Casting : Stroll, Johansson, Epps, Dekker, Gyllenhaal, Minaj, Weaving, Speedman, Franco

Corey Stroll (“House of Cards”) has snared the lead role in Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s TV series take on “The Strain”, which is in the works at FX. (Deadline)

“Avengers” babe Scarlett Johansson will headline Luc Besson’s next action-thriller. Called “Lucy”, it’s ”centers on a woman forced to become a drug mule. But the drug instead goes into her system, transforming her into an ass-kicking machine. She can absorb knowledge instantaneously, is able to move objects with her mind and can’t feel pain and other discomforts.” Besson will write, direct and produce – with Christophe Lambert. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Mike Epps and Kat Williams (“Friday After Next”) are in talks to star in the indie action film “Blazin Four”, which revolves around a ragtag quartet of gunslingers hired to protect a small town from marauding Mexican bandits . John Luessenhop will produce and potentially direct. (Deadline)

Thomas Dekker (“Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles”), Haley Bennett (“Music & Lyrics”) and Bob Morley (“Blinder”) will star in the indie drama “The White City”, co-directed by Tanner King Barklow and Gil Koffman. The film tells of a “love triangle between three young artists that develops against the hot political climate of modern Tel Aviv.” (Deadline)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo are in talks for the Tony Gilroy indie thriller “Nightcrawler”, which fixes on as a freelance crime reporter exploring Los Angeles’ criminal nightlife. (Variety)

Nicki Minaj will make her film debut in new Cameron Diaz starrer “The Other Woman”. ”Diaz plays a woman who realizes she is not her boyfriend’s primary lover, and teams up with the man’s wife to plot revenge. Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays the cad, and Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Chicago Fire‘s Taylor Kinney also star. Minaj makes her screen-starring debut, playing the larger-than-life assistant to Diaz’s lawyer character. The assistant is opinionated and sharp and brutally honest.” Nick Cassavettes directs. (Deadline)

Hugo Weaving (“Cloud Atlas”) will star in “The Mule”, an Aussie film from “Saw” writer Leigh Whannell which tells of ” a drug mule who is nabbed by the police and the fallout from that capture.” (Deadline)

Scott Speedman and Julia Stiles are currently shooting “Out of the Dark” for director Lluis Quilez. Lensing in Bogota, Columbia, it tells of “an American couple, Sarah and Paul Harriman, who move to Colombia with their young daughter, Hannah, to take over the manufacturing business owned by Sarah’s father, and soon realize that the house they’ve moved into is haunted.” (Deadline)

James Franco is circling the role Jude Law was originally going to play in Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Dessert”. “If you recall, Herzog lined up Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson to star in the story of Gertrude Bell’s life as a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th Century. Law had signed on to the film, but exited awhile ago to do the play Henry V, and the project ground to a halt. Getting a commitment from Franco would put the picture back on track.” (Deadline)

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