Light Mode

Role Call: Hollywood’s Weekly Casting News

[IMG:L]Rogen Suits Up as New Green Hornet
Knocked Up‘s unlikely hero Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg are in final negotiations to co-write and co-executive-produce The Green Hornet. Rogen is also expected to star as the classic crime-fighting hero himslef. Hornet follows the adventures of Britt Reid, a bored playboy who inherits his father’s crusading newspaper, The Daily Sentinel. By night, he’s a masked hero fighting crime with his sidekick Kato, who has incredible martial-arts skills. The characters are probably best remembered from the 1966 ABC series that starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet and introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee, who played Kato. Having Rogen and Goldberg, who also wrote the upcoming teen sex comedy Superbad, take the green one by the horns seems to signal that the studio is intent on taking the project into more comic territory, Variety reports. Uh, you think? Those involved were mum on details, saying cryptically the project would be “in the tradition of the Green Hornet.” This is gonna be good.

Watts, Owen Stay at The International 
[IMG:R]Naomi Watts has signed on to star opposite Clive Owen in helmer Tom Tykwer‘s action thriller The International. The plot centers on an obsessive Interpol agent (Owen) who spearheads an investigation into one of the world’s most high-profile and powerful banking institutions in an attempt to expose them for worldwide arms brokering, corruption and murder. Watts will play a Manhattan assistant district attorney who partners with the agent to take down the bank. Ah, so it’s the bankers who are the bad guys now, huh? That’s new.

[IMG:L]Tucci Plays Mean in Lovely Bones 
Stanley Tucci is in negotiations to play the pivotal role of killer George Harvey in Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of The Lovely BonesRachel Weisz and Ryan Gosling are already on board to play the parents of Susie Salmon (newcomer Saoirse Ronan), a 14-year-old who has been raped and killed by a neighbor she refers to as Mr. Harvey. Alice Sebold’s best-selling 2002 novel is told from the perspective of Susie, who looks down on her family and Harvey from the afterlife. The always good Tucci will be perfect for the role–but you might not look at him the same way again.

- Advertisement -

Bringing City of Ember to Life
[IMG:R]Tim Robbins, Martin LandauMarianne Jean-Baptiste and Harry Treadaway will star opposite Bill Murray and Toby Jones in the fantasy feature City of Ember, based on the novel by Jeanne DuPrau. Robbins will play an inventor holding a secret to the magical, glittering city whose power generator is failing. Landau will play the boss of Robbins‘ character’s teen son (Treadaway), a teen who works at the city’s mysterious Pipeworks while seeking to save the city. Jean-Baptiste will play a tough greenhouse worker. Gil Kenan (Monster House) is directing. Being a sucker for these fantasy types, I’m thoroughly intrigued.

[IMG:L]How the Napa Valley Got Started
Chris Pine, Rachael Taylor, Eliza DushkuBill Pullman and Alan Rickman are toasting Bottle Shock, a drama about the birth of the Napa Valley wine industry from filmmaker Randall M. Miller. Set in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of the Montelena Winery, which won an international wine-tasting competition and put the California region on the wine map. Pine portrays the son of the vineyard owner, who saves the winery and represents Napa in the French tasting, while Taylor plays a university student who interns at the winery. Dushku‘s role is that of a local bartender, and Pullman plays the owner of the run-down winery, who clashes with his son. Rickman will play an Englishman who runs L’Academie du Vin in Paris and is the chief architect of the blind-tasting challenge that results in an upset victory for the American vintages. Interesting premise, but do you need to see it now? Let’s just hope it’s more entertaining than Russell Crowe’s whiney A Good Year.

Lynch, Vilanch Join Tru Loved 
[IMG:R]Jane Lynch (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) and comedy writer Bruce Vilanch have joined the ensemble cast of the gay-themed coming-of-age independent feature Tru Loved. The film centers on Tru (Najarra Townsend), the straight daughter of a lesbian couple (Alexandra Paul, Cynda Williams) who faces challenges when her family moves from San Francisco to a conservative Southern California suburb. Openly lesbian actress Lynch will play Ms. Maple, one of Tru’s teachers and the girlfriend of Tru’s favorite teacher (Alec Mapa). Openly gay comedian Vilanch will play Daniel, the adopted father of Tru’s love interest (Jake Abel). The cast is eclectic and there’s potential, but the film still sounds more suited for HBO. Or better yet, Showtime.

[IMG:L]Street Smarts 
Vivica A. Fox and Rachel Miner will star and Laura Ramsey and Toby Hemingway are in final negotiations to star in York Shackleton’s Street, the true story of a 16-year-old runaway. In the project, Fox will portray a woman who helps and mentors Lexi (Ramsey), a girl with a troubled mother, a convict father and a caring sister (Miner). After running away with a boyfriend who ends up abusing her, she finds shelter and love with a drug-addicted street kid (Hemingway) who teaches her how to survive in a tough Portland, Ore., neighborhood. And this isn’t airing on Lifetime Television? What a shame.

Speaking of Vivica A. Fox…
[IMG:R]The lovely Ms. Fox is also starring with Steve GuttenbergRyan Sypek and Saturday Night Live alumna Cheri Oteri have been cast opposite Jessica Simpson in the comedy Major Movie Star. The story is about Megan (Simpson), a somewhat clueless movie star who impulsively enlists in the U.S. Army Reserve after discovering that her boyfriend is gay and her cousin/accountant has stolen all her money. Fox will play Sgt. Louisa Morley, an intimidating training officer who’s tough on Megan. Guttenberg will play her controlling agent, Sidney Green, who’s furious at her for enlisting. Sypek will play the handsome officer Megan falls for. Oteri will play the most gung-ho recruit on the base and Megan’s arch-nemesis. Wow, this really sounds like a knock-off of Private Benjamin–but not a very good one.

Until next week…

- Advertisement -