The Casting Couch: April 19, 2006

ON
RICKMAN AND THOMAS FOR VILLA GOLITSYN

Alan Rickman and Kristin Scott Thomas are set to star in The Villa Golitsyn, a drama set in the South of France based on Piers Paul Read’s novel of the same name.

In the story, diplomat Simon Milson arrives in Nice to stay with friends Willy and Priscilla Ludley (Rickman & Thomas) but soon discovers their French idyll about to fall apart. Willy is drinking himself to death, and Priss appears powerless to stop him. Despite being lulled by wine, sun and his old friend Willy’s charm and affection, Simon has been charged by his superiors with an important mission. He has to establish if it was Willy’s treachery that led to the brutal torture and murder of a fellow foreign office colleague in Borneo.

Further distractions are provided by fellow guest Charlie and his new America fiacand, the charming and naive runaway school girl Helen, who has mysteriously attached herself to them all. Simon is surprised to find himself falling in love with Priss and even supporting her in her belief that Helen will provide Willys salvation. But it soon becomes frighteningly clear that there is indeed something about his past that is tormenting Willy, and as events lead to a startling and incredible revelation, there is nothing that any of them can do to avert the awaiting tragedy.

Shooting is scheduled to run from June 5 to July 28.

SOURCE: Production Weekly

CRUISE AND HOLMES HAVE A BABY

What? This isn’t casting news? Are you kidding me? The next movie star was just born as Katie Holmes gave birth to a girl, Suri, April 18, in Los Angeles.

The baby has already thrown a kink in Mr. Tom Cruise‘s Mission: Impossible 3 publicity tour as he cancelled his appearance at today’s LA junket and his decision to attend any future promotional events will be made on a day-to-day basis.

As for the film, well Ain’t It Cool News has up the first review I have read and it is quite favorable, although it is a tad wordy. M:I 3 opens May 5.

SOURCE: Variety

DANCING QUEENS HEAD TO THEATER

The musical “Mamma Mia!” is heading to the big screen with a late 2007 release being eyed. The pic will be produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

The film will stick closely to the crowd-pleasing musical’s plot with Catherine Johnson penning the screenplay. Raised on a Greek island by a formerly rebellious mom who never disclosed the identity of her father, a bride-to-be locates three men who might be her father and invites them to her wedding. The resulting conflict triggers 22 Abba hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.”

SOURCE: Variety

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME, ME, ME
New Line Cinema has picked up the comedy pitch Me, Me, Me from Johnny Rosenthal for Shawn Levy and Tom McNulty to produce.

The pic centers on the world’s most obnoxious narcissist, who wishes people could be more like him and then enters a living hell when his dream becomes a reality.

SOURCE: Variety

MGM SUFFERS DEATH AT A FUNERAL
MGM has picked up the indie comedy Death at a Funeral, which will be directed by Frank Oz and stars Matthew Macfadyen, Peter Dinklage and Ewen Bremner.

The pic revolves around a dysfunctional Brit family as they gather to mourn the passing of their patriarch. But a sober, heartfelt goodbye turns into calamity.

SOURCE: Variety

ROBERTS’ STAGE DAYS BEGIN

Once again, not a casting bit but interesting to some I am sure as Julia Roberts is ready to take to the stage as she goes under the direction of Joe Mantello for Three Days of Rain which opens on Broadway today. Roberts stars opposite Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper in the play which will have a limited run at the Jacobs Theatre, a run that is reportedly sold out. The 12-week engagement will run through June 18.

In the play Roberts plays Nan, the practical sister of the erratic Walker (Rudd). The two are the children of a famous architect, who was business partners with the father of their longtime friend, Pip (Cooper), the play’s third character. The first act finds the three, all somewhat estranged from one another, trying to dope out a journal left behind by Nan and Walker’s dad, particularly the mysterious entry “three days of rain.” In the second act, the time frame shirts back in time a few decades and the three play the parents of the first-act characters (in Roberts’ case, a vivacious and unstable Southern belle).

SOURCE: Playbill

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