The Casting Couch: Sep. 13, 2006

ON

Our first bit of news comes from Production Weekly as we learn that Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Roy Dupuis and Susan Sarandon have all signed on to star in Emotional Arithmetic for director Paolo Barzman. The film is based on the book by Matt Cohen, which probes the intricate possibilities of love and madness and the shadows the past throws upon the present. Three people who formed a life-long bond in a concentration camp are re-united for the first time forty years later in the bucolic setting of a renovated farm. The ’emotional arithmetic’ of the title refers to the characters’ struggle to face the past and move on. For a description on each character click the following link. [Production Weekly]

Next up, Warner Bros. is ready to remake the 1978 comedy Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?. The new film will be titled Who is Killing the Great Chefs? and will be penned by David A. Goodman with Oliver Platt attached to star as one of the two male leads. Platt would play a food critic who comes to Las Vegas to check out the action, reprising the role played by Robert Morley in the original. But when a chef is found murdered in the same way his signature dish is prepared, the critic becomes a suspect. [Variety]

Universal Pictures is keeping in the animation game despite the disappointing return on the critically well-received Curious George earlier this year with a new CGI pic The Tale of Despereaux, an adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal-winning children’s book about one small mouse’s quest to change a kingdom forever. Aboard to voice the characters are Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci and Sigourney Weaver. Mike Johnson will direct the script adapted by Gary Ross. Pic will be released in theaters during the 2008 holiday season. [Variety]

A couple of directors round out this week’s couch and we start with Yoji Yamada, the helmer of the Oscar-nominated The Twilight Samarai. Yamada is set to make his fourth period epic title Kabei based on a novel by Teruyo Nogami, the pic stars Sayuri Yoshinaga in her 112th screen bow as a mother struggling through hard times in feudal Tokyo. Principal photography starts Jan. 20 and release is skedded for 2008 by Shochiku, said Teruki Matsumoto, chief of Shochiku’s filmed entertainment division. [Variety]

We end with news on City of God and Constant Gardener helmer Fernando Meirelles who is returning to Brazil to direct Blindness, a philosophical thriller based on the 1995 novel by Jose Saramago about an epidemic of blindness that sweeps through an unnamed contemporary city and pushes society to the brink of breakdown. The pic will shoot next summer in Sao Paolo, Meirelles’ hometown, and Toronto. Don McKeller penned the screenplay and will also play a supporting role in the movie. [Variety]

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