Today's batch of casting news concerns three flicks, each of which offers its own flavor of horror: the supernatural monster kind, the existential kind, and the kind that involves cultish devotion to a false messiah. How's that for some early morning reading?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has founds its big blood-sucking baddie in the form of Rufus Sewell; David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis now counts Kevin Durand as a member of its cast; and Joaquin Phoenix looks to at last return to straightforward acting in P.T. Anderson's The Master.
Variety has confirmed that Sewell is onboard as the main antagonist in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which began shooting in 3D under the direction of Timur Bekmambetov last month. Sewell will appear in the Vampire Hunter adaptation as a vampiric leader, a character that screenwriter/original author Seth Grahame-Smith created specifically for the film.
Sewell has taken on villainous gigs in the past, serving as the main antagonist in titles like The Legend of Zorro or The Illusionist. The English thespian is arguably best known as John Murdoch from Dark City, but he's led quite a varied career, appearing in films like The Holiday, A Knight's Tale, and Thor director Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet - among others.
I say all that to say: Sewell is a fine choice to play a creature of the night in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. At least you can rest assured that he won't be a vampire of the sparkling variety.
And speaking of Robert Pattinson...
Variety has also confirmed that Kevin Durand is the latest addition to David Cronenbeg's Cosmopolis, an adaptation of Don DeLillo's strange tale about a young multi-millionaire (Robert Pattinson) who sets out across the city of Manhattan in search of a decent haircut - and ends up losing the entirety of his fortune in 24 hours time.
While a number of you readers are likely familiar with Durand for his role as Martin Keamy on Lost, he's been popping up in more action-oriented fare a lot over the last several years. In addition to Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Durand also appeared in Smokin' Aces, 3:10 to Yuma, Wolverine, I Am Number Four, and will play a role in this fall's Real Steel.
Durand is just the latest noteworthy name to join Cosmopolis, along with Pattinson, Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder), Paul Giamatti (The Ides of March), Juliette Binoche (Chocolat), Samantha Morton (Minority Report), and Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace). That's quite the eclectic collection of stars that Cronenberg has assembled for his latest tale of metamorphosis.
Ever since the truth came out at last about the faux Joaquin Phoenix documentary I'm Still Here, there's been question as to when the Gladiator actor would get back to... well, normal acting gigs. He's been previously rumored as a possibility to join projects like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, and was even said to have been cast as Hulk in The Avengers at one point.
Now Variety (again) says that Phoenix is close to snagging a role in P.T. Anderson's The Master that was left vacant by the ever-busy Jeremy Renner. Phoenix would appear as Freddie Sutton, a former alcoholic who becomes the right-hand man to Lancaster "The Master" Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a L. Ron Hubbard-like figure who gains a religious cult following in the 1950s.
Anderson's Scientology-inspired project recently gained the financial support it needed to move forward, which is good news for those who've been waiting to see the auteur's followup to There Will Be Blood. There's also an Inherent Vice adaptation on Anderson's agenda, so for now we'll have to wait and see which project he actually moves forward with next.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is scheduled for theatrical release on June 22nd, 2012.
Cosmopolis looks to begin production in the near future and should hit theaters by late 2012.
The Master could feasibly begin production before the year is out as well. If so, look for it to hit theaters during the 2012 awards season.
Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)