Glee star Darren Criss has landed a part in Imogene, a dark comedy by American Splendor directors Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini. The Michelle Morgan-penned script revolves around a New York playwright (Kristen Wiig) who fakes a suicide in order to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention. Instead of winning him back, however, she winds up forced to move in with her gambling-addicted “tacky Jersey Shore mother” (Annette Bening).

Criss will play “a younger love interest” who catches the eye of Wiig’s character, but let’s be real — the really intriguing bit of info here is the fact that Bening will be, as Vulture put it, “channel[ing] Snooki” to play “the mother who’s a little inappropriate all the time.” Shooting for the project will begin in New York City this summer. [ThePlaylist]

After the jump, Frank Grillo picks up two new roles on either side of the law, and Patricia Clarkson gets ready to scare the living daylights out of Ron Fucking Swanson.

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Last season, FX’s boxing drama Lights Out entered the canon of brilliant-but-cancelled television series, when piss-poor ratings brought about its demise despite plenty of critical love. Thankfully, things seem to be working out better for the series’ acclaimed star, Holt McCallany, than they did for the show.

The actor is now in talks for Gangster Squad, Ruben Fleischer‘s highly anticipated (well, by us) period cop drama. McCallany would be joining an absolutely top-notch cast which already includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, and Giovanni Ribisi, with Bryan Cranston in negotiations. How can you not get excited with a cast like that?

Based on a series of articles by Paul Lieberman, Gangster Squad tells the story of an LAPD task force which was formed to fight organized crime and corruption in 1940s Los Angeles. Gosling, Brolin, Mackie, and Cranston will be on the LAPD side; Penn will play real-life mob boss Mickey Cohen. McCallany is eyeing the part of Cohen’s bodyguard. Production for Gangster Squad will begin September 7. [Variety]

After the jump, Julia Stiles and America Ferrera team up, Dennis Quaid gets a much younger wife, and Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ivan Sergei find love.

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Anthony Mackie Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is just not messing around when it comes to the cast of his new film, Gangster Squad. The film, scripted by LA cop Will Beall and formerly reffered to as Tales From the Gangster Squad, is based on a series of articles in the LA Times that recounted efforts of a ’40s LAPD squad to curtail the influx of organized crime in Los Angeles.

Sean Penn (as Mickey Cohen), Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Michael Peña were already in the cast and now Anthony Mackie has joined, too. He’s been rumored for this one (and for World War Z), but now he’s locked Gangster Squad. He’ll play Rocky Washington, ex-cop and the first black lieutenant in the LAPD, who is ultimately recruited to work as part of the gangster squad. Just when conventional wisdom says that a major studio will never fund an adult-oriented film like this, we get a period piece, with this cast. Cross your fingers that it works better than Public Enemies… [Variety]

The indie drama Gimme Shelter will go into production at the end of this month in Connecticut, and it has Brendan Fraser set to star, with Vanessa Hudgens now likely appearing as well. Ron Krauss wrote and will direct; the film follows a pregnant homeless girl (Hudgens’ role) who “flees her abusive mother and seeks out her biological father. He first takes her in but then throws her out when she refuses to abort her child.”

The dad is Brendan Fraser, and it sounds like the sort of not so massively sympathetic role that he doesn’t often play. So that could be interesting. As a side note, I understand why the film is titled as it is, but at this point it is really time to leave certain Rolling Stones songs alone, and ‘Gimme Shelter’ is one of them. [THR]

After the break, Seth MacFarlane’s Ted gets one more, and Anthony Mackie might be in line for a couple big films. Read More »

When the job of directing Tales From The Gangster Squad was being rejected by some very prominent names, it didn’t inspire much confidence in the material. That’s now totally changed. Last month, Warner Bros. reportedly had offers out to both Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling to star in the film and now they’re both currently in talks. Also in talks is Josh Brolin. He’d play a cop who, alongside Gosling, tries to bring down 1940s Los Angeles mob boss Mickey Cohen, Penn’s role. Based on a series of articles by Paul Lieberman, the film – which now is going by the shorter, simpler title Gangster Squad – was written by former Los Angeles police officer Will Beall and will be directed by Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less helmer Ruben Fleischer. Read more after the break. Read More »

For the past year Warner Bros. has been moving forward with development of Tales From the Gangster Squad, a movie based on LA Times reports about attempts to curtail the movement of organized crime into LA in the ’40s. A litany of possible directors was considered last year, including Ben Affleck, Paul Greengrass, Darren Aronofsky and more. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) finally got the job, and WB has now greenlit the film and casting is in progress. Read More »

Despite the presumption in many corners that Ruben Fleischer‘s next film after 30 Minutes Or Less (which is in post-production now)will be the sequel to Zombieland, that project isn’t yet set in stone. And now Warner Bros. reportedly wants to steal the the director from Sony so he can to jump back into ’40s Los Angeles as director of the fact-based crime film Tales From the Gangster Squad. Read More »

The question to ask about the Warner Bros. film Tales From the Gangster Squad might not be ‘who will direct,’ but ‘why didn’t all these other guys want to direct?’ There has been a lot of talk about possible directors, including Ben Affleck and Darren Aronofsky, but the WB film keeps looking for someone to sign on. The two new choices are Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jose Padilha (Elite Squad), with Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) still hanging on. Read More »

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