Jackson Not in ‘Thor,’ Russell, Brody and Stone in ‘Waco’ and ‘Moomins’ Get Von Sydow and Mikkelsen

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Sam Jackson Not in Thor: This is only a bit of clearing up as I thought Samuel L. Jackson was reprising his role as Nick Fury in all of the Marvel based films surrounding the anticipated The Avengers film to be directed by Joss Whedon, but apparently that’s not the case. Jackson was quoted in an interview saying, “I’m not in Thor. Supposed to do Captain America this summer in London.” As far as why he’s not in Thor, he adds, “I thought I was, they said I was in the trades and I was like, ‘Ooh! I got a job!’ I called my agent he said, ‘Naw, you’re not in it.’ I was like, ‘Well shit, they need to pay me if they’re gonna put my name in it. Somethin’.'” Jackson will next be seen as Nick Fury in Iron Man 2 on May 7. [Latino Review]

Russell, Brody and Stone Set for Waco: Kurt Russell, Adrien Brody and Sharon Stone are attached to Waco to be directed by Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata) who last helmed the remake of The Fog in 2005. Wainwright’s official site describes the film as the first narrative feature film to explore the events of the ATF raid on Mt. Carmel, TX, the 51-day siege that followed, and the devastating compound fire that resulted in the deaths of 81 civilians. The movie cuts between ATF special agents, FBI Negotiators, the Davidians on the inside, the tactical Hostage Rescue Team leaders, and the political machinations in Washington DC. Wainwright co-wrote the film with “New York Times” reporter James Hibberd. [Production Weekly]

Von Sydow and Mikkelsen Voicing Moomins: Max von Sydow and Mads Mikkelsen have joined the voice cast of the Scandinavian 3D animation feature Moomins and the Comet Chase, which is apparently set to debut in Cannes next month although I can’t find a single announcement confirming this. The feature is directed by Maria Lindberg and based on the best-selling children’s books by Tove Jansson, which follow the adventures of a family of trolls that resemble white hippos. The Moomins books have been translated into more than 40 languages and been turned into films, TV series and theater plays. Stellan Skarsgard, Alexander Skarsgard, Peter Stormare and Helena Mattsson round out the voice cast and Icelandic pop star Bjork composed the title song for the film. Watch the English-language trailer just above. [THR]

Fernandez Cast in Hardwicke’s Girl With the Red Riding Hood: Relative unknown actor Shiloh Fernandez is set to star in Catherine Hardwicke’s Girl With the Red Riding Hood for Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is a gothic horror re-imagining of the Brothers Grimm Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale in which a woman (Amanda Seyfried) is terrorized by a werewolf. Filming is expected to begin this summer in Vancouver. [Heat Vision]

Mottola, Pitt and Portman Find Important Artifacts: It was first announced back in March 2009 that Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman had signed on to star in a feature film adaptation of the new Leanne Shapton book “Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry” for Paramount Pictures and today Superbad helmer Greg Mottola has signed on to pen the screenplay. The book takes the form of Sotheby’s-like estate auction catalog, with 325 entries and photographs depicting items that reveal the private moments and the rise and fall of a four-year relationship between the fictitious couple Hal Morris (a 40ish photographer) and Lenore Doolan, (a New York Times food columnist in her late 20s). Pitt is expected to play Morris and Portman will play Doolan, the two stars are also producing. [Risky Business]

Grier Joins Hanks’s Crowne: Pam Grier announced via Twitter she has been asked to play the role of Julia Roberts’s best friend in Larry Crowne for Tom Hanks who will direct, star and co-wrote the film with Nia Vardalos. The picture centers on a middle-aged man being forced to find a new career. Along with Hanks and Roberts, Grier joins Taraji P. Henson, George Takei, Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Cedric the Entertainer, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Nia Vardalos, Natascha McElhone and Maria Canals in the star-studded cast. Filming began in April and Universal Pictures will release the pic in 2011. [@PamGrier via Movieline]

Deschanel, Crudup and Jones set for Beresford’s Enchantress: Zooey Deschanel is set to play the role of 19th Century English writer Ada Lovelace in Enchantress of Numbers for Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) and Billy Crudup and Toby Jones have now joined the cast. While production is expected to get underway this fall, little else is known about the project. Lovelace is described as the “founder of scientific computing” and according to Wikipedia was an English writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine; as such she is often regarded as the world’s first computer programmer. [Production Weekly]

Pics of the True Grit set in Granger, Texas
Photo: @zube60

Set Shots from the Coens’ True Grit: The pictures above were posted on TwitPic by @zube60 of the set of the Coen brothers’ True Grit shooting in Granger, Texas. [@zube60]

Diaz and Del Toro have an An Ex To Grind: Cameron Diaz and Benicio Del Toro are attached to star in the romantic comedy An Ex to Grind at 20th Century Fox. The film is an adaptation of the Jane Heller novel with the idea that Del Toro will play a star athlete who for years supports the dreams of his waitress wife. Cut to several years later. His career is cut short by injury, he has has morphed into a beer-swilling couch potato while she has become a big success in business. She plans to divorce him and is horrified to discover she will have to pay alimony to maintain the slovenly lifestyle that led her to dump him. She conspires to find him a new wife to get herself off the hook but when her replacement restores the man she fell for, the ex wants him back. [Deadline]

Paltrow Drops Out of Danish Girl: Gwyneth Paltrow has reportedly dropped out of The Danish Girl, a sex-change drama to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom based on the non-fiction novel by David Ebershoff. This now leaves Nicole Kidman floating in the wind and who knows if it will ever get made. Originally Anand Tucker was set to direct Kidman and Charlize Theron, but Tucker was then replaced by Let the Right One In helmer Tomas Alfredson and Theron dropped out only to have Paltrow step in for Theron and Alfredson get replaced by Hallstrom. So here we sit, Kidman and Hallstrom alone with filming expected to begin next month in Budapest, Prague and Denmark. You can get more on the film here. [Bazaar via The Playlist]