Casting: Russell Crowe and Will Smith Help Save 'Winter's Tale,' 'Me & My Shadow' Gets Comedic Cast & Shia LaBeouf Becomes 'Charlie Countryman'

Casting: Russell Crowe and Will Smith Help Save 'Winter's Tale,' 'Me & My Shadow' Gets Comedic Cast & Shia LaBeouf Becomes 'Charlie Countryman'

Feb 01, 2012

-- A Beautiful Mind's Akiva Goldsman hasn't had an easy time adapting the magical-realism story Winter's Tale for Warner Bros. due to some frustrating financial issues. Vulture reports, however, that the remake of Mark Helprin's 1983 novel may be moving ahead — thanks to Goldsman "[calling] in every favor he had." That favor comes in the form of previous collaborators Russell Crowe and Will Smith. The Gladiator star is in talks to play gangster boss Pearly Soames, while the Men in Black actor would appear as a judge. No lead roles have been cast at this time for the 19th century flashback story about a thief that falls in love with a dying girl who lives in a house he targeted. While Crowe and Smith's star power will certainly help, Goldsman has also shaved $20 million from the budget. We hope that doesn't mean the rendering of the magical, flying white horse in the story will suffer. Yes, really.

-- DreamWorks Animation's fantasy feature Me & My Shadow will star Kate Hudson, Saturday Night Live favorite Bill Hader, and Book of Mormon actor Josh Gad, according to THR. Head How to Train Your Dragon writer Alessandro Carloni will be directing the film (his first) centering on a shadow boy named Stan (Hader). He longs to live a life full of adventure and excitement, but instead he's attached to a shy boy named Stanley (Gad). When Stan's shadow world is put into jeopardy, he's forced to take control of the dull boy to evade a dark villain. Hudson will voice the love interest. That's nice — but we think DreamWorks Animation's hottest movie would be better with more gummi bear kisses, teddy graham people, human bathmats, and Furckles.

-- Variety is reporting that Shia LaBeouf will be leading The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which now has commercial director Fredrik Bond attached to direct. LaBeouf plays Charlie — your average guy in love, until he realizes that the enigmatic and irresistible woman he fell for is the ex girlfriend of a violent crime boss. LaBeouf gets the part after almost being passed over for Zac Efron, since scheduling issues prevented the Transformers star from signing on months back. Voltage Productions is describing the story as a pulp romance.

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Ken Jeong