‘Red State’ and ‘Super 8’ Casts Shape Up as Does Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’


Noah Emmerich

Risky Business reports Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills have joined the mysterious J.J. Abrams feature Super 8, rounding out a cast that will be led the previously announced Kyle Chandler (TV’s Friday Night Lights) and Elle Fanning (Somewhere). Shooting began in West Virginia on Monday.

The cast of Kevin Smith’s Red State is shaping up to be a starting lineup of go-to character actors, with John Goodman being the latest to join a crew that already includes Kevin Pollack, Michael Parks, Kyle Gallner, Melissa Leo, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Angarano and Steven Root. Slashfilm reports shooting has indeed begun for the film that will tell the story of a group of kids who encounter a crazed preacher (Michael Parks in a role based on Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church) who gives a whole new meaning to the term “extreme fundamentalism.”

Deadline‘s Mike Fleming has the lowdown on the casting of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, the stop-motion Disney feature being adapted from his 1984 short about a man who reanimates his dog after it gets hit by a car. Winona Ryder and Martin Landau will voice the main characters, while Martin Short and Catherine O’Hara will voice five characters each. You don’t need to read that again, the names of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are nowhere to be found. Shocking, I know. The film is currently slated for a March 9, 2012 release.

Mark Strong has joined the cast of Let The Right One In helmer Thomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which will see Gary Oldman hunting for a spy in the upper echelons go the British Secret Service. Empire suggests Strong will play an agent shot in the back whose testimony plays a key part in the revelation of the mole’s existence. The stacked cast is rounded out by Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Jared Harris, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciaran Hinds.

Kim Jee-Won, the Korean director of The Good, the Bad, and the Weird and I Saw the Devil has scored his first American gig, helming Last Stand for Lionsgate. Latino Review describes the 2009 Black List script by Andrew Knauer as having shades of Gone in 60 Seconds and High Noon, telling the story of a drug cartel leader who breaks out of a courthouse in a 200 mph race car. He speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing standing in his way is a border-town sheriff and his inexperienced staff.

Rachel Weisz

According to Variety, Rachel Weisz is set to reunite with her The Constant Gardner director Fernando Meirelles in 360, a feature that follows pairs of characters and their sexual encounters. Weisz won a well-deserved 2006 best supporting actress Oscar under the direction of Meirelles so there is certainly hope for this project, but I feel like this concept has been done to death lately (albeit usually in more lighthearted rom-com fare).

Word has it that Brett Ratner and Relativity Media have been developing an edgy remaining of Snow White over the past few months. The most recent rumors have Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) considering directing and Natalie Portman showing some interesting in starring. These are strictly rumors at this point. [Pajiba]

The Playlist reports Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, a 1950s-set religious drama tentatively titled The Master, has been “indefinitely postponed” after its planned August start date has come and gone. I attended a Philip Seymour Hoffman Q & A after a showing of Jack Goes Boating a few weeks ago, and someone was ballsy enough to ask Hoffman about The Master. Hoffman seemed clueless at the time, which I assumed (until now at least) was just a ploy to keep things under wraps. It looks like they’re back to square one on this one. For those unfamiliar, The Master would follow the rise of a new religion and its charismatic leader (with a striking resemblance to Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard).

Carla Gugino

Carla Gugino will star opposite Jim Carey in the family pic Mr. Popper’s Penguins, a modern update of the 1938 children’s book. Mark Waters (Mean Girls) is directing the film, which stars Carey as a high-powered New York business man who suddenly inherits six penguins. Hurdles are hit, lessons are learned, yadda yadda yadda… you get the idea. [Variety]

Leslie Mann is the latest to join the Universal comedy The Change-Up, landing the female lead opposite Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. It sounds like your typical body-swapping comedy, but with David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) at the helm, I’m betting this won’t be Freaky Friday. Olivia Wilde co-stars, with a summer 2011 release date being planned. [Variety]