rove, made the Black List in 2010 and was soon rumored as a Richard Linklater film with Shia LaBeouf possibly starring.

Some things have changed, but it looks like the film is definitely going to happen. Rather than Shia taking the lead, it looks like Paul Dano will play the young Rove as he has some of his early experiences in national politics with Lee Atwater, who later became advisor and strategist to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Read More »

Alia Shawkat may not be quite as ubiquitous as Arrested Development co-star Jason Bateman, but she’s been quietly beefing up her film resume over the past few years. Recently, Shawkat added two more projects to her slate: He Loves Me, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ follow-up to Little Miss Sunshine; and The Brass Teapot, starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano.

He Loves Me revolves around a lonely young novelist (Paul Dano) who writes a fictional dream girl for himself — and manages to will her into existence. (She’ll be played by Dano’s real-life girlfriend Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script). Shawkat will play a hipster who’s obsessed with one of Dano’s literary creations, and who has a crush on the novelist himself. Annette Bening, Deborah Ann Woll, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, and Chris Messina are also set to star.

The Brass Teapot marks the feature film debut of director Ramaa Mosley, known for her work in commercials and music videos. The dark comedy follows “a broke young couple who steal a brass teapot that produces cash whenever someone feels pain.” Shawkat will play the best friend of Temple’s character; I’m assuming Temple and Angarano will play the main couple. [Variety]

After the jump, Animal Kingdom star Jacki Weaver picks up a new gig, and David Oyelowo signs up for Lee Daniels’ new project.

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