Big names continue to sign on for Transporter and Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier’s magicians-turned-bank-robbers heist flick, Now You See Me – which now looks to count multiple Oscar-nominee Woody Harrelson as a member of its cast.

In addition, Guillermo del Toro continues to rack up players for his humanity vs. “25 foot-tall monsters” project, Pacific Rim. The latest addition to the futuristic sci-fi action-thriller’s cast is Diego Klattenhoff, who recently had to pass on appearing in another highly-anticipated tentpole release (more on that later).

Now You See Me is expected to begin production in the near future and will likely reach theaters sometime during the early portion of 2013. Pacific Rim, by comparison, is already slated for theatrical release in Summer 2013, but is also expected to start shooting in a matter of months.

Now You See Me

Woody Harrelson in ‘Zombieland’

Woody Harrelson seemingly has little trouble with the task of switching between playing either the comical or badass type – or  a combination of the two (see: Zombieland, Defendor, etc.) – and it looks like he’ll be the latter, should be sign on to appear in Leterrier’s Now You See Me.

Variety says that Harrselson has entered negotiations to star in the crime tale as Merritt Osbourne, a hypnotist who specializes in “Jedi-style mind tricks”. Following a “bloody incident” overseas, Harrelson’s trickster joins the talent illusionist squad known as the Four Horsemen: a pack of bank-robbing magicians – led by The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg – who shower their illicit profits on audience members during performances.

Now You See Me also stars the likes of Mark Ruffalo as a determined FBI agent, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) as a law-abiding femme fatale, Morgan Freeman as an ex-magician turned illusion “myth buster”, and Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby) in the “master technician” role that Amanda Seyfried was originally in negotiations for.

The film was scripted by Edward Ricourt and Prince of Persia scriber Boaz Yakin – though, recently, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol writers Josh Applebaum and Andrew Nemec were recruited to polish off the formers’ draft. Combine those writers’ collective resume with an excellent cast and Letterier’s knack for delivering entertaining, high-octane thrills – and it sounds like Now You See Me could be a memorably fun addition to Hollywood’s vast collection of heist flicks.

Side note – Harrelson’s fans should also be looking forward to the actor’s next onscreen appearance, as the often-drunk Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games.

Pacific Rim

Diego Klattenhoff in ‘Homeland’

While it’s long been reported that Diego Klattenhoff would play a supporting role in The Dark Knight Rises, it turns out that the actor had to pass on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy finale – due to his commitments to Showtime’s new TV series, Homeland.

Variety has learned that Klattenhoff is instead onboard for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim: a sci-fi/action tale set in the twelfth year of a deadly war between humans and gigantic alien creatures who enter our world by crossing through an inter-dimensional portal located in the Pacific Ocean. The inhabitants of Earth battle their Godzilla-like opponents via the use of massive mechanical suits – ones that are even more sophisticated in design than those glimpsed in previous sci-fi titles (see: Aliens, The Matrix Revolutions, and Avatar).

Klattenhoff’s Pacific Rim role is being kept under wraps, though he is expected to appear in the film’s opening sequence – and, possibly, work alongside others members of the human resistance, who will be played by the likes of Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Robert Kazinsky, and Max Martini (Saving Private Ryan). Rounding out the supporting cast are the likes of Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), and Clifton Collins Jr..

Between that eclectic cast and del Toro’s promise that Pacific Rim will feature “the finest f***ing monsters ever committed to screen”, there’s good reason to be excited abut this project. So long as the screenplay by Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans) offers a fresh and energizing spin on its many familiar sci-fi tropes, there’s no reason why Pacific Rim cannot become a summer blockbuster to remember.

Now You See Me should secure an official release in the near future.

Pacific Rim is set to attack U.S. theaters on July 12th, 2013.

Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2)