Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker Cast in ‘Pawn’

Briefly: Attention, fans of The Shield, there is a little mini-reunion of sorts brewing. Actors Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker have both been cast in an indie called Pawn. The movie is, as you might hope, a crime picture, and one that features “a hostage situation that has gone terribly wrong” in which “an ex-con becomes entangled in a manipulative chess game between the Feds, local police and the mob.”

Deadline gets to announce the project, which will be the feature directorial debut of cinematographer David A. Armstrong, who shot the Saw series. He will be working from a script by Jay Anthony White. Common and Ray Liotta are also in the cast, which is already sounding like a pretty solid lineup for a good criminal potboiler.

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He’s played the Human Torch, and now Chris Evans will be in The Iceman. This is a movie about a different Iceman, though — one wholly unrelated to Marvel’s mutant supporting character.

There are two biopics brewing of Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski — one called The Ice Man: Confessions Of A Mafia Contract Killer, starring Mickey Rourke as the Iceman. Then there is this one, which features Michael Shannon as the hit man, and now boasts Chris Evans in a role once earmarked for James Franco. Read More »

Hot off two of the year’s most buzzed-about performances in Albert Nobbs and Martha Marcy May Marlene, Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen have signed on to star in Thérèse Raquin. Charlie Stratton is writing and directing the erotic thriller, which is based on a 19th century novel and play by Émile Zola. Olsen will lead the cast as the titular young woman, who’s pushed into an unhappy marriage by her overbearing aunt (Close). Thérèse eventually falls into a passionate affair with her husband’s friend Laurent, with destructive consequences for all involved.

Close has reportedly been attached to the film for years, though Olsen’s involvement appears to be a recent development. Thérèse Raquin is scheduled to begin shooting this spring. [Entertainment Weekly]

After the jump, David Schwimmer gears up to kill people and Saoirse Ronan gets another love interest for The Host.

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Who is scoring The Avengers? What’s the latest speed bump for Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark? Want to hear an extensive update on the Hulk TV show? Which Goodfellas actor could have played Batman for Tim Burton? And why do the writers of the new Wonder Woman comic book think there hasn’t been a movie yet? Has Marvel Comics finally made it into the digital age? Read about this and much more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Soon after making his dark relationship indie Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance co-wrote a movie called The Place Beyond the Pines, which he says was inspired by Jack London and features two generations of conflicting fathers and sons, as well as motorcycles and guns.

His Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling signed on to be a motorcycle rider who turns to crime — yeah, shades of Drive there — and is pursued by a rookie cop (Bradley Cooper). Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, and Ray Liotta also joined the cast. After the break are the first full-size official stills of Gosling and Cooper as they appear in the movie. Read More »

It feels like James Franco is attached to pretty much everything these days, but now there’s one less Franco project we have to look forward to. According to JustJared.com, the star has pulled out of The Iceman, a biopic of Mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. Franco was lined up to play Robert “Mr. Softee” Pronge, the “mentor assassin” to Kuklinski (Michael Shannon); Ray Liotta and Maggie Gyllenhaal were also set to star in the picture, by director Ariel Vroman. However, with Franco gone, “it looks like this project might fall apart,” a source told the site.

Details of Franco’s exit have not been revealed, although the same source blames “key contractual issues that didn’t involve financial terms.” The rest of the cast sounds too interesting to waste, so I’m hoping the movie can still come together out even without Franco’s involvement. If not, well, there’s always The Ice Man, the competing project starring Mickey Rourke. [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Franco’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes co-star Tom Felton gets to play a good guy for once, and Ruben Fleischer is still adding people to the cast of Gangster Squad.

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Blue Valentine director and star Derek Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling are back together for the multi-generational crime/grudge saga The Place Beyond the Pines. The film follows Gosling as a stunt cyclist who robs banks in order to provide for his son, and ands up entangled with cop-turned-politician Bradley Cooper. Their antagonism spills down the family tree, eventually involving their sons.

The large cast was said to include Greta Gerwig, but now we’ve learned that she had never fully signed on, and won’t be able to take part in the film due to other obligations. Stepping into the role earmarked for her will be Rose Byrne, of Damages and Bridesmaids. Read More »

Field of Dreams is one of those movies that makes even the best of us cry. The beautiful respect for the game of baseball is only trumped by the great relationships Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) develops with Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta), Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) and his undying faith in himself. It’s a poignant and memorable film.

Thankfully, a sequel to the 1989 Phil Alden Robinson classic never came to fruition but with the National Football League in danger of missing their season, Funny or Die has decided to take that “If you build it, he will come” structure and apply it to football with Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout starring everyone’s favorite werewolf, Taylor Launter. Fans of football will be delighted by all the NFL stars who show up and Field of Dreams fans will be overjoyed by the homages. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

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