Casting Bits: Giovanni Ribisi In 'Gangster Squad;' Rinko Kikuchi In 'Pacific Rim;' J.B. Smoove In 'The Dictator'

We've got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:

  • Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
  • Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
  • J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator.
  • The latest addition to Gangster Squad, which Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, 30 Minutes or Less) is about to direct for Warner Bros., is Giovanni Ribisi. He'll play "Conway Keeler, a cop in the group who is a master of electronics and wires." That 'group' also includes copes played by Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin, as well as Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena. They're looking to take down big-time crime boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). Can't wait. [Deadline]

    This was mentioned in Germain's piece on Legendary's plans for Comic Con, but Rinko Kikuchi (The Brothers Bloom, Babel, 47 Ronin) has been added to Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, which also features Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day and Idris Elba. The Playlist offers a bit of detail on her likely role: "Mako Mori, a young Japanese pilot of Jaegers, the enormous robotic creatures built to battle the strange creatures attacking earth." She ends up working with Charlie Hunnam's character under the command of an officer played by Idris Elba, while Charlie Day plays a scientist (yep!) trying to figure out where the monsters are coming from.

    Here's a meaty synopsis of Pacific Rim:

    The first is an alternate version of Earth in the near future, decades after a historic date in November 2012 when the first kaiju, a towering Godzilla-like beast, emerged from a hole in the Pacific Ocean and attacked the city of Osaka, Japan. The second is "The Anteverse," another universe on the other side of that gaping portal, 5 miles below our ocean's surface. Since the first attack, the rim has been "spitting out" a variety of gigantic monsters at an increasing rate, which then stride out of the ocean and begin destroying sea-bordering cities, like Tokyo and Los Angeles. In order to combat these monstrous, otherworldly menaces, the military developed the "Jaeger" program, which trains teams of two pilots to jointly operate massive, building-sized mechanized suits of armor and high-tech weaponry.

    Finally, Curb Your Enthusiasm is getting ready to return to TV, but we can also look forward to seeing some more of Curb comedian J.B. Smoove (Leon!) on the screen in the next year. (He was already in Hall Pass earlier this year.) He has shot parts in We Bought a Zoo and The Sitter, and is now part of The Dictator, which reunites Sacha Baron Cohen with Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles. J.B. Smoove will be a character named Usher, but as is the case with most of the characters in The Dictator (played by Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Jason Mantzoukas, and cameos Megan Fox and John C. Reilly) we don't know much about the role. [THR]