Casting Bits: Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow And Selma Blair Join Todd Solondz's 'Dark Horse'; Vanessa Hudgens Joins 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island'

Todd Solondz, the provocative, some might say confrontational filmmaker behind such bold, brilliant films as Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, has found his cast for Dark Horse. The indie drama began principal photography earlier this week, with frequent bit player, first-time lead Jordan Gelber taking the center role, Justin Bartha (The Hangover) playing his more successful brother, and Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi (The Last Airbender) playing his love interest's "not quite" ex-boyfriend.

Now there's a casting update that sees the film's actor roster getting a big push. Joining the film are Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Selma Blair, who round out a cast that revolves around "a thirtysomething man (Gelber) in arrested development who lives with his parents (Walken and Farrow), reluctantly works for his father and avidly collects toys. He seeks out a thirtysomething woman (Blair) in arrested development in an attempt to shed the "dark horse" status in his family and finally accomplish something."

(After the break, more on Dark Horse, and Vanessa Hudgens gets cast in the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth.)

I'm thrilled to see Walken in this; the actor has been somewhat inactive of late, and out of the films he did star—The Maiden Heist, Balls of Fury—there was little to entice. The film will also mark Farrow's first performance since Be Kind Rewind, and Selma Blair's second film with director Todd Solondz (Storytelling being her first). [The Hollywood Reporter]

Josh Hutcherson is getting a lot of new company for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth. Brendan Fraser is out for round two, but Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine will be joining him, playing his mother's boyfriend and his grandfather, respectively.

All that was missing was a love interest, which the casting of Vanessa Hudgens now rectifies. She's in final negotiations to play the film's female lead, described as "a Pacific Islander who gets swept into the adventure and ends up falling for Hutcherson".

Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore) is directing the film, from a script loosely based on Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island. In this telling of the story, Hutcherson and Johnson head to a mythical, monstrous island in search of his missing grandfather (Caine). [The Hollywood Reporter]