Weaving to Play ‘Captain America’ Villain and Barry Pepper’s Got ‘True Grit’

Weaving as Captain America Villain: Hugo Weaving is in talks to join the cast of Paramount’s The First Avenger: Captain America as the film’s villain, the Red Skull, Captain America’s archenemy since 1941, when he engaged in espionage and sabotage as Hitler’s right-hand man. In his final battle with the superhero, he was buried under the rubble of a bombed building but – as would occur later with Captain America – fell into a state of suspended animation. Both were revived in modern times. Apparently this isn’t a done deal as of yet as Marvel “plays hardball in the negotiating process and also demands multi-movie commitments, though the latter usually applies to actors playing its heroes.” Remember back to how easily Terrence Howard was replaced by Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2.

Director Joe Johnston last directed Weaving in The Wolfman, and the search for a lead continues with Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) reported as the current frontrunner alongside Mike Vogel (Cloverfield) and Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy). [Heat Vision]

Pepper’s Got True Grit: Barry Pepper has joined the cast of the Coen brothers’s True Grit as “Lucky” Ned Pepper, the notorious outlaw played by Robert Duvall in Henry Hathaway’s 1969 classic Western. Pepper joins Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld in the film which is due for a Christmas 2010 release. [Variety]

Reynolds and Bateman Change Up: Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are set to star in the Universal comedy Change Up for Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin. The film was written by Hangover scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore centers on a responsible family man (Bateman) who switches bodies with his best friend, a lazy man-child (Reynolds). Reynolds and Bateman both starred in Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces, although they never shared screen time together. [THR]

Giamatti, Canavale and Ryan Join McCarthy’s Win Win: Tom McCarthy (The Visitor) is set to direct Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Bobby Cannavale in the dramedy Win Win for Fox Searchlight. Giamatti plays a struggling attorney who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach. All aspects of his life are thrown in the air when he becomes the legal guardian of a client whose grandson shows up on his doorstep. Production begins March 15 in New York. Melanie Lynskey (“Up in the Air”) and Jeffrey Tambor also star. [Variety]

Jenkins and Thomas Pass on Farrelly Film: Richard Jenkins and Bruce Thomas have joined the cast of the Farrelly brothers’s Hall Pass revolving around two married couples whose wives give the husbands a “hall pass” to engage in extracurricular affairs. Jenkins will portray Coakley, a man who never settled down and Thomas (“Kyle XY”) portrays a baseball coach. Filming is underway in Atlanta. [Variety]

Segel and Helms Head Home: Jason Segel and Ed Helms are set to star in the stoner comedy Jeff Who Lives at Home for the Duplass brothers who are also writing the script. The film chronicles a day in the life of two brothers, one a loser (Segel) who lives at home and the other (Helms) more together but overbearing. Judy Greer is in talks to play Helms’ wife. Shooting is set to begin next month in Louisiana. [THR]

Wyatt Directing Potential Planet of the Apes Prequel: Relatively unknown helmer Rupert Wyatt is reportedly the frontrunner to direct a Planet of the Apes prequel for 20th Century Fox. [Deadline]

Fleder Up for Protection: Gary Fleder (The Express) has signed on to direct Protection for 20th Century Fox with a script by Allan Loeb, a rewrite by Miles Chapman and a second rewrite on the way from Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard). The thriller centers on a college professor who investigates the disappearance of his wife and daughter and who must confront authorities at the Witness Protection Program to find them. [Variety]

Hathaway and Sturgess Eye An Education Helmer’s Next: Lone Scherfig (An Eduction) is set to direct One Day for Focus Features and Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are in early negotiations to star. The film is an adaptation of a David Nicholls novel revolving around Dexter and Emma, who meet for the first time during their graduation in 1988 and proceed to meet one day a year for the next 20 years. The story tracks their lives and loves until they realize they are meant for each other. [THR]


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