M.C. Gainey Eyes 'Django Unchained'; Ambyr Childers Joins 'Gangster Squad'

Two of Quentin Tarantino's previous film ventures - Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown - are now available on Blu-ray. Right now, though, the filmmaker is busy with casting his next homage to classic cinema: Django Unchained, which looks to add another versatile thespian to its acting crew.

Meanwhile, Ruben Fleischer has already begun shooting Gangster Squad - his true-story period crime drama - but there's been some additional "important" casting for the film.

Gangster Squad officially landed a theatrical release date last week and is now slated to soar into theaters during October 2012. Principal photography on Django Unchained is scheduled to get underway within a month, so that the film makes its current Christmas Day 2012 release date.


Django Unchained

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M.C. Gainey and Nestor Carbonell on 'Lost'

Tarantino has assembled a motley crew of older actors to fill out the supporting roles in his southern-fried, old-fashioned western homage, Django Unchained. Just over the past week, the film snagged Dennis Christopher and looks to bring Kurt Russell onboard to play the role previously claimed by Kevin Costner.

Variety has learned that M.C. Gainey is now in talks to join the cast of Django Unchained. Gainey is perhaps best known nowadays for having played "Tom Friendly" on Lost - though, he recently made memorable appearances on the shows Justified and Happy Town, and has previously played supporting roles in a wide range of famous titles (ex. Sideways, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Con Air).

Gainey is in line for a pivotal role in Django Unchained, where he would portray Big John Brittle: the despicable head of the Carrucan Plantation, who rapes Django's (Jamie Foxx) wife Broomhilda and brands the title character's cheek with a "R" (for "runaway"). Big John and his brothers are the targets of one Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter who is aided in his quest by Django. Schultz returns the favor by helping the ex-slave rescue his brutalized wife from nefarious plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his house slave Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson).

In case it wasn't already clear-as-day: Django Unchained will not only feature elements from many of Tarantino's favorite genres (especially Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation), it will definitely take a controversial approach to addressing taboo subjects like racism and slavery.

The movie certainly won't be for everyone, but given the quality of the cast and creative talent involved, it's already a must-see for dedicated cinemaphiles.


Gangster Squad

ambyr childers all my children gangster squad
Ambyr Childers played a younger version of Julia Stiles (right) in 'Carolina'

Chances are good that unless you're an All My Children watcher - or happened to see the 2003 rom-com Carolina - you've never heard of Ambyr Childers before. However, the young actress will be appearing in three noteworthy films on the horizon: Scott Walker's The Frozen Ground, P.T. Anderson's The Master - and now, Ruben Fleischer's Gangster Squad.

Deadline has confirmed that Childers will play a "key role" in Gangster Squad, which began production about a month ago. The film's cast also includes critical-favorites like Sean Penn (The Tree of Life) and Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) - along with respectable rising stars such as Ryan Gosling (Drive) and Emma Stone (The Help) - and many other recognizable character actors in supporting roles.

Here is the official synopsis for Gangster Squad:

Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop…except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.

Fleischer's sophomore feature-length directorial effort (30 Minutes or Less) was largely considered to be pretty mediocre, but Gangster Squad has the potential to be a new career-high for the filmmaker. So hopefully he'll step up here and deliver some great direction to go with the stellar cast and engaging real-life subject matter.


Gangster Squad rides into theaters around the U.S. on October 19th, 2012.

Django Unchained will be set loose in U.S. theaters on December 25th, 2012.

Source: Variety, Deadline

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