This Week:

Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie adds Sigourney Weaver; a feature film based on It Takes a Thief is in the works; the Star Blazers adaptation has set Christopher McQuarrie to direct; Robert Zemeckis will direct The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; and Victor Rasuk joins Fifty Shades of Grey as Jose.

Chappie, the latest film from sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp (Elysium), has begun filming in Johannesburg.

This casting news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Sigourney Weaver has been added to the film’s cast. It’s unclear, however, what role the actress might take on at this time.

Weaver joins a cast that already includes Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, and frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley, who will provide the voice of the robot, Chappie. The story follows the titular character as he tries to escape from two South African gangsters that want to use him for nefarious purposes.

Chappie is slated to hit theaters on March 27, 2015.

Source: Deadline

Universal has announced plans to turn the ’70s TV series It Takes a Thief into a feature film, and have hired Greg Russo to pen the script.

Although most won’t recognize Russo’s name, he has several scripts in various stages of development. Arguably, his most popular is for a film called Heatseekers, which Michael Bay is producing.

It Takes a Thief starred Robert Wagner as a CIA analyst who works in tandem with a brilliant thief, and is considered one of the better espionage series of that time. As far as a feature film is concerned, it’s certainly a concept audiences have seen before – most recently in the USA series White Collar – but one that could be interesting given the right cast.

Source: Variety

Skydance Productions has hired Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) to write and direct their forthcoming adaptation of the anime Star Blazers.

Star Blazers has been in development for several years now, but finally looks to be getting on track. We had first heard about the project back in 2011 when, coincidentally, McQuarrie had been hired to pen the script.

Anime fans might better recognize Star Blazers by its Japanese name, Space Battleship Yamato. The series, in part, followed the crew of the spaceship Argo (formerly the battleship Yamato) as they travel across space to find a device that will restore the Earth’s atmosphere. Skydance is hoping that this first film will kick off another successful franchise for their studio.

Source: Deadline

Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis has signed on to helm an adaptation of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

The film, based on the Kate DiCamillo novel, will follow a porcelain rabbit living in the 1930s that goes through several owners after spending 297 days on the ocean floor. Edward begins the story a very vain character, but changes as his journey goes along.

It’s unclear at this point how Zemeckis will approach the project, whether he will opt for full performance-capture or not, but it’s safe to say there will be a heavy CG component. Before tackling Edward Tulane, however, Zemeckis is slated to direct Marwencol, which is based on the 2010 documentary of the same name.

Source: Variety

Victor Rasuk has joined the cast of Fifty Shades of Grey as the character of Jose.

Rasuk inherits one of the bigger roles in the film, aside from those of Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). Jose is a photographer friend of Anastasia’s who would like to be more than that. This, of course, puts him in direct conflict with Christian’s relationship with Anastasia. (Remember this is Twilight fan fiction, so Bella and Edward need that Jacob third wheel…)

Some will recognize Rasuk for his breakout role in the film Raising Victor Vargas or from the HBO series How to Make it in America. However, given the high profile of Fifty Shades of Grey it’s safe to say this will be his biggest role to date.

Source: Deadline