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Alicia Vikander cast as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Only supporting actress winners are allowed to play this role!

"What on earth can Alicia bring to this role, and why bother? Good luck." - Tom F

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Entries in casting (122)

Thursday
Apr282016

A Deluge of Kennedys

Murtada here. Within the next two years, there will be three movies about The Kennedys. They seem to be as fascinating to filmmakers as the British Royal family. Even less famous members of the family are now subjects of movies.

Diana (2013) was both a car crash and framed its story by a notorious car crash. Now it's time for the Kennedys' own notorious car crash. Announced this week is Chappaquiddick with Jason Clarke as Ted Kennedy. The film tell the story of 1969 tragic car accident that involved Ted and took the life of teacher and political campaigner Mary Jo Kopechne. How Ted handled the aftermath - leaving the scene, waiting hours to report it - led of course to the end of any presidential aspirations he might have had. The film will be directed by John Curran, who previously directed The Painted Veil (2006) and Tracks (2013).

The very busy Emma Stone - currently being Billie Jean King - is set to play another JFK sibling, the lesser-known eldest sister Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy in Letters from Rosemary. Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s first born was lobotomised at the age of 23 after developing violent mood swings that embarrassed her famous family. The film is reportedly about the events leading up to the lobotomy and its aftermath. We assume this might be a project that will not be popular within the family. Not that they would ever comment about any of the many projects about them. Royals don’t do that!

The first project we will likely see though is Pablo Larrain’s Jackie about the immediate aftermath of JFK’s assassination. Once earmarked for Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz, it now stars Natalie Portman as Jackie and Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby. Aronofsky remains a producer. Production pictures have been released months ago, so we assume it’s in post production and might appear on the fall festival circuit. Sarsgaard’s hair seems wrong, although Portman’s costumes are spot on. Jackie tackles much covered territory, what more could be added to those often discussed few days? The other two projects are about more obscure chapters in the family history, which could mean they might be more interesting.

Still that’s just way too many projects about one rich and powerful family. There’s even an upcoming sequel to the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys, with Matthew Perry as Ted and Katie Holmes reprising her Jackie. I’m already exhausted, are you?

Friday
Apr152016

Pfeiffer + Aronofsky = !!!!!!!!!!!

Pfeiffer in Beat-Up Little SeagullJust so everyone knows, I am indeed still alive. After briefly passing out. I was on a flight when news broke that Michelle Pfeiffer had signed on to the cast of the new untitled Darren Aronofsky film due in 2017 with filming to start this June.

La Pfeiffer has been MIA from the movies in a significant way since White Oleander (2002) her last Oscar worthy performance (she has famously never won despite multiple breathtaking star turns)  and the last onscreen appearance without significant breaks thereafter. She flirted with a comeback in a brief flurry of activity around 2007-2008 (Stardust & Cheri being the highlights) but it's been relatively quiet since then. But no more?...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr142016

First Look: Battle of the Sexes

Murtada here. So you have a new movie about a very popular internationally recognizable person, what to do to announce that your film has started shooting? Why get Billie Jean King herself to tweet a photo of your two stars, right next to the two real life people they are playing. Get everyone talking about the uncanny likeness. Easy peasy, the internet ate it up!

Battle of the Sexes is about the 1973 tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs that made headlines worldwide and still stands in the culture as encapsulation of 1970s changing social attitudes about sport and feminism. Emma Stone is King and Steve Carrell is Riggs and boy do they look the part. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) are directing, the supporting cast includes Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue and in a Birdman reunion Andrea Riseborough as Marilyn Barnett, King’s girlfriend at the time. It was surprising to see Danny Boyle's name as a producer, although not so much when seeing his Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours partner Simon Beaufoy as the screenwriter.

Barnett during the alimony trial.

Riseborough’s casting hopefully means that the movie will explore the tumultuous relationship between King and Barnett. Their relationship became public in 1980 when Barnett sued for alimony, outing King and putting her in the path of LGBT rights advocacy. That was 7 years after the battle of the sexes, so we are keeping hopes tempered.

The film just started shooting, so we have a long wait before we can see it, perhaps in the second half of 2017. However since this is an awards site, it’s never too early to speculate. We know that playing a real life person - with that person making the campaign rounds alongside the actor - is a surefire way to win an Oscar. The movie has to be good of course, this one at least has the pedigree. Will this be Emma’s moment? 

Thursday
Apr142016

Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance's Shotgun Wedding

After two consecutive casting announcements from Amblin Entertainment, it’s official: Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance are, like, totally BFFs! As if collaborating their way to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and finally bringing the Roald Dahl classic The BFG to the big screen weren’t enough, it looks like this dynamic duo – what are we calling them - Stark? Ryberg? Spylance? – are gonna shack up for two more big screen ventures. You won’t see us complaining. If Bridge of Spies was any indication, this fusing of sensibilities has the makings of a director-actor partnership for the ages.

While we’re on the subject of theatre and film titans merging, the plot thickens. As spilled on Twitter by Mark Harris, the entertainment industry’s atom-splitter emeritus, Lincoln’s dream team of Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize (and, in a just world, Oscar) winner Tony Kushner is triangulating with Rylance to bring The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara to theaters in 2017. Rylance will portray Pope Pius IX in this custody tale of a young Jewish yet baptized boy torn from his Italian family and thrust into a life in the Vatican. Giving Francis a run for his money in the saying a lot with a little department, one can expect Rylance to cheekily intone conflicts of dogma and birthright with a little more papal pomp and circumstance than his Academy Award-winning role. While the pedigrees will likely be polarized, one can’t help but think of the captor or savior complex of John Goodman in 10 Cloverfield Lane …but with much more silver-tongued, gold-hatted gravitas, to be sure.

And then yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter filled us in on the fact that Rylance is set to join Spielberg’s sci-fi actioner Ready Player One as an “enigmatic figure with shades of Howard Hughes and Steve Jobs.” Get a room, you two! Per the chronological tradition of Indiana Jones, by the time the credits for Ready Player One are about to roll – this, the fourth in their series – expect the pair to tie the knot with guest Shia LaBoeuf awkwardly linking arms on the side. This fistful of rice is about to explode.

As Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance prepare to team up in cinemas again and again and again, what are some of your favorite director-actor combos in film history?

Tuesday
Mar222016

Gus Van Sant's LGBT Rights Miniseries On ABC Gets Actressy

Laurence here. Sea of Trees; remember that? 2015 wasn't really Gus Van Sant's year, but it seems like he's looking for redeption by going back to his roots. Reuniting with Milk writer, professional Sam Smith-brutaliser and Tom Daley-owner Dustin Lance Black, Van Sant will direct the first episode of ABC miniseries We Will Rise, which is set to follow a diverse group of activists involved in the LGBT+ rights movements.

Other details are scarce but judging by the characters involved, it seems set to centre around HIV/AIDS activism and a particular focus on lesbian activists, so often underrepresented in queer rights narratives, in San Francisco during the early years of the movement there. Guy Pearce has been cast as Cleve Jones, who was played by Emile Hirsch in Milk. And thus far, the cast is rounded out by Carrie Preston as Sally Miller Gearheart, Mary-Louise Parker as women's rights leader Roma Guy, and Rachel Griffiths as her wife, Diane Jones.

Given the ages of the characters now, we can expect this to be a period drama, with flashbacks - each character has a young actor cast to play their younger self. Yet to be cast are two hopefully prominent roles for people of colour: community organiser Ken Jones and trans HIV activist Cecilia Chung. So far it appears to be only straight actors cast in major roles, which may cause a PR problem for the show.

Nevertheless, the main characters are at least partially a corrective to the usual focal points of these stories. On paper, this could be a great miniseries, and American Crime has proved that ABC has been willing to put dimensional queer stories on screen. But with its champion, former ABC president Paul Lee, out the door, it may not quite be the same.

Who do you think we might see cast in the remaining roles?

Thursday
Mar172016

Harrison Ford-ging ahead

Josh reporting on much Harrison Ford news. Ford has long since solidified himself as one of cinema’s most iconic megastars. Following the triple whammy of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner in the early 80’s, Harrison Ford received top billing for every film he was in until Morning Glory in 2010. That’s nearly 3 decades of leading man status. The last decade hasn’t been the series of hits he’s accustomed to with epic flops like Paranoia, Cowboys and Aliens, and Ender’s Game. Which is why we’re heading back to the 80’s and revisiting peak Ford.

The big news this week is he’s once again returning as Indiana Jones for the 5th time. If you’ve already ruined a legacy with an abysmal 4th film, why not just keep making money off it? He’ll be 77 by the time it hits our screen, and whilst age shouldn’t be a restriction on kicking ass on screen, wouldn’t it be nice to see the same for our beloved actresses? Julie Christie is only one year older than Ford. Are you listening Tomb Raider reboot? With Spielberg back, this will be as much a trip down nostalgia lane as it was seeing Ford re-treading the deck of the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens last year.

With the increasingly cinematically adventurous and fascinating Denis Villeneuve at the helm of the Blade Runner sequel Ford is also returning to, there’s every chance we could be in store for a fresh look at the vivid world Scott created in the 80’s. That imagined future was so realised and dynamic, it leaves the story very open for new ambitious directions. So far rumours indicate that Ryan Gosling will actually be the lead, with Ford’s Deckard supporting in a way to anchor it to the universe we know.

The last bit of Ford related news this week is that the casting for the young Han Solo in the Star Wars spin off has been narrowed down to three. Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Alden Ehrenreich, who stole Hail, Caesar! from the rest of a stunning cast, Jack Reynor best known for Transformers: The Age of Who Cares (but solid in indies), and Taron Egerton whose charisma and scientifically perfect jawline made an impactful debut in Kingsman. This unfortunately leaves out contender Emory Cohen who made everyone in the world disappointed in their spouses in comparison to him via Brooklyn.

Are you still a passenger in the Ford car? Is the upcoming deluge of Ford reboots a Harris-ment to your childhood? Have I gone too far with these weak at best Harrison Ford puns? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday
Mar152016

A Series of Unfortunate Casting Decisions

Laurence here with some more casting news from the television world. When news broke in 2014 that Netflix would be adapting Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books into a series, it was exciting. The 2004 film adaptation never really struck a chord, nor was it successful enough to turn into the Harry Potter-esque franchise Nickelodeon wanted it to be. It was received relatively well, but it has become something of a pop culture footnote.

Television is a pretty natural place for an adaptation of a 13-book series, however, and Netflix's love of hurling absurd amounts of money at every algorithmically pleasing premise bade well for a new adaptation.

After a long time spent in 'talks', yesterday it was finally confirmed that the actor cast to play Count Olaf in the series is...Neil Patrick Harris? Now, NPH has been doing solid work in proving his range post-HIMYM. He was enjoyably creepy in Gone Girl, and his stint in Hedwig on Broadway showed he could be, well, Hedwig. But whatever you think about Jim Carrey's performance as Olaf, he was nothing if not indelible.

But NPH as Count Olaf seems, well, a stretch. There's no denying that he has comic chops. But Olaf is an evil, strange, reptilian character, such that casting NPH makes the whole thing feel sanitised and kid-friendly. Add in the fact that their casting of Violet (Malina Weissman) and Klaus (Louis Hynes) seems to be both skewing younger than the film and strangely insistent on replicating the look of the film's stars, Emily Browning and Liam Aiken.

One bright spot, at least, is the casting of Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, who was played by Jude Law in the film. But despite NPH's Halloween costume bona fides, Netflix could have been more creative. Imagine Kathy Najimy as a genderbent Countess Olaf. Imagine.

Perhaps the most curious aspect is that the series is set to be directed, at least at first, by Barry Sonnenfeld of Addams Family Values fame, who was originally set to direct the film. At the time, he hired Daniel Handler (the writer behind the Snicket pen name) to adapt the books as a musical. Given that they have also cast two-time Tony nominee K. Todd Freeman, it will be interesting to find out if that's what we're going to get. But is that what the books deserve?