Daniel Day-Lewis, Original Gangsta

HOLLYWOOD, Calif., May 11, 2000 – There’s really nothing new about another mob movie from Martin Scorsese, is there? How about this: It co-stars Daniel Day-Lewis. Word comes today, via Daily Variety, that the elusive actor, whose last film work was four years ago in “The Boxer,” has joined the cast of Scorsese’s forthcoming “Gangs of New York,” which stars Leonardo Dicaprio. Day-Lewis will play the villain, Bill the Butcher, who tries to thwart gangster Leo’s effort to unite the scrappy street gangs in late 19th-century Gotham.

Day-Lewis, of course, won an Oscar for “My Left Foot,” and he was in Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence.” But no one seems to know for sure what he’s been doing for the past few years, or exactly how Scorsese lured him back into the fold.

Maybe it was the free trip to Rome, where “Gangs of New York” begins filming in August.

Here’s a roundup of other recent casting news:

GOOD DIRECTOR, BAD DIRECTOR: Johnny Depp’s critical and commerical success with director Tim Burton (“Ed Wood,” “Sleepy Hollow“) is well known, as is his lack of it with director Terry Gilliam (“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas“). Nevertheless, Depp will star in Gilliam’s next picture, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.” Quixote will be played by French actor Jean Rochefort, and Depp’s girlfriend Vanessa Paradis will play the knight-errant’s love interest.

CHOW MAIN: Variety also reports that MGM and John Woo’s production company are developing a live-action version of “Bulletproof Monk,” which will star Chow Yun-Fat in the title role. “Monk” is a cult comic book about a Tibetan martial arts guru who tutors a rough-and-tough street kid.

A PLACE IN THE SUN: Wes Bentley, that kid from “American Beauty,” will play Mongtgomery Clift in the forthcoming indie biopic “Monty,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

ROLLERBALLIN’: French guy Jean Reno will play the villain in a remake of the 1975 sci-fi classic “Rollerball.” The new version will be directed by John McTiernan.