The Casting Couch: Aug. 30, 2006

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Topping today’s casting beat is news from The Hollywood Reporter that Alison Lohman is set to join Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry in DreamWorks’ drama Things We Lost in the Fire. The story centers on a woman (Berry) whose husband (David Duchovny) suddenly dies. Lohman has been cast as the co-dependent girlfriend of Del Toro’s character, the husband’s surviving best friend, who helps the grief-stricken family confront their loss. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Next up, Paramount Pictures has picked up an untitled indie comedy for Anna Faris to headline. The project is based on an original idea by Faris that she brought to Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith telling the story of a newly unemployed centerfold (Faris) with no other skills to parlay into a new career. She then takes the only job she can find — house mother at UCLA’s lamest sorority. [Variety]

Sarah Michelle Gellar is continuing her thriller trend as she is set to star in Addicted for the Yari Film Group and directors Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist. The film is yet another adaptation of an asian horror, this time the 2002 South Korean pic Jungdok. The loosely based adaptation tells a story revolving around a woman whose husband and brother-in-law end up in a coma after a horrible accident. When the brother-in-law wakes up, he says he is her true husband. [Variety]

Next, the French actor Vincent Cassel has signed on for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, which already stars Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts. The pic is set in London and centers on a nurse investigating the identity of a Russian girl who dies in childbirth. The nurse stumbles into danger when she learns the woman was a prostitute involved in sex trafficking. Mortensen plays a man caught up in the Russian mob. Cassel has been cast as Petrid, whose family owns a Russian brothel. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Finally, Tilda Swinton is set to star in the thriller Julia for Erick Zonca. Swinton plays the lead role in the tension filled road movie that gets her deep in trouble trying to extort money using a young boy as the bait. The project is targeted to go into production late-October taking in locations around Los Angeles and Mexico. The film was inspired by John Cassavetes’ 1980 film Gloria. [Production Weekly]

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