Casting/Rumors: Joaquin Phoenix Joins Low Life, Leonardo DiCaprio May Play Villain for Quentin Tarantino

Casting/Rumors: Joaquin Phoenix Joins Low Life, Leonardo DiCaprio May Play Villain for Quentin Tarantino

Jun 01, 2011

Casting

James Gray will be teaming up with Joaquin Phoenix for a fourth go-round – this time without the publicity stunts for the actor's mockumentary I'm Still Here. The duo collaborated most recently on the quietly unassuming Two Lovers, and will be joined by Marion Cotillard -- and possibly Jeremy Renner – for Low Life. Cotillard will play a Polish immigrant whose American dreams quickly turn to nightmares when her trip to Ellis Island takes a dive. In order to keep her dying sister alive, Cotillard's character is forced to trade sexual favors for the food and medicine to cure her. She meets Phoenix along the way who is the "charming sleazebag" that convinces her to sell her body once she arrives in New York. Renner – who is apparently close to signing on to play Phoenix's magician cousin -- sweeps the branded woman off her feet and becomes her best chance to escape her tormented American life.

As Deadline reports the upcoming cast members are quite busy at the moment. Phoenix is working on Paul Thomas Anderson's untitled drama, Cotillard is focusing on The Dark Knight Rises, and Renner has the Tony Gilroy-directed Bourne Legacy to look forward to. Let's hope Gray can keep the impressive team together until Low Life starts shooting next year.

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Paul Thomas Anderson fans have been squirming for more since There Will Be Blood's 2007 release feels like eons ago. The director's newest title – formerly called The Master will be filming June 13, and the list of names added to the project are exciting. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix have already signed on to lead the story about an L. Ron Hubbard/scientology guru, Lancaster Dodd, who returns from Word War II to start his own church. Hoffman plays the religious cult leader who mentors former alcoholic, Freddie Sutton (Phoenix).

Friday Night Lights star Jesse Plemons will take the role as Dodd's son. David Warshofsky – who you'll recognize from a number of film/TV projects, but specifically as H.M. Tilford in Anderson's There Will Be Blood – plays a detective. Laura Dern has also come aboard in an unspecified role, along with Swedish actress Lena Endre, who is best known as Erika Berger from the The Girl With the …. trilogy. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button's Madisen Beaty was also up for a role, as well as Amy Adams, who will delay her work as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel until the fall so she can co-star in The Master, according to Deadline, who announced the deal earlier today. [via The Playlist]

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Harry Potter and Twilight Saga alum Jamie Campbell Bower is in final negotiations to play Jace Wayland in the adaptation of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones – the first book in her Mortal Instruments series. He's replacing Alex Pettyfer, who will be leading The Last Apprentice YA series instead. Lily Collins is the film's heroine, Clary Fray, who has "The Sight" and can observe demons and Shadowhunters. Her mother is kidnapped, and Fray is forced to uncover the secrets of her bloodline while sharpening her own abilities to get her back – with help from the angsty Shadowhunter Wayland of course.

There are six novels in Clare's series, which is bound to become a new teen franchise. The first film is set for a March 2012 release, with shooting starting later this year. {via Deadline]

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Rumors

Director Noah Baumbach put a young Jesse Eisenberg's name of the map with the indie drama The Squid and the Whale in 2005, and now the actor may be locked in place to reunite with Baumbach for While We're Young. Greta Gerwig, Cate Blanchett, and James Franco were previously attached to the project, but have walked through the revolving door, leaving Naomi Watts in talks to play Ben Stiller's other half.

The relationship drama about two very different couples that interconnect doesn't have a female counterpart for Eisenberg's character just yet. Financing and distribution plans are still being worked out, so The Los Angeles Times is stressing that no deals have been set in stone. Eisenberg's been carefully choosing roles after landing an Oscar nom for his performance in David Fincher's The Social Network, but a reunion with Baumbach would be more than perfect if it pans out.

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This definitely won't be the last time you see rumors about Quentin Tarantino's upcoming Django Unchained, but one name that is has people chattering is Leonardo DiCaprio who may be starring as villain Calvin Candie. The rumor comes from Creative Screenwriting's Jeff Goldsmith via Twitter and was vouched for by Variety's Jeff Sneider, but nothing's been confirmed.

QT reportedly wanted DiCaprio for Hands Landa in Inglourious Basterds (hard to imagine anyone being able to top what Christoph Waltz did for the role), and Variety has gabbed that Christoph Waltz's part – the German dentist-cum-bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz – was originally written for the Inception star. So far, we do know that Samuel L.Jackson's been secured as Stephen, Candie's head house slave – and there's still a buzz about Will Smith as the lead character, Django. If the Leo rumors ring true – and you've peeked at the script, which we're avoiding at all costs – can you see the normally heroic actor taking on the sneer-worthy Candie? [via Slashfilm]

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