This week in movie news:
10 secret hidden details behind popular movie characters (see above); Javier Bardem might join Darren Aronofsky’s latest film; Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me adds The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira; Adam Driver signs on for Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson; Quantico star Priyanka Chopra joins the Baywatch film; Maze Runner writer will write an untitled treasure hunt project; Bad Santa 2 officially starts production; Collateral Beauty adds Rachel McAdams; Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey will star in Do Nothing Bitches; Grizzly Adams star Dan Haggerty dies at age 74; Christian Bale leaves Michael Mann’s Ferrari over weight concerns; and Ghostbusters actor David Margulies passes away at age 78.
Javier Bardem might join Darren Aronofsky’s latest film
Oscar winner Javier Bardem might join the cast of the new project from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan). If Bardem joins the film — which is set for release sometime in 2017 — he will share the screen with Jennifer Lawrence. The untitled project centers on a couple whose relationship is put to the test when uninvited guests interrupt their peaceful life.
Aronofsky will write, direct and produce the film. Reportedly, Lawrence and Bardem were his top choices for the two leads, and the film marks his first directorial effort since the controversial Biblical epic Noah. It is expected to go before the camera this spring.
All Eyez on Me adds The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira — best known as Michonne on The Walking Dead — has joined the cast of All Eyez on Me, the upcoming Tupack Shakur biopic, in the major role of the iconic rapper’s mother. She’ll star alongside Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac and Jamal Woolard as The Notorious B.I.G., and the film — directed by Benny Boom — is currently filming in Atlanta.
As Afeni Shakur, Gurira will bring to life the political activist and a member of the Black Panthers who shaped Tupac’s perspective on the world and ultimately his development as an artist. The real-life Shakur serves as executive producer on the film and is currently the keeper of her late son’s estate. Gurira’s other screen credits include The Visitor and Mother Of George.
Adam Driver signs on for Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver has just signed on to star in Paterson, a new comedy from Jim Jarmusch. Golshifteh Farahani (Body Of Lies) will also star in the film for Amazon Studios. Amazon acquired its first feature earlier this year with the Kevin Spacey/Michael Shannon drama Elvis & Nixon.
Prior to his role in The Force Awakens, Driver was best known for his role opposite Lena Dunham in the HBO series Girls. In recent years, he has ramped up his film career with roles in Inside Llewyn Davis, This Is Where I Leave You and While We’re Young. Driver is also set to appear in Martin Scorsese’s Silence and Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama Midnight Special.
Quantico star Priyanka Chopra joins the Baywatch film
Priyanka Chopra — best known for her role as Alex Parrish on ABC series Quantico — has joined the upcoming Baywatch starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Her casting follows the recent additions of Kelly Rohrbach and Alexander Daddario to the film as C.J. Parker and Summer, the roles played by Pamela Anderson and Nicole Eggert in the original 1990s TV series.
Prior to her lead role on Quantico, Chopra was most recognized for her Bollywood credits. The Baywatch film marks her most prominent Hollywood film role to date. Plot details — as well as more information about Chopra’s character — remain scant. Directed by Seth Gordon, the film is expected to begin production in the next few months.
Maze Runner writer will write an untitled treasure hunt project
Screenwriter Grant Pierce Myers — who previously co-wrote The Maze Runner — has been brought aboard to script an untitled treasure hunt film being developed by Warner Bros. and 1821 Media. The action-thriller centers on a group of treasure seekers who organize a plan to capture the greatest treasure of all time.
The Maze Runner marked Myers’ first produced screenplay, and this latest project sounds like it may be designed to kick off a franchise of its own. At this point, there are no additional plot details or information on who might join the cast, though the film’s development should progress quickly.
Bad Santa 2 officially starts production
Bad Santa 2 — directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls) — has begun filming this week in Montréal, with Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox and Brett Kelly all reprising their roles from the 2003 hit comedy. The sequel is set for release on November 23, 2016, opposite the Disney animated musical Moana.
In addition to Kathy Bates as the mother of Thornton’s character, Ryan Hansen (Veronica Mars), comedian Jenny Zigrino (50 Shades of Black), and Jeff Skowron (The Good Shepherd) joined the film’s cast. Hansen plays the head of a charitable organization, which he runs with his wife (played by Christina Hendricks). Zigrino and Skowron, meanwhile, will play security guards.
Collateral Beauty adds Rachel McAdams and more
Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams (Spotlight) is in talks to join the cast of director David Frankel’s drama Collateral Beauty. The film already has Will Smith and Helen Mirren onboard and has recently secured such in-demand stars as Edward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris. Production is expected to become next month.
Collateral Beauty centers on a New York advertising executive whose colleagues launch a plan to help him recover from a personal tragedy. Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) is assembling quite an impressive ensemble cast for the film, which is written by Allan Loeb (21). It has yet to receive an official release date, but based on the details we’ve learned behind the scenes, the film is proving to be one to watch.
Source: The Wrap
Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey will star in Do Nothing Bitches
Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey will share the screen in a new film titled Do Nothing Bitches for Universal. The project centers on a group of wealthy wives who attend a camp where they encounter an instructor played by Rousey. Paula Pell — who most recently scripted the Fey comedy Sisters — will write the new film, and Fey will serve as a producer.
UFC fighter Rousey has a number of films lined up, including a Road House remake and her biopic My Fight/Your Fight. She previously appeared in The Expendables 3 and Furious 7. Fey will next star opposite Margot Robbie in this spring’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Grizzly Adams star Dan Haggerty dies at Age 74
Dan Haggerty — best known as mountain man Grizzly Adams in the 1970s — has passed away at the age of 74. For decades after securing his breakthrough role, Haggerty was a consistent presence on both the big screen and television, largely in horror films.
The actor starred as Adams in a series of films that began with 1974 release The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams as well as a short-lived 1977-78 television series. In addition, he was a stuntman and performer who had wild animals on his ranch long before he landed the role.
Christian Bale leaves Michael Mann’s Ferrari over weight concerns
Christian Bale has exited Ferrari, Michael Mann’s upcoming biopic about Enzo Ferrari. The Oscar-winning actor has opted out of the project due to health concerns over the weight gain that would be required for him to take on the role. Bale has previously undergone extreme weight loss and gain for a wide variety of films, such as The Machinist and American Hustle.
With the filming set to begin this spring, Mann is quickly moving to recast the role and is reportedly looking to some big-name stars to play the iconic carmaker. Set in 1957, the film chronicles Ferrari’s personal and professional life and is based on the Brock Yates book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races”.
Ghostbusters actor David Margulies passes away at 78
A veteran of stage and screen, David Margulies — who appeared in films like Ghostbusters and in a recurring role on The Sopranos — has died at the age of 78. In addition, the actor appeared in theatrical productions on countless occasions, including in the role of Roy Cohn in Angels in America.
Margulies made his Broadway debut in the 1973 revival of The Iceman Cometh. He worked consistently over the years and, in recent years, made appearances in films like A Most Violent Year and Fading Gigolo and guest spots on series like Happyish, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Blue Bloods.