The Casting Couch: April 18, 2006

ON
LEONI WILL KILL ME
Téa Leoni will play Ben Kingsley‘s love interest in director John Dahl’s next film You Kill Me, a dark comedy/drama scheduled to begin filming later this month in Winnipeg, Canada.

SOURCE: Production Weekly

FOUR JOIN MURPHY’S NORBIT

Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Griffin and Terry Crews have joined Eddie Murphy in DreamWorks Pictures’ Norbit.

The picture is currently underway in Los Angeles under the direction of Brian Robbins.

In the film Murphy will star as Norbit, a meek guy pressed into marrying a monstrous woman (also played by Murphy). When he subsequently meets the woman of his dreams (Newton), he has to figure out a way to be with her. Gooding takes the role of Newton’s boyfriend, while Griffin will star as a retired pimp. Crews (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is in as one of Norbit’s in-laws.

SOURCE: Variety

PACINO TAKES ANOTHER STAB AT DIRECTING

Al Pacino has directed a couple of pics in his past and he is ready for another one as he will bring to the big screen Salomaybe?, which will interweave behind-the-scenes footage from a current Los Angeles staging of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” with fictional elements.

Pacino will direct and also step in front of the camera for the pic in which he plays King Herod in the biblically inspired tragi-comedy about lust and betrayal, which bowed last week at L.A.’s Wadsworth Theater. Others involved in the play will feature in the pic as well including Kevin Anderson, who plays John the Baptist; rising thesp and Juilliard grad Jessica Chastain, who takes on Salome; and the play’s director, Estelle Parsons. As with “Looking for Richard,” additional players will be added as the story unfolds both on stage and on film.

Arclight Films will handle international sales and introduce the pic to buyers at the upcoming Cannes film market.

SOURCE: Variety

ONE MORE ADDED TO WE ARE MARSHALL
It seems on a daily basis I am adding a new name to McG’s We Are Marshall and today isn’t any different as “Deadwood‘s” Ian McShane comes aboard the film which centers on a small town’s efforts to rebuild after the 1970 plane crash that killed nearly the entire football team and coaching staff of Marshall U.

McShane will portray a steel mill exec who deals with losing a son in the crash while serving as an influential university board member constantly challenging attempts to resurrect the football program.

The production is currently underway in West Virginia with a December 8 release date planned.

SOURCE: Variety

CROWE TAPPED FOR TENDERNESS

Russell Crowe has signed on to star in the indie thriller Tenderness for director John Polson and GreeneStreetFilms.

The film follows a violent teenager, Eric, whose life intertwines with Lori, a 16-year-old runaway who can’t resist his charm. Crowe will play Lieutenant Cristofuoro, a cop who sets out to unravel Eric’s complex past.

Crowe will get to work on Tenderness in May just before he goes into production on Universal’s American Gangster in July, followed by the Untitled Baz Luhrmann Project with Nicole Kidman.

SOURCE: Variety

WOODY ALLEN DITCHES PARIS PIC
Hmmmm… This one is a bit bewildering as a Variety article reports that Woody Allen has suddenly scrapped plans to film the untitled Paris pic in which David Krumholtz and Michelle Williams had only recently been cast in.

Apparently Allen is returning to a previous concept of lensing a third film in London, which will be a completely different one from the Paris plan, with a different cast, but the producing team of Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum and Gareth Wiley will remain the same. In traditional fashion, the storyline for the London pic is unknown.

SOURCE: Variety

ZELLWEGER CLASSIFIED AS CASE 39

Renée Zellweger is set to star in the horror-thriller Case 39 for Paramount Pictures based on a script by Ray Wright.

The film centers around a social worker who saves an abused 10-year-old girl from her parents. She discovers, however, that the parents are not the real problem.

The pic is set to begin shooting on July 31 in Vancouver. A director is not currently attached.

SOURCE: Variety

HEIGL REPLACES HATHAWAY IN KNOCKED UP

Back in February it was announced that Anne Hathaway would star in Judd Apatow‘s next pic Knocked Up, but two months have changed all that as “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl has replaced the young actress.

The film already stars the likes of Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.

Apatow is writing the script and will direct the film which is set to begin production this summer as it follows two people who have a one-nighter, realize they aren’t right for each other and then a few months later learn they are going to have a baby.

SOURCE: Variety

MATTHEW PERRY IS NUMB
Matthew Perry has found work after “Friends” as he is set to star in the dark comedy Nub for writer/director Harris Goldberg who will be making his feature directorial debut on the pic.

The film finds Perry playing a screenwriter who suffers from acute depersonalization disorder, a condition so alienating and sanguine that it makes the chronically depressed look perky. When he falls for a girl, he puts himself through every single therapy in the book in order to win her love.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

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