Today's batch of casting updates concerns Ben Affleck's new strange-but-true directorial project, Argo; Warner Bros. new fantasy literature adaptation, The Seventh Son; and Universal's re-imagining of a classic fairy tale, Snow White and the Huntsman.
Argo will mark Affleck's third time sitting in the director's chair, following Gone Baby Gone and last year's The Town. The Oscar-winner will venture into the realm of real-life political thrillers with the new project, which is based on an article in Wired magazine - with the self-explanatory title, "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran."
The film revolves around the story of how CIA and Canadian government officials joined forces to rescue six Americans who'd been taken hostage in Iran (circa 1979) - by convincing the country's officials that the captives were actually members of a production crew working on a new Hollywood film, titled "Argo."
Oscar-winner Alan Arkin signed onto Argo a couple weeks back - and now Variety says that Golden Globe-winner John Goodman is negotiating to join the film's cast. The former Roseanne star is up to play the role of John Chambers, the real-life Oscar-winning makeup artist who worked on the original Planet of the Apes movie - and played a pivotal role in the "Argo" operation.
With stars like Arkin and Goodman onboard to star, a fascinating real-life rescue operation plot, and Affleck calling the shots, Argo definitely has potential to be a memorable film. Look for more noteworthy actors to join the cast over the upcoming months.
The Seventh Son
Chronicles of Narnia's Ben Barnes has now officially joined another young adult fantasy literature adaptation - namely, The Seventh Son, a cinematic adaptation of the first novel in Joseph Delaney's The Wardstone Chronicles, "The Spook's Apprentice."
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Sam Claflin was originally circling the young male lead role in Seventh Son, which will also feature Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges as a supernatural mentor named "The Spook" and Oscar-nominee Julianne Moore as the wicked sorceress Mother Malkin. However, Variety says that Barnes has now officially landed the part of Tom Ward, the young man who is trained by Bridges' "Spook" in the arts of exorcism and battling evil supernatural creatures in Seventh Son.
Barnes is older than either of the previous Seventh Son starring candidates - Claflin and I Am Number Four's Alex Pettyfer - but arguably has a stronger screen presence than those two young actors. Even though Barnes' involvement doesn't really make the adaptation a more bankable prospect, the involvement of Bridges and Moore should help in that regard. Just don't expect Seventh Son to follow in the footsteps of Warner Bros. other young adult fantasy series, Harry Potter, at the box office.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Casting for Universal's Snow White project (which, coincidentally, will feature Pirates' Claflin as Prince Charming) is all but complete at this point, now that the parts of the seven dwarfs have been filled - along with that of the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron), the titular princess (Kristen Stewart), and huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), that is.
Variety has confirmed that two more thespians are now onboard for the fairy tale flick: model-turned-actress Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) as the character Greta, and Sam Spruell (The Hurt Locker) as the Queen's evil henchman Finn, who sets out to murder Snow White and the Huntsman after the two join forces in opposition against the Queen.
This move suggests that Huntsman is indeed being structured as a darker take on the famous Brothers Grimm' story than Relativity Media's rival Snow White project - a film that is being sold as more a comedy-adventure spin on the tale (case in point: Nathan Lane is playing the Queen's "evil henchman" in Relativity's movie). Whether that means moviegoers will flock to see both of these dual Snow White retellings, however, is another matter.
Snow White and the Huntsman is scheduled for theatrical release on June 1st, 2012.
Argo is scheduled to begin shooting later this year. It could reach theaters by late 2012.
The Seventh Son will begin production in 2012, and is not expected to reach theaters until 2013.
Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2) (link 3)