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Role Call: Hollywood’s Weekly Casting News

[IMG:L]Let’s Hear It for More Sex!
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim CattrallKristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon–the four women who spiced up Manhattan’s singles scene for six years on the HBO television series Sex and the City, appear headed for a big-screen reunion after all. Well, of course they are. Making the show was probably some of the best times of their lives. Longtime series executive producer Michael Patrick King will direct the film from his own script and serve as producer, along with Parker and series creator Darren Star, Variety reports. Plans for a movie were first revealed by HBO in early 2004, months before the show ended its six-season run. Made sense to make a movie after the show ended, and the girls were up for it—except one. According to Variety, Cattrall, who plays Sex’s sultry, slightly older PR guru Samantha, sought greater script control and a salary closer to that of Parker, who was more highly paid than her co-stars because she was a co-executive producer of the series. Variety said Cattrall ultimately was won over with a sweetened offer that included a series deal with HBO. Please. What else is she doing these days?

[IMG:R]Carrey’s Scrooged
Jim Carrey will play Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future in a new big-screen version of Charles Dickiens’ A Christmas CarolRobert Zemeckis wrote and will direct the film, which will be made for a 3-D stereoscopic release. Oh, I see. They can get away with another Christmas Carol by making it 3-D. And even though Carrey sort of already played a Christmas curmudgeon The Grinch, he can get away with doing Christmas Carol by playing multiple parts. Like he did in the Lemony Snicket movie. Frankly, I don’t see the need.

[IMG:L]A Traitor Among Us 
Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce have signed to topline the espionage thriller Traitor. The story centers on a CIA operative who becomes a terrorist suspect while working undercover with a terrorist group. Cheadle will play the undercover agent, while Pearce will play an FBI agent investigating terrorist activities. Jeffrey Nachmanoff will direct the project from his own script, which is based on an original idea from actor/comic/writer Steve Martin. Wait, back up…Steve Martin? Even though there is a glut of these spy/terrorist movie ideas, the fact Martin has dreamed up a scenario intrigues me.

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[IMG:R]Things Are Burning Up for Theron 
Charlize Theron will star in The Burning Plain, a drama that marks the feature directing debut of Babel screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, who also wrote 21 Grams and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Much like his past scripts, The Burning Plain consists of thematically connected storylines. “There are very intense love stories here that take place in different places and times, with characters trying to find the healing powers of love, forgiveness and redemption,” Arriaga told VarietyTheron will play the role of Sylvia, who tries to find common ground with her parents after a turbulent childhood. The screenwriter-turned-director also told Variety that after 11 years of scripting–including his long collaboration with Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu–it was time to write one for himself to direct. I agree.

[IMG:L]Spacey Suits Up for More Superman 
Kevin Spacey will return as Lex Luthor in director Bryan Singer’s sequel Superman: Man of Steel. Spacey hopes to shoot his Luthor role in a six-week block, as he did on Superman Returns. Spacey is also starring in Telstar, Nick Moran’s film version of Moran and James Hicks’ 2005 darkly comic West End play about flamboyant ’60s record mogul Joe Meek. The story centers on Meek, the gay, tone deaf songwriter-producer who produced hits including “Have I the Right,” “Just Like Eddie,” “Johnny, Remember Me” and the instrumental “Telstar.” Con O’Neill reprises his stage role as Meek, while Spacey plays his financier, Major Banks.

[IMG:R]Esposito, Kilmer Involved in a Conspiracy 
Jennifer Esposito will star opposite Val Kilmer in the indie drama ConspiracyEsposito, who appeared in the Oscar-winning ensemble drama Crash, will play the hardworking single mother of an 8-year-old daughter and the survivor of an abusive marriage. Her character becomes involved with a wounded special-ops Iraq War veteran (Kilmer) after he arrives in her Arizona town to visit an old friend. Complications arise when he discovers that his friend has disappeared without a trace and no one will acknowledge that the man was ever there. Kilmer as the leading man, eh? It’s been awhile for the eccentric actor. Let’s see how he handles it.

[IMG:L]Speaking of Eccentric… 
Dennis Hopper for president? Quirkier things have happened. The actor will join Kevin Costner, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley TucciGeorge Lopez and newcomer Madeline Carroll in the Costner-produced Swing Vote. The populist comedy is about an apathetic working-class single dad (Costner) who’s thrust on the world stage when the presidential election comes down to his vote. Hopper and Grammer will play the Democratic candidate and Republican incumbents, respectively, while Lane and Tucci will play their respective campaign managers. Lopez will play the local TV station manager whose town is descended upon by the political machinery of both parties. I just don’t see this as being funny, but I’ve been wrong.

[IMG:R]Rockwell, Huston Nearly Choke to Death 
Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston are starring in Choke, an adaptation of a Chuck Palahniuk novel that marks the directorial debut of actor Clark Gregg, who also wrote the adaptation. Published in 2001, Choke was the first New York Times best-seller from Palahniuk, who penned Fight Club. The black comedy follows Victor Mancini (Rockwell), a sex addict who works as a Colonial War re-enactor and runs a con scheme that involves deliberately choking in restaurants and then attaching himself parasitically to his rescuers, all to fund his mother’s (Huston) care at a private mental hospital. He is forced to address his intimacy issues when he falls in love with his mother’s doctor and discovers that he is unable to perform with the one woman he actually likes. Kelly MacDonald (No Country for Old Men) and Brad Henke (In the Valley of Elah). Now, this is something creative and different to look forward to.

[IMG:L]This, However, Is NOT…
American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee will make her studio acting debut as a pregnant hippie in an untitled comedy starring Anna Faris. McPhee, Emma Stone, Rumer WillisKat Dennings and comedian Dana Goodman have signed on to co-star in the feature. The story centers on a Playboy bunny (Faris) who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion and becomes the house mother to the lamest sorority on campus. Stone will play the president of the sorority; Willis will play an insecure young woman who wears a back brace even though she could have had it removed years ago; Dennings will portray a women’s studies feminist; and Goodman will play the sister who keeps switching majors and should have graduated years ago. Also cast is Sarah Wright (Made of Honor), who will play a conniving young woman from a popular sorority. Ugh.

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[IMG:R]Footloose and Fancy Free
Why, why, why…? Paramount is plotting a musical remake of the 1984 film Footloose and will develop it for High School Musical star Zac Efron, who can also be seen in the upcoming musical Hairspray. Efron is in talks to play Ren McCormack, the rebellious newcomer (originally played by Kevin Bacon) in a town where dancing has been banned. The plan is to turn this Footloose into a full-blown musical, following along the same lines as the recent Broadway show. Must be a trend.

Until next week…

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