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Role Call: Hollywood’s Weekly Casting News

[IMG:L]The Terminator Gets a New Face
Christian Bale–no stranger to a franchise having already tackled Batman–is in negotiations to headline the fourth installment of the Terminator movie series. In Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, the Welsh actor would play the John Connor role originated by Edward Furlong in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day and continued by Nick Stahl in 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Charlie’s Angels director Joseph Nichol, aka “McG,” is in negotiations to direct. The splashy McG and the introspective Bale seem like an odd mix, but maybe the diversity will help matters. James Cameron originated the sci-fi series with 1984’s The Terminator–and made a star out of former body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger as the big, bad human cyborg who said things like, “I’ll be back” in a heavily Austrian accented monotone. The first Terminator robot is sent from the future where machines wage war against humanity and whose goal it is to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of the future leader of the human resistance. As the movies progressed, the son took a more prominent role. In T4, Bale‘s character leads what is left of the human race against the machines. I guess if someone of Bale’s caliber is interested, the script can’t be half bad.

[IMG:R]Crowe Replaces Pitt in Political Thriller 
Russell Crowe is in final negotiations to replace Brad Pitt in State of Play, the delayed political thriller from shutting down. Pitt pulled out of the movie last week, citing script concerns that made him uneasy about starring in the movie. That brought him to loggerheads with the studio, which was adamant about going ahead with the script they had, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Even meetings with the movie’s director, Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland), proved fruitless and thus they began to woo Crowe, who had to see if he could fit the film into his schedule. In an adaptation of a British miniseries, Crowe will play a political consultant-turned-journalist who heads a newspaper’s murder investigation involving a fast-rising politician (Edward Norton). It also stars Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdamsJason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn. Wonder what bothered Pitt about it? I’ll have to see it now.

[IMG:L]Russell Gets in Bed with Sandler 
Keri Russell is in negotiations to star opposite Adam Sandler in the family comedy Bedtime Stories. The story features Sandler as a harried real estate developer whose life is turned upside down when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew begin to come true. Russell would play Sandler‘s potential love interest. Adam Shankman (Hairspray) is directing the feature for Disney. Sounds like typical Sandler shenanigans to me, but I do like Russell, especially after she impressed me with her pie-making ways in Waitress.

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[IMG:R]Zac Efron Will Turn into Matthew Perry as a Grown-Up ?
I guess I could see it. The former Friendster Matthew Perry will play a grown-up version of Zac Efron in the teen comedy 17. In a scenario that is sort of the reverse of Big but more like Freaky Friday, the script follows a middle-aged father who wakes up to find he’s 17 again. In order to be close to his children, he enrolls in their school. Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down) will direct. Leslie Mann will play Perry‘s wife. The High School Musical star is just so hot these days, why not jump on a project with the guy, even if it sounds this frivolous?

[IMG:L]Ruffalo Signs Up for Scorsese Duty 
Mark Ruffalo will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese‘s drama Shutter Island. In this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel, Ruffalo will play U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule, who travels with his new partner (DiCaprio) to the titular Massachusetts island in 1954. As they investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, they encounter a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island. Brokeback Mountain‘s Michelle Williams is in negotiations to play DiCaprio’s wife. Such drama!

[IMG:R]The Case of Kevin Thacker 
Gabriel Mann and Eliza Dushku are set to star in The Thacker Case, an indie film based on a real-life wrongful death case. The story revolves around the real-life mysterious 1983 death of repeat drunk-driving offender Kevin Thacker and the discovery of his body in an alley behind the Marshalltown, Iowa, police department following his latest arrest. Mann (The Bourne Supremacy) will play Stuart Pepper, an up-and-coming attorney who lands the controversial case, which required him to wade through law enforcement corruption and cover-ups. Pepper gained national notoriety from the case. Dushku (Bring It On) will play Pepper’s loyal and dedicated assistant. John Savage will play Thomas Thacker, who asks Pepper to discover the truth behind his son’s death. A tad TV-movie-of-the-week, don’t you think?

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