This week:

Josh Brolin joins Inherent Vice; the Leprechaun reboot finds its director; Disney Pixar Animation reveals its upcoming schedule; Melissa Leo signs on for two projects; Johnny Depp drops out of Black Mass; Joss Whedon explains his approach to the Marvel creative consultant role; and Entourage creator Doug Ellin is rewriting the Bad Santa 2 script.

Almost as if they’re on a regular schedule, we have yet another casting announcement for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice.

Josh Brolin and Katherine Waterston are the latest to join Anderson’s big screen adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel. Brolin is no stranger to the Noir genre – as evidenced in films like Gangster Squad and No Country for Old Men – and will likely be right at home amidst a cast that includes Oscar winners/nominees like Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, and Benicio Del Toro.

Waterston, on the other hand, has only a handful of notable on-screen credits to her name, with no real standout role to speak of. She will have her hands full regardless, as Deadline reports she will be playing Shasta, one of the story’s major female characters and the free-spirited ex-girlfriend of Doc Sportello (Phoenix). There’s no word on which character Brolin might play.

Source: Deadline

Lionsgate and WWE’s forthcoming reboot of the horror film Leprechaun has found its director in first-timer Zach Lipovsky.

Some might recognize Lipovsky from the Fox reality competition On the Lot. Lipovsky was the aspiring director known for his F/X work. After On the Lot, however, Lipovsky focused mostly on visual effects work for low budget features and TV shows.

Although Lionsgate is keeping details about this reboot’s story under wraps, they have announced WWE superstar Hornswoggle (real name Dylan Postl) will play the titular character. Postl will be taking on a role originally made famous by Warwick Davis.

Considering the WWE loves to dress Hornswoggle up like a leprechaun, we should have seen this casting announcement coming. Either way, the inclusion of Postl certainly paints the reboot in a different light…a very goofy one.

Source: The Wrap

Disney Pixar Animation has announced their upcoming slate of animated features through the year 2018.

As fans gear up for the release of Monsters University later this month, Disney wants to make sure they know what’s in the pipeline. Of the projects Disney Pixar has announced, we now know that The Good Dinosaur will hit on May 30, 2014; Inside Out, the next feature from Up director Pete Docter, will release on June 19, 2015; the first collaboration between Marvel and Disney Animation, Big Hero 6, flies onto screens on November 7, 2014; and the Finding Nemo follow-up Finding Dory swims into theaters on November 25, 2015.

Disney also announced several additional dates, about three per year, for various untitled Disney and Pixar Animation releases. One of those dates will presumably be for Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich’s Dia De Los Muertos movie, with June 17, 2016 seeming like the best candidate.

It’s interesting to note that Pixar will have its first two-release year in 2014 when Inside Out and Finding Dory release. Don’t expect for that to become a trend, though, as the remaining release schedule through 2018 is as follows:

  • March 4, 2016 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
  • June 17, 2016 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
  • November 23, 2016 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
  • June 16, 2017 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
  • November 22, 2017 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
  • March 9, 2018 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
  • June 15, 2018 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
  • November 21, 2018 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D

Melissa Leo has signed on for two projects: The Equalizer with Denzel Washington and M. Night Shyamalan’s new series Wayward Pines.

The Equalizer is based on the ’80s TV series of the same name in which a retired covert operative named McCall (Denzel Washington) helps ordinary people solve extraordinary problems. Leo will be playing McCall’s former handler, and his key source of intel. Coincidentally, The Equalizer reunites Leo with her Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua, who also directed Denzel Washington in Training Day.

Leo’s other project, Wayward Pines, is an event series M. Night Shyamalan is working on with Fox. The one-off series (similar to 24: Live Another Day) will focus on a secret service agent (Matt Dillon) and his investigation into a mysterious town named Wayward Pines, where nothing is as it seems. Leo will play a local nurse and a key rival to the agent. The series is based on the novel Pines by Blake Crouch, and sounds like the type of material that would be right up Shyamalan’s alley.

Source: Deadline

Johnny Depp has exited Barry Levinson’s Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass.

After salary negotiations broke down between Depp and Black Mass financiers Cross Creek and Exclusive Media, the Pirates of the Caribbean star apparently decided to walk away from the project.

Depp was originally set to play Bulger, a Boston kingpin who avoided arrest in the ’90s thanks to a tip-off from close friend and FBI agent John Connolly. Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) is still signed on to play Connolly, but it’s unclear whether the project will move forward without Depp’s involvement.

Source: Deadline

As the director of The Avengers, the creator of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the creative consultant for all Marvel Studios films, Joss Whedon has his hands in a lot of pies.

In an interview with Empire, Whedon reveals his approach to that Creative Consultant role, specifically how his presence will or will not impact future Marvel releases.

“Kevin is a terrific storyteller and a criminal mastermind with these films. He knows exactly what he’s trying to do, not just to serve the whole universe but with each movie. Having the opportunity to help realize, to say, ‘Well, isn’t this what you’re going for over here’…I mean, I’m not going to get in the soup with some other director. I’m going to say what I think of a screenplay or a cut and then I leave the room bowing, because you don’t take that away from someone. Ultimately, Kevin is the Captain. I’m Black Widow.”

So, while Whedon will help future Marvel films where needed, he will not be “co-directing” any of the films, so to speak. That responsibility still rightly belongs to the talented directors (James Gunn, Edgar Wright, Alan Taylor, etc.) that Marvel has hired. However, seeing as how a lot of these future movies will feed into Whedon’s Avengers films, you’d have to imagine he will make sure everyone is on the same page.

Source: Empire (via CBM)

Miramax has hired Entourage creator Doug Ellin to rewrite Bad Santa 2.

Ellin, who just recently finished the script for the Entourage movie, will be working off a script from Johnny Rosenthal. Ellin was presumably brought on to take his skills writing dialogue for the epithet-slinging Ari Gold and apply them to Billy Bob Thorton’s drunken mall Santa.

In addition to writing the screenplay, there is also a chance Ellin will direct the film. Aside from various episodes of Entourage, Ellin’s last directing credit was the 1998 David Schwimmer comedy Kissing a Fool.

Source: Deadline