I’d like to make this the ‘leading lady’ edition of Casting Bits, but I don’t think Caleb Landry Jones would like that very much. (Jason Segel would probably be OK with it.) Still, after the break you’ll find that two films have chosen their lead actresses, while Jones joins Jordan. Ahem. To wit:

  • Alexandra Maria Lara (above) takes the (female) lead in Ron Howard’s racing movie Rush,
  • Cody Horn will be the leading lady in Soderbergh’s Magic Mike,
  • Caleb Landry Jones, aka the First Class version of Banshee, joins Neil Jordan’s Byzantium,
  • and, as a final note, Jason Segel appears to be confirmed for Judd Apatow’s This is Forty.

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Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds featured three breakout performances by actors who were previously little-known to US audiences. Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender have gone on to very high-profile studio work, but Daniel Brühl, who played the Nazi sniper hero Frederick Zoller, has taken his time choosing Hollywood roles. (He has continued to work, doing so mostly in Europe.)

Now he is in talks for a film by a major Hollywood player — he’s looking at the role of Austrian Formula One champ Niki Lauda for Ron Howard‘s racing movie Rush. Read More »

The Avengers is currently in production, then it’s Snow White and the Huntsman and with Thor 2 on the horizon after that, Chris Hemsworth is going to race to fit in another film. Deadline is reporting that Hemsworth will play British Formula One driver James Hunt in Rush, the story of a rivalry between Hunt and another driver named Niki Lauda in the mid 1970s. The script is by Peter Morgan, an Oscar-nominee for his work on The Queen, and Ron Howard is looking likely to direct now that The Dark Tower has cooled off. Read more after the break. Read More »

I’ve been looking forward to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy since I first heard that Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson had been tapped to direct from Peter Morgan‘s (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) script. My excitement has only increased with each new casting announcement — Gary Oldman! Colin Firth! Tom Hardy! Mark Strong! Now a first teaser has dropped for the film, and though we don’t get to see a whole lot, what we do see looks frankly fantastic. See if you agree with me after the jump.

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Cross one possible project off of Paul Greengrass’ to-do list: Rush, the Formula One film about rival drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Or, more properly, move that project to the to-do list of Ron Howard, because it is now being shopped around with his name attached. Read More »

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Although I really don’t know the truth of the matter, I imagine that the past year has been a frustrating one for Paul Greengrass. Green Zone came out in March 2010 and was almost immediately labeled an underperformer. After a great deal of extra time was taken to reshoot and cut the not-exactly crowd-pleasing film, it probably could never be anything but. Then multiple projects came and went, most notably the civil rights film Memphis, which got the thumbs-down from both Universal and the Martin Luther King, Jr. estate.

So what will the director make next? The biggest possible option seems to be a film based on the merchant-vessel meets Somali pirates hostage situation chronicled in the memoir A Captain’s Duty. But there is also a Formula One film called Rush, written by big-time screenwriter Peter Morgan, that may be on the horizon. Read More »

Last year there was the announcement that a Queen/Freddie Mercury movie was in development with Peter Morgan set to write and Sacha Baron Cohen signed to play Freddie Mercury. The casting sounded so potentially perfect that I figured the movie would end up dying on the vine, as so many biopics do. But that’s not how this one is going. According to the band, the film is scripted and set to shoot later this year for a 2012 release. Read More »

Briefly: This is really just a rumor control post. Looking around the web today you might see mentions of the pre-production of Bond 23 being halted, which is probably confusing if you’ve been keeping tabs on the film’s development. But it’s really Variety that was confused, as the trade re-ran or re-wrote (and since pulled) a report with info mostly from April 2010, when pre-production on the film was first halted. If you gave the trade report more than a cursory glance it was pretty clear that something was amiss, but the report is already spreading anyway. (And, if you’ll recall, this is the second time the ‘Bond 23 has halted’ news has been re-reported. Last time was July 2010.)

So, bottom line, someone screwed up, and there is no Bond news to report. All is as it was last time, which is… that there’s nothing yet to report. As you were.

MGM filed for bankruptcy yesterday, and while there’s no need to go into all the financial specifics yet again, this is just the next step in the company’s reorganization. This pre-packaged bankruptcy should leave MGM creditors with equity in a new version of the company, with Spyglass Entertainment holding the studio reigns.

And, as part of discussions of the studio’s future, MGM reps now say that new James Bond films could be released every two years starting with Bond 23 in November 2012. Read More »

Sacha Baron Cohen to Play Queen Singer Freddie Mercury


Here’s some news that could be eerily on point: Peter Morgan, the guy who wrote The Queen, is now going to write about the band Queen. (That’s not the on-point part, but it is a good factor.) More specifically, he’s writing an as yet unnamed biopic of Queen singer Freddie Mercury. Even better: to play Mercury, the production has just signed Sacha Baron Cohen. Raise those lighters and sing along with Sacha. Read More »