The Casting Couch: October 18, 2006

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That’s right folks due to a limited amount of casting news lately I chose to go individual article style, but due to today’s larger amount of stories I figured the digested Casting Couch style was in order… dig in.

First up Tim Burton’s main squeeze continues to find her way into his films as Helena Bonham Carter will play the diabolical meat pie-maker Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd opposite Johnny Depp for DreamWorks Studios and Warner Bros. The role originated onstage by Angela Lansbury, is a murderess who dispenses her victims’ bodies in meat pies and becomes the amorous accomplice of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In most stage productions, Mrs. Lovett has been about a decade older than the Demon Barber and is usually someone in her 50s; Carter and Depp are about the same age and in their early 40s. As for the recent rumers that Sacha Baron Cohen (a.k.a. Borat) will be starring in the film as rival barber Signor Adolfo Pirelli? Well, they remain unconfirmed. Shooting on the film begins early next year for a late 2007 release, with Paramount distributing domestically for DreamWorks, and Warner Bros. handling international territories. [Variety]

Jay Lavender and Jeremy Garelick are set to make their feature film debut with The Golden Tux for Dimension Films. The duo last penned the script for the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston starrer The Break-Up. Dan Fogler will star in the feature as a charismatic guy who makes his living as a professional best man. He is hired by a lonely guy to make his wedding day one to remember. Fogler has gained popularity primarily for his stage performances. [Variety]

Randall Wallace’s scripting resume includes Braveheart, Pearl Harbor and We Were Soldiers and it will now include an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” The script will be written for Lionsgate with Angelina Jolie already set to star in the pic. The novel spans more than 1,100 pages and was published back in 1957. The story revolves around the economic collapse of the U.S. sometime in the future and espouses her individualistic philosophy of objectivism. The violent, apocalyptic ending has always posed a challenge but could prove especially so in the post-9/11 climate. [Variety]

Djimon Hounsou has signed on to star in The Trunk for director Sylvain White. The pic was penned by Joseph A. Elmore Jr. and tells the story of an inner-city musical prodigy on the verge of breaking out of his harsh existence who discovers that some of his closest friends will do anything to keep him down. Joining Hounsou will be Brian White, Boris Kodjoe and Thomas Krestchmann. Filming is expected to begin shooting later this year in San Francisco. [Variety]

Sam Shepard is attached to star in the extraordinarily long titled Descending From Heaven: The Strange and Extraordinary Tale of Claude Eatherly, A-Bomb Pilot a biopic that will recount the story of the pilot who flew the reconnaissance B-29 that gave the OK to drop the bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Shepard will play the pilot’s father, who eventually had to commit his son to a veteran’s psychiatric hospital. Sandy Smolan directs. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Universal Pictures has picked up Counter Clockwise a film to be produced by Jennifer Aniston with the actress eyeing the lead role. Paul Bernbaum penned the script which centers on noted Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer, who is known for her work in the illusion of control, decision-making and aging theories. The script focuses on a real study Langer conducted in which she reversed the aging process of her subjects by making them believe they were younger. She wrote about her findings in “Mindfulness.” Bernbaum last penned Hollywoodland. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Finally, Sean McNamara, not of McNamara and Troy, is set to direct the live-action feature Bratz. Apparently this is based on some kind of popular doll line. The screenplay is being written by John Doolittle and follows Yasmin, Ari, Cloe, and Jade, 4 very different teenage girls from different worlds who bond over the ups and downs of adolescent life at Lewis & Clark High School. The girls learn the value of real friend ship in spite of the social pressures of school, family and the expectation to be cool. Production is tentatively slated for early February in L.A. [Production Weekly]

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