We’ve got a veritable truckload of casting news today – so read on and see what some of your favorite stars are up to.
-- Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are set to team up for Universal’s new comedy, The ID Theft. Sources say Bateman will play a man whose identity is stolen by McCarthy (who happens to be a girl – hilarious hijinks surely follow). The McCarthy part was originally to be played by a male actor, but after her work in Bridesmaids got so much attention, the part was rewritten specifically for the actress. The film starts shooting next year, during McCarthy’s Mike & Molly hiatus.
-- Ryan Phillippe and True Blood star Anna Paquin will team up for Straight A’s, a new comedy from Nu Image. According to Variety, Phillippe plays “a man who's been in and out of rehab for 10 years and is haunted by the ghost of his dead mother pressing him to return home to the family he turned his back on years ago. Outfitted with nothing more than a bag of pills and a sack of weed, he trots back to Shreveport, only to be faced with his brother's wife, who's still pining for him, her first love.” We’re not really sure how this is a comedy, but maybe the synopsis doesn’t do it justice…
-- HBO’s set to bring us another period project, and they’ve gotten the Mildred Pierce team to shepherd it through development. Dope, based on a novel by Sara Gran, will chronicle the adventures of a woman in the 1950s who goes to a farm to beat her smack addiction and returns home and becomes a private eye. Actress Julianne Moore is said to be keenly interested in the role – and since she already has a relationship with the cable channel (she’s playing Sarah Palin in the upcoming Game Change) we suspect if she really wants the part, she’ll get it.
The G.I. Joe casting continues to come fast and furious – and Walton Goggins is the latest name to join Jon Chu’s sequel. Goggins, who received an Emmy nod for his work on FX’s Justified, will play Warden Nigel James in the sequel. He’ll be joining Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, and The RZA in the big budget action flick.
Brad Pitt is currently busy with the screen adaptation of Max Brooks’ World War Z, but the actor is already lining up projects for when his schedule frees up. Pitt is now set to star in The Gray Man – a film based on one of the scripts featured on last year’s Black List of the best unproduced scripts floating around Hollywood. James Gray will direct the tale, about the world’s best assassin (obviously the part for Pitt) who’s on the run after his latest job goes horribly wrong. Doesn’t sound particularly original (Hong Kong made about 8 trillion films with this plotline in the wake of Woo’s The Killer), but the script must be something special if it made the Black List. Variety says that New Regency would like to start shooting The Gray Man next spring, but since Pitt and Angelina Jolie don’t like to work simultaneously, that date might have to be adjusted.