It’s the end of another week, so it seems like a good time to bring you up to speed on Hollywood’s latest casting news and rumors. Read on for the latest involving Elle Fanning, Natalie Portman, Jeremy Renner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Javier Bardem.
-- Fairy tale-based movies are all the rage in Hollywood this year – there are two separate versions of Snow White in development – and one title that people are keeping an eye on is Maleficent. This new take on Sleeping Beauty has already landed Angelina Jolie (playing the title character), but there's been lots of speculation about who would play her nemesis.
Twitch says the answer is likely to be Elle Fanning. The young actress is in negotiations to take on the role of Princess Aurora. As Twitch points out, it’s not the most daring bit of casting, but we like it anyway. Fanning is a talented actress and should be more than capable of holding her own with Jolie.
-- A few weeks ago, we revealed that Michael Fassbender will take on the lead role in Ridley Scott’s upcoming film The Counselor. Based on a script by novelist Cormac McCarthy, the screenplay came out of nowhere and wound up as one of the hottest things in Hollywood – moving from the script stage to a planned start to production in well under a year.
Sources continually mentioned that a number of big name stars were eagerly vying for parts in the film, and now we’ve got names – the sources weren’t kidding. Jeremy Renner and Javier Bardem have both had “preliminary talks” about joining the project, and Natalie Portman is negotiating to land the part of female lead, Laura – who is Fassbender’s character’s wife.
It’s unclear who Renner and Bardem would play – with some sources saying the actors are vying for the same part. However, as IndieWire points out, there are two other prominent male roles in the film – so it’s possible that Renner and Bardem have their sights set on different characters. One would think that if they are aiming for the same character, Bardem might have the inside track given that he’s already excelled in a McCarthy-based film as the villainous Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men.
Regardless of how things play out, it seems clear that The Counselor will have no shortage of star power in front of and behind the camera when it starts filming later this year.
-- Last, but certainly not least, ComingSoon reports that Dwayne Johnson – better known to wrestling fans as The Rock – is currently in negotiations to reprise his role as Hank Parsons in the upcoming sequel to Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. The third film in the series will also see the return of director Brad Peyton. No word yet on whether or not Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, or the rest of the cast will be back, but since the film is aiming for a 2014 release, there’s still plenty of time to hammer out those details.