The Casting Couch: May 8, 2006

ON
SOPHIA BUSH CAST FOR LEAD IN HITCHER REMAKE

Sophia Bush (“One Tree Hill’) is set to play the female lead in the horror remake of 1986 classic The Hitcher. Director Dave Meyers’ remake will follow two young travelers who are tormented by a mysterious hitchhiker; the screenwriters are Jake Wade Wall and Eric Brent. Production is scheduled to start June in Austin, Texas.

SOURCE: Production Weekly

DEL TORO AND BERRY ARE ‘LOST’

Benicio Del Toro has signed on and Halle Berry is in negotiations to star in DreamWorks’ drama Things We Lost in the Fire, which centers on a woman (Berry) whose husband suddenly dies. The woman invites her husband’s troubled best friend (Del Toro) to live with her family, and as the friend turns his life around, he helps the grief-stricken family confront their loss. Allen Loeb penned the screenplay and Susanne Bier will direct.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

REA AND PERLMAN ARE MUTANTS
Stephen Rea and Ron Perlman have joined Thomas Jane and John Malkovich in the sci-fi action thriller The Mutant Chronicles. The film is set to begin shooting in the summer with director Simon Hunter. Rea plays the former commander of Lieutenant Mitch Hunter (Jane), a 23rd century Marine who tries to save Earth by leading a band of soldiers against evil NecroMutants. Perlman portrays the leader of a religious sect who thinks he can destroy the mutants and save the planet, recruiting Hunter to join him.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

CHENOWITH WILL DECK THE HALLS
Kristin Chenowith is set to star opposite Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick in Regency Enterprises’ family comedy Deck the Halls for director John Whitesell. The film revolves around two neighbors in a small New England town who go to war when one of them decides to decorate his house for Christmas with so many lights that it will be nearly visible from space. The neighborhood is turned upside down as the two families try to discover the true meaning of Christmas. Chenoweth will play the wife of DeVito’s character.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

WEITZ CIRCLES BACK TO COMPASS
Off one day, on the next, Chris Weitz is back on as director of New Line Cinema’s The Golden Compass as he replaces Anand Tucker who left due to creative differences. The Golden Compass is the installment of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy.

Pic is currently eyeing a December 2007 release and is about a girl who travels to the far north to save her best friend, encountering shape-shifting creatures, witches and other fantastical characters along the way. In the second and third books, the action moves between parallel universes as the girl meets a boy from our world and they join forces to overthrow the repressive authority that rules everything.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

LUCAS TO PLAY DANIEL PEARL
Josh Lucas is set to star in an untitled thriller inspired by the Bernard-Henri Levy book “Who Killed Daniel Pearl?” in which Lucas will play Pearl. In the book, the French author-philosopher described his daring journey into Pakistan to investigate the kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal correspondent. Levy is convinced Pearl may have uncovered complicity between the Pakistani secret service and Al Qaeda.

The script was written by New York Times Magazine foreign correspondent Peter Landesman, the film has fictionalized the Pearl character.

Kip Williams is set to direct.

SOURCE: Variety

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