Last month, Nicole Kidman came in as a replacement for Sofia Vergara on The Paperboy, after Vergara and Tobey Maguire dropped out of the project due to scheduling issues. Now, a new actor has stepped up to fill Maguire’s role: John Cusack. Based on a 1955 novel by Pete Doctor, The Paperboy follows a reporter and his brother as they investigate a murder that put the suspect on death row. Cusack will play the part of the prisoner. Kidman, as previously reported, will be a woman who writes letters to inmates on death row.

The Paperboy marks Lee Daniels‘ follow-up to 2009′s Precious, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. The film will also star Zac Efron; Matthew McConaughey is currently in advanced negotiations. [Variety]

After the jump, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould, Chris Messina, and Deborah Ann Woll sign up for the Little Miss Sunshine team’s new project.

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Up to this point, Baz Luhrmann‘s been filling his 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby with well-known talents: Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and of course, Leonardo DiCaprio as the titular Gatsby. So it’s surprising and intriguing that the latest addition to his cast is a newcomer — Elizabeth Debicki, who comes straight out of Australia’s Victorian College of the Arts. Debicki will play golfer Jordan Baker, who in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic novel is a friend of Daisy Buchanan (Mulligan) and the love interest of Nick Carraway (Maguire).

In an interview, Luhrmann acknowledged the unusual nature of his selection:

It was a surprising result, but Elizabeth’s grasp of the material and her chemical connectivity to Tobey Maguire, in addition to her striking, athletic appearance, had us in a place where we were fully confident and ready to take the leap of giving the role of Jordan Baker to what, I guess, people would term ‘a discovery’… We are thrilled.

The major characters yet to be cast is Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan (Ben Affleck was in talks, but bowed out due to schedule conflicts). Isla Fisher has been in talks to play Tom’s mistress Myrtle Wilson. [Deadline]

After the jump, Katie Holmes and Chace Crawford find love, and Alexander Skarsgard signs on for a dramedy.

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A new trailer has been released for Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves — similar to what they did in 2006′s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. When Coogan’s (fictional) foodie girlfriend dumps him, he reluctantly invites Brydon to join him on a ten-restaurant tour of North England as part of an assignment for The Observer. Much bickering, sniping, and mimicking of Michael Caine ensues. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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One film I’ve been looking forward to is Our Idiot Brother (formerly known as My Idiot Brother), which premiered at Sundance earlier this year to warm, if not spectacular, reviews. Jesse Peretz‘s dramedy stars Paul Rudd as a good-hearted but dim man who gets passed around between his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer) as he tries to get his life together after his latest set of mishaps — one of which involved selling weed to a uniformed police officer. He’s that dumb. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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First Look: Paul Rudd in ‘My Idiot Brother’

One of the more eye-catching comedies playing at Sundance is My Idiot Brother, which stars Paul Rudd (and his beard) as Ned, a guy who is passed around between his three sisters (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer) after he tries to get back on his feet in the wake of a string of foolish failures. That’s the first image, above, and there’s another after the break. Read More »

the-trip-1

It’s been a busy year for Michael Winterbottom. He made it to Sundance with The Killer Inside Me, which hit theaters earlier this year. He put together The Trip, which reunited him with actor Steve Coogan. That film appeared at the Toronto International Film Festival and was just picked up by IFC. And now Winterbottom may have a project going to dramatize the story of murdered British exchange student Meredith Kercher, with an offer for one role out to Colin Firth. (The image above is from The Trip.) Read More »

Justin Timberlake

Andrew Niccol is prepping I’m.mortal, a sort of sci-fi film with shades of Logan’s Run that already has offered the female lead to Amanda Seyfried. Now Deadline says the male lead has been offered to Justin Timberlake. The film is an explicitly 20-something skewed idea, in which people have to buy time if they want to age past 25. The Seyfried / Timberlake pairing could work well, and I like the idea of Niccol doing more original sci-fi.

After the break, Steve Coogan and Cillian Murphy take new jobs. Read More »

Percy Jackson & The Olympians Trailer 2

Though it settles into exactly the same groove as the previously released teaser trailer just half of the way through, the new, second trailer for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief finally gives us a look at what we want to see – the name-actor stars of the film. There’s Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean in here, if rather briefly. I have to say I’m digging Pierce’s beard – check it out for yourself in the embed below the break.

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