The Casting Couch: October 4, 2006

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Horror kicks of “The Couch” today as Lionsgate has revealed some final bits of information regarding the upcoming sequel Hostel: Part II. The casting news involves a now famous Potter name as Stanislav Ianevski, who played Victor Krum in Goblet of Fire is aboard the pic along with Richard Bugl, Robert Bart and what I can only assume are two hotties in Vera Jordanova and Milan Knazko. In other news Jay Hernandez’s name is nowhere to be found. Not sure if they are now keeping his part a surprise or if he gets killed off so quick they didn’t feel like making him a key cast member. We’ll see on that front. The pic is now set on a January 5, 2007 release and I just updated the three paragraph synopsis right over here (bit too long for this article). [Lionsgate]

How about a story that no one is going to care about? Well, here it is. Om Puri is joining Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War. Excited aren’t you? Curious who Om Puri is? Join the club, the only thing I was aware of was that he was in the RopeofSilicon database already and was attached to two films, one of which will probably never be made. As for Charlie Wilson’s War, this movie should be pretty good considering Hanks is involved and the adaptation of George Crile’s book was done by Aaron Sorkin. The pic is set to start shooting in Morocco later this month and then move to Los Angeles in December. The story is about the CIA’s largest and most successful covert CIA operation, the arming of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan. The covert ops were engineered by Charlie Wilson (Hanks), a charismatic, wheeler-dealer, liberal Texas congressman who teamed with a rogue CIA operative. The two manipulated Congress, the CIA and a host of foreign governments in order to assist the Afghan rebels in their fight against the Soviets in the 1980s. Many of the men armed by the CIA went on to become the Taliban’s enforcers and Osama bin Laden’s protectors. [Production Weekly]

I never thought “The Casting Couch” would announce the dissolution of a film, but that looks to be what we have here as both Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz have given up on reuniting as they both leave Focus Features’ A Little Game Without Consequence simultaneously (announced 9/6). And that isn’t the end of it, director Gabriele Muccino left as well. Apparently problems with the script were the source of the departures as production was supposed to begin this month in NYC. This news sure has to make screenwriter Allan Loeb feel good about his work. Then again, Muccino wrote the most recent draft so Loeb is probably sleeping just fine. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Ellen Page of Hard Candy acclaim and Michael Cera have signed on to star in Juno for Mandate Pictures and Jason Reitman. The coming-of-age comedy finds Page in the title role as a quick-witted teenager who goes on a difficult, bizarre and humorous journey when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Cera is the loyal best friend and unexpected father responsible for her pregnancy. Diablo Cody wrote the script. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Eduardo Verastigui, Cheech Marin and Danna Garcia will star in The Third Miracle for Media Entertainment and Prelude Pictures and director Rocco Devilliers. The film follows a ragtag team, put together in just three weeks, who stunned the world of baseball by winning 13 straight games by a total score of 99 to 13, relying on the charity of the very people they were beating along the way. The team won the final game on a perfect game with no hits and zero baserunners, marking the only time such a feat has occurred in the championship. Filming is set to begin on October 13 in Charlotte, N.C., and will then move to Monterrey, Mexico and then to Texas. The film is targeted for release worldwide during the 2007 baseball season. [Variety]

Simon West is set to direct Crazy Love, a true crime adventure revolving around a surfer girl who takes up with a drug smuggler and agrees to bring millions of dollars into Pakistan, only to be interrogated by authorities and pursued by a DEA agent. No casting was mentioned. [Variety]

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