The Casting Couch: April 12, 2006

ON
WILL SMITH PICS UP GREENBACKS

Will Smith has just been attached to star in Greenbacks for 20th Century Fox based on a pitch by Doug Cook and David Weisberg.

The action flick is set in Morocco and revolves around an American ex-patriot who stumbles across a plot to destabilize the world’s economy by mass-producing perfect counterfeit greenbacks.

SOURCE: Variety

QUEEN LATIFAH IS ON WELFARE

Variety is reporting that Queen Latifah is set to star in Welfare Queen for Rogue Pictures.

The film is based on the life of Dorothy Woods and is described as a fact based story of a woman who scammed the welfare system out of a fortune.

“This is the first major deal we’ve signed with a studio, and we did it because we felt confident we could go from Welfare Queen to Horror in the Hamptons, which is a script by Alex Mirkin about a bunch of 16-year-olds chopping each other up,” Latifah told Variety. “We get our hands on a lot of material we can do well, and our dream is to work up to producing three movies a year. The deal isn’t based on me being in every film.”

SOURCE: Variety

MACDONALD SUBMITS THE 28TH AMENDMENT
Kevin Macdonald is set to direct 28th Amendment for Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Oscar-winning documentary director (One Day in September) will helm the story which revolves around a young U.S. president who discovers the existence of a secret cabal that runs the government and wants him dead.

You may be more familiar with Macdonald’s latest documentary Touching the Void and he will also be directing the upcoming Fox Searchlight feature The Last King of Scotland starring Forrest Whitaker, which is expected to be released later this year.

SOURCE: Variety

STALLION DECIDES TO DIPPE INTO THE WICKED CITY
I really don’t care about this one, but I thought some of you may as Germany’s Stallion Film along with director Mark Dippe (Spawn) are planning on retooling the Japanese manga Wicked City into a live-action English-language pic.

Wicked City concerns beasts from a parallel dimension and a secret resistance organization trying to prevent the apocalypse.

Original books by Hideyuki Kikuchi, bestsellers in the early 1980s, were adapted as anime “Yoju toshi” by Yoshiaki Kawajiri. Stallion has acquired rights, and Dippe and Johnny Hartmann are penning the screenplay.

SOURCE: Variety

MARA FALLS FOR WAHLBERG IN SHOOTER

Kate Mara is set to play Mark Wahlberg‘s love interest in the Antoine Fuqua helmed feature The Shooter for Paramount Pictures.

The film is based on “Point of Impact,” a novel by Stephen Hunter, which centers around a master sniper (Wahlberg) lured out of a reclusive existence to prevent an assassination. He’s double-crossed and hunted for a murder.

If you aren’t sure who Mara is, think to Heath Ledger’s daughter in Brokeback Mountain, she will also be seen in McG’s We Are Marshall.

SOURCE: Variety

TYRESE PENNED SCRIPT GETS PICKED UP

Did you know Tyrese was a writer? Me neither, but apparently he has penned a script and it has just been acquired by Screen Gems for Tyrese to star in and produce.

The pic will be titled To Each His Own and is described as an urban drama about two friends in conflict, through his HQ Pictures banner.

Apparently this isn’t his first soirée into writing as he also pitched a couple of stories earlier but neither of them turned out the way he wanted. Now that To Each His Own is moving along he plans to go back to a one of his early works and give it a rewrite.

“My own interest was borne out of the frustration of watching white and Latino guys write these urban movies that had no genuine (ear) for the dialogue,” Gibson told Variety.

SOURCE: Variety

KRUMHOLTZ JOINS WOODY ALLEN PIC
David Krumholtz is set to star opposite Michelle Williams in Woody Allen‘s next untitled Paris-set feature, which is said to focus on a trio of young Americans in the City of Lights. The film is expected to begin shooting this summer.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

RAJA SAYS IT NEVER HAPPENED
Writing duo Mark Gibson and Phil Halprin penned Never Happened and Universal Pictures has picked it up for Raja Gosnell to direct.

The story is being kept quiet, but it is described by The Hollywood Reporter as a contemporary high-concept relationship comedy in the vein of It’s a Wonderful Life.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

HOW TO LOSE SEQUEL GETS WRITERS
Quick bit here as Paramount Pictures has tapped Keith Merryman and David A. Newman to pen How to Lose It All, the sequel to the hit Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey rom-com How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

FRED DURST IS DIRECTING A MOVIE?
Wow, this one has me doubting it already, but maybe that is because I think Fred Durst is a self-congratulatory troll.

The news is that Durst is set to make his directorial debut on his very own indie pic The Education of Charlie Banks with shooting expected to begin on June 12 in Providence, R.I.

The story centers on a Vassar College student who gets an unannounced visit from the scariest kid from his old New York neighborhood. The kid wears a backwards red cap all the time and claims to have slept with Britney Spears when he really didn’t.

I added that last part.

SOURCE: Variety

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