Hugh Jackman Once Again Cast in ‘Prisoners’

The revenge film Prisoners is in a weird position: it seems like very familiar territory to those who closely follow projects in development, but for those who don’t get too interested in films until they’re shot, it might be a total unknown.

In short, Aaron Guzikowski‘s script landed on the Black List in 2009, after which it was briefly set to be a Bryan Singer film with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, before those two actors dropped out and it even more briefly became an Antoine Fuqua and Hugh Jackman movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was interested in it, too, and Michael Fassbender was rumored at one point. In 2011 Incendies director Denis Villeneuve was attached, and he’s finally going to get the movie made, it seems. And he’ll do so with Hugh Jackman in the lead, as the actor just signed on. (Again.) Read More »

Little known fact: casting never stops in Hollywood because movies constantly need actors. See? You learn something new everyday. Here’s one such update with five films that have all made major additions to their cast. After the jump read much more about:

  • Weeds star Mary Louise Parker joining the comic book adaptation R.I.P.D.
  • Anna Paquin, Ryan Phillippe and Luke Wilson all getting Straight A’s
  • Danny Trejo and M.C. Gainey heading to Haunted High
  • Abigail Breslin killing her mom as a Class Project
  • Michael Fassbender being offered the lead in Prisoners

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The history of the development of the film Prisoners is convoluted. Suffice to say that the Aaron Guzikowski script hit the Black List in 2009, was briefly set to be a Bryan Singer film with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, before those two actors dropped out and it briefly became an Antoine Fuqua and Hugh Jackman movie.

But that version never happened, either. Leonardo DiCaprio almost looked like he was going to star, but eventually it was back to square one and a number of other possible directors were floated. Now, with his film Incendies opening in the US this weekend, Denis Villeneuve is looking like the new Prisoners director. Read More »


Aaron Guzikawski‘s hot-sale script Prisoners has certainly been around the block a few times, and in public too. The latest status report comes from Deadline Hollywood Daily who have Leonardo Di Caprio in the frame to take a lead role.

They note that Leo is rather selective about which directors he works with, so his commitment hinges on who signs up to replace Antoine Fuqua in the canvas chair.

Previously: Mark Wahlberg was attached to the script even before it was sold, Bryan Singer considered coming on board and Hugh Jackman was reportedly lined up for one of the two male leads. It’s not clear from this new report if either Wahlberg or Jackman would remain onboard opposite Di Caprio.

If Leo does sign on, he’ll apparently make another film first. Frankly, I’m amazed Prisoners still has so much momentum and I’ll be truly gobsmacked to see it survive another long delay. There’s certainly some hooks on the script, but it didn’t strike me as anything too extraordinary.


Antoine Fuqua‘s upcoming kidnap and revenge drama Prisoners, from the hotly tipped screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski, appears to have found its location… but has it also found its star?

Last night, the local Board of Aldermen carried a motion to allow Warner Bros. to cast the town of Derby in Connecticut as itself in the film and any potential sequels – not that this screenplay suggested franchise material in any way, but I suppose it’s good to cover all bases. Fuqua and crew will be using the local police insignia, the town seal and 750 of the locals as extras.

Mark Wahlberg has been attached to the film since before there was even a director, and I dare say he played some part in the hiring of his Shooter collaborator Fuqua. Previous stories suggested that Christian Bale and Russell Crowe were both considering the co-starring role, but the new rumour now is that Hugh Jackman has taken it.

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Entertainment Weekly are reporting that Bryan Singer has become interested in directing Prisoners. The project first made news when Aaron Guzikowski’s hot spec script started doing the rounds with Mark Wahlberg attached to star. There’s been a whole hive-load of buzz about this one, and I can see why Singer would at least give it careful consideration, but is it really a package he should attach to? Even the least of his past projects – Superman Returns and X-Men – had some real high points in their screenplays, and more than their fair share of rock-steady solid pages too. Can Prisoners compare?

Much of the basic set up of Prisoners is reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, quite oddly. Wahlberg’s role in each film would be the rough equivalent too – the father of an abducted young girl who sets off on her trail ahead of the police and seems set upon exacting some vigilante justice. In most respects, however, the screenplays couldn’t be more different…

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