Casting Updates: ’21 Jump Street’, ‘Elysium’, ‘Taken 2′

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:25 pm,

The latest roundup of casting news concerns a couple of all-too-familiar faces, a modern-day damsel in distress, and three high-profile projects that will be arriving over the next couple of years: the film adaptation of 21 Jump Street, Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi/allegory Elysium, and Taken 2.

Rob Riggle looks to become the latest addition to the cast of the popular late ’80s TV show-turned-movie; Wiliam Fichtner is negotiating to join Blomkamp’s followup to District 9; and Maggie Grace will reprise her role as Bryan Mill’s (Liam Neeson) daughter in the Taken sequel.

Variety says Riggle (The Hangover) is all but set to play the villain in 21 Jump Street, which will star Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops passing themselves off as high schoolers. Brie Larson will play Molly, a love interest for Tatum and girlfriend of a drug dealer named Eric. Riggle is said to be playing “the main villain” of the film – presumably, Eric’s boss and head of a major drug ring.

Ice Cube is also set as the police chief in 21 Jump Street, which Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs) are directing from their own screenplay.

TV show adaptations in general don’t have a stellar track record; however, the combination of an odd couple like Tatum and Hill, solid supporting talents like Riggle and Cube – who are both entertaining when given the right material – and Lord & Miller calling the shots, 21 Jump Street has the potential to be a fast and fun action-comedy.

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Elysium

William Fichtner in The Dark Knight Casting Updates: 21 Jump Street, Elysium, Taken 2

Most of you are familiar with Fichtner as the bank manager with a shotgun in The Dark Knight, but he’s also one of the more prolific character actors in Hollywood. Over the years he’s delivered memorable supporting turns in movies like Heat, Contact, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down, Date Night, and most recently Drive Angry – not to mention his noteworthy appearances on television series like Prison Break and Entourage.

Variety has also confirmed that Fichtner looks to reunite with his Contact costar Jodie Foster for Elysium, Neil Blomkamp’s new allegorical sci-fi venture. Issues pertaining to social class will reportedly play a pivotal role in the District 9 director’s second feature-length effort, which also looks to star actor Sharlto Copley, Matt Damon, and Wagner Moura.

Elysium has assembled quite the rock-solid collection of thespians for its cast, and what little has been revealed about the film’s social-political subject matter definitely sounds interesting. Blomkamp will be working with a much larger budget than he had for D9, so the visual F/X should only look all the more realistic in Elysium. I say all that to say: there’s good reason to hope Blomkamp avoids the infamous sophomore slump that has hindered many a filmmaker in the past.

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Taken 2

Maggie Grace Famke Janssen Liam Neeson in Taken 2 Casting Updates: 21 Jump Street, Elysium, Taken 2

Life was generally unpleasant for Kim (Maggie Grace) in Taken. She traveled overseas for a fun trip to Europe and ended up being kidnapped and forced into the sex trade. Fortunately, her father – ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills (Neeson) – is such a good dad that he set out to track her down himself, beating up about half the continent’s population with his bare fists in the process.

Deadline has learned that Grace is officially set to reprise her role as Kim in Taken 2, which finally locked down Neeson just a few weeks ago. Everyone knows it’s the latter actor who is the key component needed for this sequel to be entertaining, but there’s nothing wrong with Grace returning as well.

Luc Besson and his Taken co-writer Robert Mark Kamen collaborated again to script the sequel, which will be directed by Transporter 3 helmer Olivier Megaton. While Megaton’s previous work doesn’t bode so well for Taken 2 – which also won’t be the sleeper hit that the original was – it doesn’t guarantee that Bryan Mill’s latest adventure won’t be the high-octane thrill ride we’re all hoping for.

21 Jump Street is scheduled to begin production later this month. It arrives in theaters on March 16th, 2012.

Elysium looks to begin filming this July and is scheduled for theatrical release on March 8th, 2013.

Taken 2 may begin shooting by the end of 2011, and will likely reach theaters by either late 2012 or early 2013.

Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2), Deadline

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TAGS: 21 jump street, elysium, taken 2

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  1. Why couldn’t they get the same director or Taken for Taken 2? Oh well. It has Neeson, and that’s enough for me.

    21 Jumpstreet just sounds like a train wreck about to happen.

    Elysium sounds epic! The actors involved in this movie are some major talent.

    • I agree about 21 Jump Street. The more I hear, the worse it sounds. And I’ve already said that more than once.

      The blog says: “21 Jump Street has the potential to be a fast and fun action-comedy.”

      That’s great, but 21 Jump Street the TV show was NOT a fast and fun action-comedy. There’s nothing about the movie that sounds like 21 Jump Street the show. Like most adaptations nowadays, it’s only going to be 21 Jump Street by name. Hill and Tatum as the main characters? That’s bad enough.

      I’m a long-time fan of the show and there’s no way in the world I’ll go see this movie. Not even if someone gave me a free ticket. They honestly think that this lame-sounding idea is going to attract 21 Jump Street fans? What’s really the point of naming it 21 Jump Street? Oh, that’s right now, I know, Hollywood only greenlights something if it was already successful.

  2. out of the three movie the only one im even slightly interested in is Elysium. Jump Street looks like a colossal fail, in what world does hill or tantum look like HS students. Taken 2 1st off should nt have been made, 2nd its being directed by the guy who did transporter 3, wow Fail big time

  3. Transporter3 was so forgetful I can’t even remember the plot. Why do these crappy directors keep getting gig’s.

  4. Elysium should be a good movie, but the 21 Jump Street concept is so far out of date that even Johnny Depp couldnt save it.

    Taken 2 should be given more consideration due to the quality they produced on the first movie and the interest in the second. Just throwing in anyone to direct is a major mistake in todays economy.

  5. Why a sequel? Taken was brilliant as a once-off.

    • If she gets kidnapped again then this is just getting silly tbh lol Taken was good though just hope the plot isn’t garbage.
      “I will find you, and I will kill you” (Epic fail if that’s wrong)

  6. I think that the plot of Taken should be reversed for taken 2. Now Neeson gets kidnapped and his daughter has to go save him.