Today's batch of casting news involves District 9 director Neil Blomkamp's new serious sci-fi venture, Elysium; the next dark dramedy to feature actor Mark Wahlberg and director David O. Russell, The Silver Linings Playbook; and the latest Vince Vaughn-centric comedy, The Insane Laws.
Elysium is definitely the most intriguing of these three titles, partially because no one really knows exactly what the plot of Blomkmap's next violent, allegorical alien movie will entail. The story is said to involve (to some degree) humans and extraterrestrials fighting a war on Earth, but early signs are that there's much more to the film than that.
According to Variety, Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal) looks to become the latest addition to the Elysium cast. He would appear alongside bigger names like Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, as well as established character actor William Fichtner and action movie types Alice Braga and Wagner Moura. Blomkamp's District 9 leading man, Sharlto Copley, is set to play an important role as well.
As mentioned before, concrete details about Elysium are scarce - aside from the implications of its title (a reference to the Elysian Fields, in Greek Mythology) and Blomkamp's comments about the project being "violent, very violent, and very unique hopefully." However, at this point the promise of a new sci-fi action-drama that involves the minds behind District 9 - and an overall excellent cast - should be enough to keep people interested in learning more.
The Silver Linings Playbook
Many an Uncharted fan breathed a heavy sigh of relief when the news broke a couple weeks ago that David O. Russell and Mark Wahlberg are no longer involved in bringing Nathan Drake to life on the big screen. It looks as though the two are instead moving ahead with a project more in line with their previous collaborations: the mildly warped comedy-drama The Silver Linings Playbook.
Wahlberg is set to star in Russell's adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel, which tells the tale of onetime history teacher Pat Peoples. Fresh out of a mental institution and in the care of his mother, Pat seeks to win back his estranged wife - under the delusion that he's only been away for a few months, when he's actually been out of commission for over four years.
Just Jared has learned that Angelina Jolie could be up to appear in the film, presumably in the part of Pat's ex-wife. It would be a change of pace for the Oscar-winner, who's stuck primarily to appearing in stylized thrillers like Wanted, Salt, and (in a different sense) The Tourist in recent years. The last time Jolie tried starred in an unorthodox romance that didn't involve her killing people was the 2001 flick Life or Something Like It; however, chances are good Russell's new project will turn out much better than that.
The Insane Laws
By now most moviegoers know the formula for a Vince Vaughn comedy: write a high-concept script, cast the motor-mouthed actor as one of the leads, then sit back and watch. Sometimes the results are big and funny (Dodgeball, Wedding Crashers) - and other times, the results are unmemorable at best (Four Christmases, The Dilemma). It depends in part on what actor or actress is cast opposite Vaughn, and how well the two play off one another.
Acccording to Deadline, The Insane Laws could feature Jason Bateman (who'll show up in two comedies this summer, Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up) opposite Vaughn as a pair of lifelong pals - that is, until their grownup kids come back from college in love, ready to have a kid.
Vaughn and Bateman co-starred together in Couples Retreat, but Insane Laws would be the first laughfest to pair the two up as a comedy duo. Vaughn's Break-Up co-screenwriter Jeremy Garelick will make his directorial debut with the film, which doesn't look so promising at first glance. However, Garelick was also responsible for doing uncredited script work on The Hangover - so he at least has that going for him.
Elysium is scheduled for release on March 1st, 2013.
Both The Silver Linings Playbook and The Insane Laws are currently expected to reach theaters sometime in 2013.