Casting Bits: William Hurt In 'The Host;' Abbie Cornish In 'Seven Psychopaths;' Felicity Jones In 'The Invisible Woman'

William Hurt is the latest addition to The Host, the adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's sci-fi romance that will be directed by Andrew Niccol (In Time, Gattaca). The actor is in talks to play Jeb, "eccentric uncle" to Saoirse Ronan's character Melanie. Ronan's character has her mind taken over by an alien intelligence called Wanderer as part of an invasion. But Melanie fights off Wanderer's dominance, and the girl's love for a boy named Jared (Max Irons) ends up infecting the alien.Jake Abel will play another character named Ian, who has his own feelings for Wanderer. In addition to being Melanie's uncle, Jeb is a leader of the human resistance to the alien effort. The Host will be released on March 29, 2013. [EW]

After the break,Abbie Cornish joins the new film from In Bruges director Martin McDonagh, and Felicity Jones will play a lover of Charles Dickens, for director Ralph Fiennes.

One of the last times we talked about Seven Psychopaths, the new film from In Bruges director Martin McDonagh and actor Colin Farrell, it was because Mickey Rourke had shot his mouth off about McDonagh as he explained that he wouldn't do the movie after all. (Seven Psychopaths features, in addition to Farrell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Olga Kurylenko are in the film. It'll probably do OK without Rourke.)

Now the New York Daily News says that Abbie Cornish (Bright Star, Sucker Punch, Limitless, W.E.) has a part in the film, as Kaya, the girlfriend of Farrell's character. Seven Psychopaths is shooting now, so we can hope it'll start to make some festival rounds before too long in 2012 — maybe Cannes? Here's the plot:

From Oscar-winning writer and director Martin McDonagh comes a star-studded, blood-drenched, black comedy. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay Seven Psychopaths. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Billy (Sam Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans (Christopher Walken) is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie's unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.

Finally, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy, the upcoming Warren Beatty Howard Hughes film, if it ever happens) has been cast as Nelly Ternan in a film called The Invisible Woman that Ralph Fiennes will direct as his second feature. The film is based on Claire Tomalin's book, and it follows Ternan, who was an actress and, at 18, a mistress of Charles Dickens, who was 45 at the time. Their affair lasted more than a decade, so Jones will get to play the character across a good span of time.

There is no casting for Dickens at this point — Fiennes was possibly going to play the role himself, but now will evidently find another actor — but this could be a great role for Jones, and an excellent project overall depending upon who gets the nod to play Dickens. Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) wrote the script. [Daily Mail]