The Casting Couch: September 28, 2006

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A pretty good list of updates here including a couple of cuties in Scarlett Johansson, Radha Mitchell and Eliza Dushku. So let’s dive in…

Starting off with one of said cuties we begin with Scarlett Johansson as she will take on a role as Queen Mary of Scotland in Mary Queen of Scots written by Jimmy McGovern. The film depicts the antagonistic relationship between Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I of England, who tried to undermine her rule. Johansson’s mother, Melanie Johansson, is producing the film along with Alexandra Milchan and Donna Gigliotti. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Our second hottie update comes in the form of Radha Mitchell who will star along with Ray Winstone and Matt Le Nevez in Tender Hook, a stylish 1920s film noir is the first feature from writer/director Jonathan Ogilvie. The film follows a young woman’s rise to the apex of a love/power triangle in the world of boxing. Iris, McHeath and Art each fight to establish their sovereignty within a flawed moral landscape. The picture is scheduled to start shooting in Sydney, Australia early 2007. [Production Weekly]

Now we come to Eliza Dushku, who sort of fell off the map once “Tru Calling” was cancelled, but she has found herself a role along with Mike Vogel in the teen thriller Mamba for Spanish helmer Alvaro de Arminan. The story concerns a board game that claims the lives of losing players. [Variety]

On an actor front we begin with a small update out of Variety telling us that Hugh Jackman has joined the cast of Caroline Zelder’s A Plumm Summer, a story following the aftermath of a famous puppet’s kidnapping and two youngsters’ bid to solve the case. Jackman joins William Baldwin, Henry Winkler and Lisa Guerrero. [Variety]

Most youngsters know him as Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” James Marsters however is moving on from TV to be cast in the Hilary Swank starrer P.S. I Love You. Directed by Richard LaGravenese the film is an adaptation of the best-selling Cecelia Ahern novel about a grieving young widow who discovers her late husband has left her a list of tasks revealed in 10 monthly messages that are intended to ease her out of grief and transition her to a new life. Marsters will play the late husband’s best friend. The rest of the cast includes Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gina Gershon [The Hollywood Reporter]

Finally to the director’s ring where we first learn that Lars von Trier will not be directing another film based on his Dogville franchise, at least not yet, as his next project is titled Antichrist, a horror film set in nature and based on the theory that it was Satan, not God, who created the world. Damn, this could be good, but I don’t think the Bush regime and followers will enjoy it too much. Ha, too bad. [Production Weekly]

Next is Mark Pellington who is set to direct the supernatural thriller Night and Day You are the One for Universal Pictures. The pic is based on a short story by Ken Kalfus, which follows a man who can’t tell the difference between his dreams and reality. When he witnesses a murder, he must unravel truth from fantasy. [Variety]

Last but certainly not least is Wes Craven who has made a deal to write and direct his first horror film in 12 years! The deal is with the horror wing Rogue Pictures where Craven has established Midnight Pictures with Marianne Maddalena on board to run the outfit. First up for Midnight will be a remake of Craven’s 1972 debut film The Last House on the Left, but the big news is a film that will be directed and written by Craven but not released under the Midnight banner, Craven describes the project to Variety saying, “It is rooted in the supernatural with a 16-year old central character, but it’s more ‘Sixth Sense’ than a slasher film.” For more Craven be sure to stay tuned as I will have my review of the latest Nightmare on Elm Street Special Edition DVD, it is fantastic! [Variety]

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