Casting, casting, casting and more casting. Or should I say casting, casting, casting and re-casting?
While Keira Knightley is nearly a sure thing to lead “Jack Ryan” alongside Chris Pine, and Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson and E. Roger Mitchell are all confirmed for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” Kristen Stewart is bailing on Nick Cassavetes, ditching her role in “Cali.”
Meanwhile Heather Graham is due to return to the “Hangover” franchise for the third film and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in talks to star in “The Mortal Instruments,” while Kelly Reichardt has lined Jesse Eisenberg up to replace Paul Dano in her film, “Night Moves.”
Read about all of those casting updates and more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Keira Knightley for the Female Lead in “Jack Ryan:” As reported by THR, director Kenneth Branagh has honed in on Keira Knightley to lead the Tom Clancy “Jack Ryan” series prequel and potential franchise starter, “Jack Ryan.” Knightley beat out a number of other options including Evangeline Lilly and Felicity Jones to enter the negotiation stage of the process. Should all go to plan, Knightley will star as Jack Ryan’s (Chris Pine) wife. Ryan is an ex-Marine working as a financial analyst in Moscow who finds out that his employer is financing a terrorist attack.
2. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Adds Enobaria, Brutus, Gloss and Chaff: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” casting saga continues with the addition of four Hunger Games victors. Meta Golding and Bruno Gunn step in as the particularly deadly District 2 duo Enobaria and Brutus. Enobaria is known for having won her Hunger Games by ripping another tribute’s throat with her teeth while Katniss suspects that Brutus is 40 years old yet still foaming at the mouth to take people down in the arena. Hailing from the district of luxuries, District 1, comes Gloss who’ll appropriately be playing by the modelesque Alan Ritchson. E. Roger Mitchell is also on board to play the District 11 victor Chaff, one of Haymitch’s only good friends amongst the Hunger Games victors. Keep an eye on my “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” casting piece over at Movies.com, as I’ll be updating it regularly as the news pours in.
3. Heather Graham Rejoins the Wolf Pack for Round 3: Heather Graham may have missed out on the trip to Thailand, but, according to Variety, she will get the chance to reunite with Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis in “The Hangover Part III.” It’s a curious addition because while Jade and Stu looked as though they’d live happily ever after at the end of the first “Hangover,” the second film had Stu marrying Lauren (Jamie Chung). No word on how the relationships will play out this time around, but the Vegas stripper will return along with Mike Epps and Ken Keong, in addition to an ensemble cast that’s expected to include a number of famous faces in cameo roles.
4. Kristen Stewart Backs Out of “Cali:” “The Twilight Saga” is finally coming to a close, leaving the door wide open for Kristen Stewart to explore new roles and possibly establish herself as a truly talented actress, but she’s not going to get anywhere if she’s ditching gigs. According to Gossip Cop, Stewart recently backed out of the Nick Cassavetes film “Cali” and the filmmakers are attempting to recast the role with Amber Heard. Variety’s Josh Dickey confirmed Stewart’s exit, but also noted, “Reports of a replacement are premature.” Clearly Stewart is struggling with some personal issues at the moment so perhaps backing out of the project was the right decision, but hopefully she did it in as professional manner as possible because it’s certainly no fun losing a lead actor, especially one who was also committed to produce.
5. No Oscar for Jimmy Fallon: Apparently the rumors that Jimmy Fallon was up for the Academy Awards hosting gig were true, but talks didn’t go through as planned. According to the LA Times, the outlet that broke the news to begin with, the arrangement broke down because ABC executives and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger were concerned about giving Fallon the gig because he’s in direct competition with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel. While talking to Matt Lauer at the London Olympics, Fallon himself confirmed that the Academy Awards are a no go. He explained, “I was honored to be asked by the Academy, but it’s not my year.” Making the news even more disappointing is the fact that Fallon seemed genuinely disappointed himself. Check out Lauer’s interview with Fallon for yourself right here.
6. Jonathan Rhys Meyers May Join “The Moral Instruments:” I’m only about 30% of the way through Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” so I’m not in the position to comment on Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ potential casting as Valentine, but there’s certainly no harm in reporting it! According to THR, Rhys Meyers is in negotiations to join the Harald Zwart directed film, which is expected to begin shooting this month in Toronto. Roughly a third of the way through the book, I know Valentine as a Shadowhunter who broke the law by attacking and killing fellow Shadowhunters, someone who is presumed dead, but has something to do with what happen to Clary’s (Lily Collins) mother, Jocelyn (Lena Headey).
7. Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning in Line for “Night Moves:” According to Variety, both Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning are in talks to join Peter Sarsgaard in Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves.” The film follows a trio of eco-terrorists out to destroy a dam. Sarsgaard is confirmed to play the group’s bomb expert and, should the deals go through, Eisenberg will replace Paul Dano as the ringleader and Fanning will take the role of a wealthy girl who funds the plan, a part once thought to be claimed by Rooney Mara. Production is expected to begin in Oregon in October.
8. “Flight” to Close the New York Film Festival: One of the best parts about living in New York City? The New York Film Festival is right around the corner! No word on what my coverage plans will consist of for the September 28 – October 14 event just yet, but there’s a very good chance it’ll include the latest from Robert Zemeckis, “Flight.” The festival recently announced that the Denzel Washington-starrer will close the 50th anniversary festival prior to its November 2, 2012 release. “Flight” features Washington as Whip Whitaker, a pilot who saves his passengers by thwarting a mid-air disaster only to be accused of having flown with alcohol in his system.
9. Trailers: “Red Dawn,” “The Loft,” “Trouble with the Curve:” After having caught the “Red Dawn” trailer ahead of “Total Recall” I offered a brief description of the material in last week’s Cheat Sheet, but this time around, you can catch the piece for yourself as the remake’s promo has finally made its way online. It’s actually a bit better after a second viewing, but when you’ve been waiting for a film for about three years, it’s tough to deliver a piece of promotional material that confirms it’s worth the wait. We’ve also got the first trailer for “The Loft,” which rocks some famous faces and an interesting core concept, but loses its footing and comes across as rather silly thanks to a confusing tone. Last up is the trailer for the Clint Eastwood starrer “Trouble with the Curve.” It’s got cheesy sports movie written all over it, but could offer up a little something special via Eastwood and Amy Adams’ charming father-daughter relationship.
10. Box Office: “The Bourne Legacy” didn’t come anywhere close to where the original “Bourne” trilogy left off box office-wise, but $40.3 million on a $10,752 per theater average is still a solid start. “The Campaign” came out rather strong as well, taking in $27.4 million in total and $8,562 per theater. “The Dark Knight Rises” brings its domestic total to just under $400 million, dropping just 45.3% from weekend three to four and earning another $19.5 million. “Hope Springs” performed especially well, accumulating $15.6 million at just 2,361 theaters. After a lackluster start, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” managed to hold on strong enough to take $8.2 million to the bank, bringing its domestic grand total to $30.6 million, already well passed its $22 million budget. (via Box Office Mojo)