Briefly: Baz Luhrmann has added two more to his 3D film version of The Great Gatsby. (Why is this 3D, again?)

His take on the ‘great American novel’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald already features Leonardo DiCaprio as the wealthy Jay Gatsby; Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, the object of Gatsby’s unrequited love; Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway; Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s husband, old-money dillweed Tom Buchanan; Isla Fisher as Myrtle, with whom Tom is having an affair; and Jason Clarke as George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband.

Now Gemma Ward, who was recently seen as a mermaid in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, will play an undisclosed role, and Callan McAuliffe has signed on to play the young Jay Gatsby in a few scenes. Along with young Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki, who also recently signed on to play Nick Carraway’s love interest, Jordan Baker, that makes a nice complement of Australian actors for this Long Island-set story. Not that I’m complaining; I’ve really warmed up to the idea of Edgerton playing Tom Buchanan. The 3D part on the other hand… well, not so much. [EW and Variety]

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The last time we talked about the film version of Green Day‘s album-turned-Broadway show American Idiot, it looked like Green Day bandleader Billie Joe Armstrong might be playing one of the lead roles on screen. That casting is confirmed now, as THR says that Billy Joe will indeed reprised the role of St. Jimmy, which he played in some sold-out Broadway shows, under the direction of Michael Mayer. Dustin Lance Black is scripting the film version of American Idiot, a tale of love and anger acted out through the characters Jesus of Suburbia and St. Jimmy. We’ve heard about the potential for a movie version for several years, but fans can possibly take heart now that there is real forward movement.

After the break, The Great Gatsby casts its last major role, and T.J. Miller gets his first starring gig, in a comedy. Read More »

The process has been incredibly long and arduous, but Baz Luhrmann is slowly putting together an impressive cast for his 3D vision of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s masterpiece The Great Gatsby. The latest person to join the fray is Joel Edgerton, who’ll play Tom Buchanan, a role that was originally supposed to go to Ben Affleck before he stepped out to direct Argo. Among geeks, Edgerton is best known for his role at Uncle Owen in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but since then, with turns in Animal Kingdom and The Square, has become quite the in-demand leading man. He’s in The Thing prequel that’s on the way, Warrior with Tom Hardy and now, he’ll be popping out of your screen opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher. Read what Luhrmann had to say about Edgerton and more after the jump. Read More »

One of the better-received films at this year’s Sundance was Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The film is playing to good reviews at Cannes now as well, and the writer/director, Jeff Nichols, is prepping his second film. Mud, as the picture is called, has Chris Pine in talks to star as Mud, a fugitive that is assisted in his escape from an island in the Mississippi river by two 14-year old boys.

The LA Times has the news, and says, “the ambiguity of the story lies with Mud, who is both an unsavory and a redemptive character and who teaches the boys as much as he learns from them,” making the obvious and obligatory Huck Finn reference immediately afterward. Stand By Me is also name-dropped. The reviews for Take Shelter are all I need to be interested in what Jeff Nichols does next, and picking Chris Pine for a definitively non-blockbuster sort of role sounds like a good move.

After the break, Matt Dillon may beat up a pretend Linda Lovelace, and a shortlist emerges for the Great Gatsby role that Ben Affleck had to give up. Read More »

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.

Read More »

After the unexpected success of The Town, Ben Affleck found himself in the unique position of being an extremely hot director. Since then, he’s been circling or offered several different directorial projects including American Bullshit, Replay and Tales From The Gangster Squad but had yet to settle on his follow-up. That’s now changed. As was rumored back in February, Affleck’s next directorial effort will be Argo, a spy film based on the true story of how the CIA rescued American citizens from Tehran, Iran by pretending to make a sci-fi movie. He’ll both direct and reportedly star in the film, produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov from a script by Chris Terrio. Because he’s committing to this, Affleck won’t be able to star in Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby. Read more after the break. Read More »

Despite some vague comments about when, exactly, he’ll make the film, Baz Luhrmann continues to pull together the cast for his new version of The Great Gatsby. And I have to hand it to him: he’s got a hell of a lineup. So far the key roster includes Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, the young wealthy resident of Long Island’s West Egg community, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, who spends a summer renting a bungalow near Jay’s home, leading to a friendship between the two that forms part of the basis for the story.

Carey Mulligan is on board, Ben Affleck may soon be, and now Isla Fisher is in talks for a significant role, too. She should be perfect for it; more details after the break. Read More »

Baz Luhrmann‘s adaptation of The Great Gatsby is slowly working towards a start date. He’s got Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan set to play the three central characters in F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic American novel. Now Ben Affleck is in talks to play a part, the primary sticking point being the schedule for his next directorial project, Argo. Read More »

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