This Week:

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 gets a director; Robert De Niro eyes Joy; two more circle the Ben-Hur remake; The Accountant adds more; the Forty Thieves shortlist is revealed; and Park Chan-wook will direct Second Born.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 has found its director in Kirk Jones.

Although Jones doesn’t have a wide resume, he has worked on some surprise hits, most notably Waking Ned Devine and Nanny McPhee. It’s presumably that wholesome approach that Universal was looking for when they hired him.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Director Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


Even so, Jones will have a tough act to follow with My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The first film was a huge box office success and grossed over $350 million. The good news is original star and screenwriter Nia Vardalos is back on-board.

Source: Variety

Robert De Niro is in early negotiations to reteam with David O. Russell for Joy.

Robert De Niro in Talks Joy Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


Joy is set to tell the true story of Joy Mangano, a single mother who invented several successful products including the Miracle Mop. O. Russell regular Jennifer Lawrence is the front-runner to play Mangano.

In fact, De Niro’s involvement is reportedly closely tied to Lawrence’s, meaning if she doesn’t sign neither will he. But given that Lawrence is part of O. Russell’s troupe, we’d be surprised to see her turn it down. O. Russell also reportedly has a role in the Joy script written specifically for Bradley Cooper. It’s a Silver Linings Playbook reunion!

Source: THR

Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel) and Olivia Cooke are in talks to join the Ben-Hur reboot.

Ayelet Zurer Olivia Cooke Cast Ben Hur Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


Zurer and Cooke will play Judah Ben-Hur’s mother and sister, respectively, who are imprisoned by friend-turned-enemy Messala. Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston is slated to play Judah Ben-Hur and ApesToby Kebbell will play Messala.

Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov is helming the reboot of Ben-Hur, which is said to both adapt the 1959 film and the 1880 novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. Many of the general story beats are the same between the two, but the specifics are said to differ.

Source: The Wrap, THR

J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal are in talks to join the cast of The Accountant.

The Accountant JK Simmons Jon Bernthal in Talks Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


Both actors’ roles are being kept under wraps; all we know at this point is that the film features an accountant (played by Ben Affleck) who moonlights as an assassin. Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) will direct.

The script for The Accountant was a 2011 Black List selection by Bill Dubuque and was scooped up by Warner Bros. shortly thereafter. The film starts shooting in January.

Source: The Wrap, THR

The Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves shortlist has been revealed.

Ali Baba Forty Thieves Shortlist Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


Liam Hemsworth, Dan Stevens, and Evan Peters are all reportedly testing for the role of Allen, who is said to be a modern day stand-in for Ali Baba. According to The Wrap, the film is being positioned as an adventure movie with comedic undertones ala Pirates of the Caribbean.

In addition to the shortlist, Fox has also set Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) to direct the film. And considering Levy just finished working with Stevens on Night at the Museum 3, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Downton Abbey alum take the gig.

Source: The Wrap

Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) is looking to direct Second Born some time in the future.

Chan Wook Park Direct Second Born Movie News Wrap Up: Ben Hur, The Accountant & More


The film is set in a dystopian future where people use computer chips to store their consciousness. Things get interesting when some seedy individuals discover they can use the chips to swap bodies.

That premise sounds like perfect fodder for Chan-wook, who has made a name for himself with a series of unique Korean-language films. However, just last year the director made the jump to English-language directing with the film Stoker.

Source: Empire