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Role Call: Hollywood’s Weekly Casting News

[IMG:L]Poor Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay LohanRosario Dawson and Channing Tatum have joined the cast of grandma gang comedy Poor Things, starring Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis. Poor Things will be directed by Ash Baron Cohen (no relation to Sacha Baron Cohen, aka Borat). The script was inspired by real news events and crime scandals surrounding recent arrests and convictions of elderly women for exploits that have included scams and cons involving drug sales, insurance fraud and murder. Ironically, L.Lo finds herself in some hot water with her recent DUI arrest, so not sure if her participation will be required. Too bad if she doesn’t get to do this one; it has potential.

[IMG:R]Myers Tackles Walter Mitty 
Mike Myers is going to try his hand in getting The Secret Life of Walter Mitty made, the long-in-the works remake of the 1947 Danny Kaye classic. This is the latest incarnation for Mitty, which over the years has attracted the likes of Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy–and even Whoopi Goldberg, in a Martha Mitty version, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Even directors came and went, including Steven Spielberg and Chuck Russell (The Mask). The title character, who originally appeared in a short story by James Thurber, is a quintessential daydreamer whose vivid imagination enables him to escape from the mundane constraints of his ordinary life. Out of the most recent casting choices, I think Myers seems like the best fit.

[IMG:L]Bullock Makes a Proposal; Roberts Heads to Kenya 
Sandra Bullock has been tapped to star in the romantic comedy The Proposal. The movie is about a demanding female boss who agrees to a sham engagement and marriage with her young male assistant when she faces deportation to Canada. Wait, do they fall in love along the way? Gee, I hope so. Meanwhile, Julia Roberts is set to produce and star in a yet-to-be-titles movie about wildlife conservationist Joan Root, who was murdered in her Kenyan home earlier this year. Inspired by the Vanity Fair article, “A Flowering Evil,” it follows Root’s earlier life making documentaries around the globe with her husband. After their divorce, she returned to Kenya where she devoted herself to saving Lake Naivasha from the ecologically damaging flower farm industry. In other words, it’s Gorillas in the Mist with a lake.

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[IMG:R]On More Environmental Issues…
Bollywood actor John Abraham will star opposite Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz in Luna, a film inspired by the true story of an American environmentalist’s fight to save trees. It will be directed by Deepa Mehta, the award-winning Indian director whose last film, Water, about Hindu widows, was short-listed for an Oscar in the best foreign film category this year. Inspired by the life of Julia Hill, the film focuses on the environmentalist (Weisz), who lived in a 1000-year-old redwood tree for 738 days to prevent loggers from cutting it down. Hill eventually forced the lumber company to not only save the ancient tree–which she called “Luna”–but also all trees in her area. Good for her.

[IMG:L]Cuscack, O’Donnell Join American Girl Movie
Joan CusackChris O’Donnell and Julia Ormond are the latest stars to board Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery, the first movie based on the popular American Girl line of dolls. They join previously cast Stanley TucciJane Krakowski and Glenne Headly, as well as Abigail Breslin in the title role. The Depression-era feature tells the story of a clever, resourceful 10-year-old who helps her mother (Ormond) run a Cincinnati boardinghouse when her father (O’Donnell) loses his job. Cusack will play a nurse who moves into the boardinghouse. Additionally, Max Thieriot will play a boy accused of committing robberies, while Wallace Shawn will play the editor-in-chief of the Cincinnati Reporter Register. This should be a big hit for girls 12 and under.

[IMG:R]Brideshead Does Indeed Get Revisited
Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, gets a big-screen adaptation with an all-star cast and directed by Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots). The cast includes Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon, Ben Whishaw, Matthew GoodeHayley Atwell and Greta Scacchi. The movie is set in the years before World War II, when Oxford student Charles Ryder (Goode) gets entangled with the Marchmains, a seductive but troubled family of aristocrats. Whishaw plays the alcoholic Sebastian and Atwell his enigmatic sister, Julia, between whom Charles is caught in a forbidden love triangle. Gambon will play dissolute patriarch Lord Marchmain, and Thompson his devout and controlling wife. Scacchi will play Lord Marchmain’s lover. The book was brought to the small screen in the acclaimed 1981 miniseries starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews. But big screen is just better, isn’t it? I’m waiting for a feature film version of Rich Man, Poor Man.

[IMG:L]Gugino Holds Up Victory Sign; Gooding Plays a Janitor
Carla Gugino, coming off her appearance as Vince’s smokin’ agent on Entourage, is starring in Our Lady of Victory, a basketball drama written and directed by Tim Chambers. Set against the backdrop of the 1972 feminist movement, Victory tells the true story of sassy newlywed Cathy Rush (Gugino), who becomes the head basketball coach at a tiny, all-girls Catholic college, a team with no gym and no uniforms. She eventually leads the team to the first national championship in women’s basketball, while the school’s nuns fight to keep the owners from selling the institution and its land to developers. I’m yawning already. This one doesn’t sound much better. Cuba Gooding Jr. will play a friendly janitor in Harold, an edgy teen comedy which centers on a prematurely balding young teen trying to adapt to a new high school. Gooding Jr, who is also producing the project, will play the school janitor, who befriends and helps the mercilessly teased title character. Edgy? I don’t think so.

[IMG:R]Melodrama at Its Best 
Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) and James Franco (Spider-Man 3) will join Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Nights in Rodanthe, a romantic drama based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, the same guy who wrote The Notebook. Gere plays a doctor who stops at an inn in North Carolina while traveling to reconcile with his estranged son. At the beach town, the doctor has a life-changing romance with an unhappily married woman (Lane). Meloni is playing the role of Lane‘s husband, while Franco plays Gere‘s estranged son. Oh yeah, the tissues will be flying.

Until next week…

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