The Casting Couch: April 13, 2006

ON
TRIO JUMP ON WATER HORSE

Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin and Alex Etel are all set to join The Water Horse for director Jay Russell.

The film is based on the Dick King Smith fantasy novel telling the story of a lonely boy in Scotland (Etel) who finds a mysterious egg on the shore of a lake. When the egg hatches, what emerges is a “water horse,” a mythical sea monster of Scottish legend.

Special effects for Water Horse will be done by Weta Digital and Weta Workshop.

SOURCE: Variety

SUTTER AND WB ARE IN-CRIME
Kurt Sutter will make his directorial debut for Warner Bros. Pictures with the drama In-Crime. Sutter also penned the script which is about the Special Investigations Section of the LAPD. Hope is to begin filming later this year.

SOURCE: Variety

BUCK WANTS DEPALMA’S SISTERS
Douglas Buck is ready to direct a feature film remake of Brian DePalma’s Sisters with Lou Doillon, Chloe Sevigny and Stephen Rea set to star.

Script was written by Buck and John Freitas and centers on a young woman, played by Doillon, who leads a disturbingly sheltered existence at the hand of her controlling psychiatrist (Rea). A nosey reporter (Sevigny), suspicious of the doctor’s motives, gets involved, leading to her witnessing a homicide.

Buck told Variety, “In the original film, which I love, DePalma chose style over substance. I’m interested in exploring all the other stuff that’s there — the perversity, the tragedy, the sadness. All those character traits make it, to me, more interesting. I want to make the characters more alive.”

Production is already under way in Vancouver.

SOURCE: Variety

ILLUSIONIST GETS AUG. 18 RELEASE

Not exactly a casting story in any way, shape or form, but I thought some of you may be interested to learn that The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel and Rufus Sewell will be released on August 18 by Yari Film Group.

The story follows a magician (Norton) in turn-of-the-century Vienna who falls in love with Princess Sophie (Biel), a woman well above his social standing. When she becomes engaged to Crown Prince Leopold (Sewell), the magician uses his dark arts to win her back and undermine the stability of the royal house of Vienna.

You can get more, including pics, here.

SOURCE: Variety

ROGUE PICKS UP FUZZ
Rogue Pictures, the genre wing of Focus Features, has picked up Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz. The duo also brought Rogue last year’s zombie spoof Shaun of the Dead.

The synopsis for the pic reads as follows:

Police constable, Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is good at his job, so good in fact, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, his superiors at the Met have decided to sweep him under the carpet. So it is that London’s top cop finds himself in the sleepy West Country village of Sandford. With garden fetes and neighborhood watch meetings replacing the action of the city, Angel struggles to adapt to his situation and finds himself partnered with Danny Butterman (Frost), an oafish but well meaning young Constable, who dreams of being Mel Gibson. Just as all seems lost, a series of grisly accidents motivates Angel into action. Convinced of foul play, Angel realises that Sandford may not be as idyllic as it seems.

For a complete cast listing click here.

SOURCE: Variety

SEGAL SAYS SHAZAM!

Peter Segal who directed the pitiful remake of The Longest Yard is set to direct Shazam! for New Line.

The pic will be a film version of the DC Comics franchise and the story revolves around 15-year-old Billy Batson, who transforms into the mighty mortal Captain Marvel at the mention of the name of Shazam, an ancient Egyptian wizard. Batson suddenly possesses the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury.

William Goldman penned the script with rewrites done by Bryan Goluboff, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow with another one expected.

SOURCE: Variety

DANIELS JOINS MAMA’S BOY

Jeff Daniels will join Jon Heder and Diane Keaton in Mama’s Boy for director Tim Hamilton and Warner Independent Pictures.

The film centers around an arrogant pseudo-intellectual (Heder) whose ideal life of living at home with his angelic mom in Texas is threatened when she falls in love with a self-help guru and prepares to marry him. Daniels will play the suitor, who begins to edge the youth out of the house, prompting a mano-a-mano confrontation.

SOURCE: Variety

ALICIA HAS THE KEYS TO THE NANNY DIARIES
Alicia Keys is set to join the Scarlett Johansson starrer The Nanny Diaries for director Robert Pulcini and The Weinstein Co.

The film is based on the best-selling novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus this is the story of nine frantic months in the life of a young woman impulsively hired to care for the neglected 4-year-old son of a pampered wife and her near-absentee husband, whose marriage begins to disintegrate during the period. The young nanny is aptly named Nan and will be the role Scarlett will be in charge or occupying as she juggles the household’s marital woes, her classes, a romance and a spoiled kid.

Alicia just wrapped production on Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces, for Working Title and Universal in which she stars opposite Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle and Peter Berg.

Nanny Diaries begins lensing in NYC this month.

SOURCE: Variety

ESCARPETA GOES TO MARSHALL
Casting doesn’t quit on McG’s We Are Marshall as NBC’s “American Dreams” thesp, Arlen Escarpeta, joins the cast as freshman Reggie Oliver, who becomes varsity quarterback after most of the Marshall U. football team is killed in a plane crash.

Get more on that pic here.

SOURCE: Variety

HINDS AND TOUB TEND TO NATIVITY
New Line has rounded out the cast of Nativity with Ciaran Hinds as King Herod and Shaun Toub as Mary’s (Keisha Castle-Hughes) father. Pic, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, begins shooting May 1 in Italy and Morocco.

SOURCE: Variety

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