Disney has finally found its Cinderella; Joe Carnahan is in talks to direct Sugar Bandits; Jon Hamm and Sandra Bullock sign on for Minions; Reese Witherspoon may join Keanu Reeves for Passengers; Johnny Depp's Paul Revere movie is getting a rewrite; and Hercules and Dracula find their female leads.
Lily James has been cast as Cinderella in Disney's forthcoming live-action "interpretation" of the classic animated film.
After Emma Watson passed on the role, Disney swiftly assembled a shortlist of relative unknowns including Bella Heathcote, Margot Robbie, and James. At one point, Amanda Seyfried was a frontrunner for the role, but that never panned out. Now it's up to James – who plays Lady Rose MacClare on Downtown Abbey – to bring the iconic character to life.
The same source that outed the shortlist also named Game of Thrones' Richard Madden (a.k.a. Robb Stark) as a frontrunner for the prince role, but there has been no official announcement yet. Thus far, Disney has secured a director in Thor's Kenneth Branagh, and an evil stepmother in Cate Blanchett, but the studio promises more announcements in the coming weeks.
Carnahan could surely use a new project after leaving the Death Wish remake over creative differences involving casting. He's still a director to watch, even if he regularly struggles to get his projects made.
Sugar Bandits is an adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel Devils in Exile (he also wrote the script), and focuses on a Iraq War vet that robs drug dealers to make ends meet. Most will know Hogan for his work with Guillermo del Toro on The Strain trilogy, but he also wrote the novel Prince of Thieves, which Ben Affleck adapted into The Town.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Mad Men star Jon Hamm and Oscar winner Sandra Bullock will lend their voices to the Despicable Me spin-off, Minions.
Bullock will voice the film's lead, the super villain Scarlet Overkill, and Hamm will voice her husband, an inventor named Herb. While these two antagonistic characters are listed as leading roles, it's obviously the yellow-skinned minions that will be the real draw.
The film imagines a world where Despicable Me's minions have worked for every super villain throughout time. However, when the number of villains decreases, three minions seek employment with Scarlet Overkill.
Despicable Me 2 hits theaters this summer, and Minions is scheduled as a December 19, 2014 release.
Reese Witherspoon is reportedly in talks to join Keanu Reeves' forthcoming film Passengers.
THR says that Witherspoon is in the early stages of negotiations for the film, which Reeves is also producing. The story centers on a man (Reeves) who is mistakenly woken from cryo-sleep traveling to an off-planet colony. If cast, Witherspoon will play a fellow passenger that Reeves' character "wakes" for some human interaction.
Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) wrote the script for Passengers, and Brian Kirk will direct. Kirk hasn't directed a feature in more than a decade, but he has helmed episodes of some of TV's hottest shows (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire).
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Disney has hired the relatively untested E. Nicholas Mariani to rewrite Johnny Depp's Paul Revere movie.
It's no coincidence that Mariani was given the job, mind you; his 2011 Black List script Desperate Hours is currently in development at Depp's Infinitum Nihil production company. Apparently, Depp values Mariani's talents as a writer and wants him to take a pass at this untitled Paul Revere movie.
As one might guess, the film focuses on Revere's famous "midnight ride," where he warned colonial settlers of oncoming British soldiers ("The British are coming!"). Depp is also being eyed to play Revere, but there has been no official announcement in that regard.
Brett Ratner's Hercules film has found its female lead in Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Chernobyl Diaries).
Variety reports Berdal will play a warrior who fights alongside Hercules (Dwayne Johnson). She joins a cast that also includes Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes. Ratner's film is one of two Hercules movies in production - the other being Renny Harlin's Hercules 3D.
In strangely similar news: Johnson's Fast and Furious 6 co-star Luke Evans has found a female lead for his forthcoming Dracula picture. Cosmopolis' Sarah Gadon will star opposite Evans in Universal's reimagining of the iconic literary villain.