It hasn’t taken long for Lionsgate to turn The Hunger Games into a daily news item and today isn’t any different as Entertainment Weekly (who appear to be in bed with Lionsgate on this film) has scored the first look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the lead character in the upcoming film on the cover of their latest issue. You can read a brief interview with Lawrence here and click the pic to the right for a larger version.
Michelle Williams has boarded Sam Raimi’s Oz, the Great and Powerful. She’ll play Glinda, the good witch and sister of the evil witches to be played by Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis. The pseudo-prequel to The Wizard of Oz stars James Franco in the title role, with Variety forecasting a fall 2012 release.
Peter Berg and Taylor Kitsch appear well on their way towards becoming Hollywood’s next big union between director and leading man, following in the footsteps of pairs like Scorsese/DiCaprio, Scott/Crowe and Burton/Depp. After already working together on “Friday Night Lights” and fresh off filming next summer’s Battleship, Berg is aiming for a January start date for his next film with Kitsch in tow. Lone Survivor is an adaptation of the book by Marcus Luttrell about how he and his Navy SEAL team members fought to stay alive after being ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005.
Deadline reports Berg has asked Kitsch to play one of the four SEAL team members. Berg, who wrote the film after embedding with a SEAL team for a month in Iraq, claims “Bin Laden’s death has cleared the way for this, a movie that will be an unapologetically patriotic film.” He also describes the film as “a bit like Black Hawk Down,” but with less characters. While Berg wanted to make the film several years ago, the film now comes as part of the bargain Berg made with Universal by agreeing to direct Battleship.
Moving along, Deadline reports Joel Edgerton, the Australian actor who has been confirmed to play an operative in Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden movie, has now been cast as Tom Buchanan in director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Ben Affleck was originally wanted for the role, but he backed out in favor of his next directing vehicle Argo. Luhrmann says Edgerton fulfills (“and then some”) their criteria of having the look of “one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven, five-star acting chops” and the ability to “hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio” in the big dramatic showdown scenes. In addition to DiCaprio, Edgerton joins a cast that includes Tobey Maguire, Carrey Mulligan and Isla Fisher. Not yet familiar with Edgerton’s work? Well, it’s about time you get around to seeing the fantastic Aussie crime sagas The Square and Animal Kingdom because this guy’s going to be everywhere over the next few years. He’ll next be seen opposite Tom Hardy in the MMA fighting feature Warrior.
Screen Daily brings news out of Cannes that Ridley Scott will produce and direct the Cold War drama Reyjavik. The film tells of the meeting between President Ronal Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s that helped end the Cold War. No word yet on whether this film will come before or after Scott’s Red Riding remake that we reported just a few days ago. Personally, I’d rather see Red Riding first.
Variety reports Armie Hammer (The Social Network) is finalizing a deal for the title role in Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Lone Ranger. We could see the film as soon as fall 2012, with filming set to begin after Johnny Depp (previously cast as Tonto) finishes Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Hammer wraps The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Ryan Gosling was considered for the role before talks moved to Hammer.
Warner Bros. will reunite The Other Guys tandem of Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg in Turkey Bowl, a comedy about rival football-obsessed towns who engage in an annual bragging rights battle for pigskin supremacy. Deadline‘s Mike Fleming hears they plan to pack the football scenes with cameos, much like the gang fights in Anchorman. Alec Baldwin is already on board to play Wahlberg’s father. I know I disagree with Brad here, but I thought The Other Guys was lacking in laughs after Sam Jackson and The Rock met their end. Is this really a pairing everyone is excited to see again?
Screen Daily reports Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man, Down by Law) will direct an as-yet-untitled “crypto-vampire love story” with Tilda Swinton, Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska as the vampires and John Hurt in a featured role. More importantly, I just realized I haven’t seen any of Jarmusch’s work. Everyone point and laugh. Seriously though, where’s a good place to start?
A news item coming out of Cannes involving Martin Scorsese and Lars von Trier got a little more real today as it was revealed Magnolia Pictures will release the duo’s upcoming collaboration, The Five Obstructions: Scorsese vs. Trier which will follow in the footsteps of The Five Obstructions, Trierâ€™s landmark 2003 documentary collaboration with Jorgen Leth, wherein von Trier challenged Leth to remake his 1967 short film The Perfect Human five times, with an increasingly difficult set of strict rules, or obstructions, that he had to follow. Slated to be finished in 2013. Word has it, von Trier will challenge Scorsese to remake Taxi Driver, though that hasn’t been officially confirmed.
And finally, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Christopher Walken will join the black comedy Seven Psychopaths, which will also reunite with Colin Farrell with In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh. Farrell stars as a screenwriter struggling to find inspiration for his script when he gets drawn into the dog kidnapping schemes of his oddball friends (Rockwell and Walken). One of the dogs they steal belongs to a gangster played by Mickey Rourke. Not good. I’m really excited about this one.