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Casting : Wahlberg, Britton, Gyllenhaal, Keaton, Key, Grace, Close, Eckhart

A whole bunch of casting announcements today

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Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton are starring in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s newie “Good Joe Bell”, which is filming from next week in Utah.  Based in the book of the same name, the film chronicles the true story of Oregonian father Joe Bell (Wahlberg) who sets out on a walk across America with his son, Jadin (Reid Miller). Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the producers on the film.

Jake Gyllenhaal will star in and executive produce a new limited series at HBO. “Lake Success”, based on Gary Shteyngart’s book, centers on narcissistic, self-deluded and hilariously divorced from the real world, hedge fund manager Barry Cohen (Gyllenhaal) who flees his family, his past and the SEC on a cross-country bus ride in search of his college girlfriend and a last chance at romantic redemption. Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, his brilliant wife Seema struggles to raise their autistic son and begins a tragicomic love affair of her own. [More…]

Michael Keaton is attached to star in “Goodrich” for writer-director Hallie Meyers-Shyer. The story centers on a man named Andy Goodrich in the aftermath of his second wife leaving him. He is faced with taking care of their 9-year-old twins and has to seek help from his adult daughter. [More..]

Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and newcomer Madalen Mills have joined Forest Whitaker in ”Jingle Jangle”, written and directed by David E. Talbert. The film depicts a cobblestone world that comes to life in the event holiday musical tale of an embattled toymaker (Whitaker), his precocious granddaughter (Mills), and a magical invention, that if they can get it to work in time for the holidays, could change their lives forever. [More…]

Jon M.Chu’s feature adaptation of “In the Heights” is singer/songwriter Leslie Grace as Nina and Melissa Barrera as Vanessa. They Join Corey Hawkins, who was previously announced as Benny and Anthony Ramos, who plays Usnavi. [More…]

Glenn Close has joined Amy Adams in Ron Howard and Netflix’s ”Hillbilly Elegy”. The book on which the film is based upon is an account of growing up in the Rust Belt and a personal analysis of the white underclass, race and privilege in America. [More…]

Aaron Eckhart will star in conspiracy thriller “Wander” from director April Mullen. Pic tells of Arthur Bretnik (Eckhart), a mentally unstable private investigator, who, after being hired to probe a suspicious death in the small town of Wander, becomes convinced the case is linked to the same ‘conspiracy cover up’ that caused the death of his daughter. [More…]

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A new look at the J.J Abrams’ Superman

Remember this one? Brett Ratner was going to direct it in the early noughties

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Before being crowned diet Spielberg, not to mention one of the busiest producer-director units around, J.J Abrams (“Mission : Impossible”, “Star Trek”, “Super 8”, “The Force Awakens”) was making a plum living for himself as a well-respected screenwriter.

In the ’90s, he wrote such films as “Regarding Henry” with Harrison Ford and “Forever Young” with Mel Gibson, and a couple of years after, co-wrote “Armageddon” for Michael Bay, the Danny Glover-Joe Pesci comedy “Gone Fishin'”, and “Joy Ride” starring the late Paul Walker.

At the same time he was celebrating big-time TV success with “Felicity” and “Alias”, and later “Lost” and “Fringe”.

Now around the time that he was penning lines for then curly-haired heroine Keri Russell, Abrams was working on a ‘Superman’ script for Warner Bros.  Abrams’ take on the man of steel would be fun but radical, as the Fandom page for the film reminds us :

Flyby was an origin story that included Krypton besieged by a civil war between Jor-El and his corrupt brother, Kata-Zor. Before Kata-Zor sentences Jor-El to prison, Kal-El is launched to Earth to fulfill a prophecy. Adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, he forms a romance with Lois Lane in the Daily Planet. However, Lois is more concerned with exposing Lex Luthor, written as a government agent obsessed with UFO phenomena. Clark reveals himself to the world as Superman, bringing Kata-Zor’s son, Ty-Zor, and three other Kryptonians to Earth. Superman is defeated and killed, and visits Jor-El (who committed suicide on Krypton while in prison) in Kryptonian heaven. Resurrected, he returns to Earth and defeats the four Kryptonians, while the script ends with Superman off to Krypton, leaving a cliffhanger for a sequel.

Brett Ratner, then a much hotter commodity than he is today (aaargh), was attached to direct the film before McG (“Charlie’s Angels”) took over. Warner’s choice for the title role was then it-boy Josh Hartnett and, if I recall correctly, Robert Downey Jr was even attached to play Luthor!

Here are some previously released concept sketches for the big guy…

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The film, of course, didn’t end up coming to fruition and Warners opted to go a safer route with the “Superman” movie franchise and instead greenlight a version that would play as the fourth sequel to the Christopher Reeve-starring films. “Superman Returns”, directed by Brian Singer, was released in 2006.

And that was that for Abrams and his ‘Superman’ dream… or is it? Chatter of late has Abrams and his Bad Robot outfit circling Warner’s next take on the Man of Steel. And as opposed to the aforementioned incarnation, this is a film that he’d likely write but also produce and direct.

Anyway, over on Twitter today, “Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse” helmer Peter Ramsey dropped some storyboards that he’d designed for the proposed 2002 film, which gives us a pretty decent idea as to what the studio were hoping to accomplish with the film. Cool stuff!

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Movie News

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 plot leaks!?

Two hot new additions to the franchise revealed

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More fuel for the ‘Efron in the MCU’  fire today, with a report from oft-reliable Marvel insider ‘4Chan’ (via That Hashtag Show) suggesting the former Disney-staple and “Greatest Showman” star is the studio’s pick to play Adam Warlock in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”.

According to the report (which has since been deleted- interesting..), Efron would play the golden-skinned superhero in this film and possibly other, non-“Guardians” films (Considering the character’s debut in early “Thor” comics, we be thinking there’s  a chance he might pop up in the fourth film in that series.)

The main gist of this film reportedly involves Rocket’s creator, The High Evolutionary, who is the film’s main rogue. The racoon will get loved up with Llyla, who is one of the villain’s experiments. There will be good news for Drax (Dave Bautista), who discovers his daughter is still alive, and Nebula (Karen Gillan) grows closer to her sister’s former flame Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

Efron won’t be the only ‘hunky’ new addition to the franchise, with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor also expected to join the ‘guardians’ for the threequel. In the film, the hammer-wielding Asgardian is said to be stumbling upon Beta Bay.

According to the aforesaid tipster, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3” is designed to be the last instalment in the franchise.

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Movie News

Beowulf star boards Black Widow

Versatile thesp joining Scarlett Johansson “Avengers” prequel

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Ray Winstone, the Essex-born thesp who has proven more adaptable than a universal remote control over the years, has signed on for Marvel’s “Black Widow” film.

The 62-year-old actor, known for such films as “Sexy Beast”, “Indiana Jones the Crystal Skull”, “Beowulf”, “The Departed” and “King of Thieves”, joins a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, reprising her MCU-staple role of Natasha Romanov, with David Harbour, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz.

Marvel have yet to comment on the casting, first revealed by Variety, let alone reveal details of Winstone’s character.

“Black Widow” is currently filming in London.

 

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