1.) A Twitter update from West Hollywood, CA radio show the Matthew and Aaron Show reveals news Frank Grillo (The Grey) has tested for a role as Crossbones, a villain in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Mattew and Aaron Show tweet did not specify a specific film, however, noting only a “Marvel movie” but Grillo essentially confirmed the news posting on Twitter a tweet that has since been deleted that read, “See Ya LA. It was a a good trip. Marvel was a lot of fun. Be cool if it works out. #CaptainAmerica.” [CBM]
2.) Tate Taylor (The Help) is in negotiations to direct an untitled biopic telling the story of the late James Brown for producers Brian Grazer and Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger. The story charts Brown’s rise from extreme poverty and violence to become “The Godfather of Soul,” one of the most influential black artists in history whose career spanned six decades. Grazer started the project at a time when the singer himself was an active part in its development, before he died in late 2006. Fair Game scripters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth penned the screenplay. [Deadline]
3.) One of Hugh Grant‘s roles in this week’s Cloud Atlas is as a cannibalistic savage, but don’t worry, he’s returning to territory we’re more used to seeing him occupy, a new (and untitled) romantic comedy for writer-director Marc Lawrence who last directed Grant in the 2009 debacle Did You Hear About the Morgans? co-starring Sarah Jessica Parker. Then again, Music and Lyrics and Two Weeks Notice weren’t exactly hits for the duo either.
This new film will begin shooting in New York in April 2013 and is set in the late ’90s with Grant playing Ray Michaels, a witty, sexy, Englishman in Hollywood who has just won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay. Fifteen years later, he’s creatively washed up, divorced, and broke. With no other options, he takes a job teaching screenwriting at a small college on the East Coast. Although the idea of teaching is less than thrilling, he hopes to make some easy money and enjoy the favors of impressionable young co-eds. What he doesn’t expect to find is romance with a single mom whoâ€™s gone back to school. [Deadline]
4.) Looks like Timothy Spall and Mike Leigh are reuniting once again as Spall has said in a recent interview he’ll be playing J.M.W Turner, a 19th century English Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist and printmaker whose name is synonymous with the United Kingdom’s highest art award, the Turner Prize, an annual award given to a British visual artist under the age of 50. The Playlist notes Leigh has been working on the project for a few years now, hoping to raise a larger-than-usual budget for a shoot that would be partially set in Italy, among other places. Spall last worked with Leigh on All or Nothing, but if you have not yet done so I urge you to watch him in Leigh’s excellent 1996 feature Secrets & Lies. [The Daily Telegraph via The Playlist]
5.) Craig Gillespie (Fright Night, Lars and the Real Girl) is set to direct a new sports drama for Disney titled Million Dollar Arm with Jon Hamm set to star. Written by Tom McCarthy (Win Win), the film is based on the true story of how sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) discovered professional pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through a reality show he staged in India with cricket players. [Variety]