Romeo Santos joins Fast & Furious 7; My Big Fat Greek Wedding is getting a sequel; Anthony Mackie may play Jesse Owens; James Mangold may direct the Joe Namath biopic; Rhys Ifans is in talks for Alice in Wonderland 2; and Will Smith drops Brilliance.
Latin-American singer Romeo Santos has signed on for an unknown role in next summer's Fast & Furious 7.
Santos broke the news at his sold out LA concert with franchise star Vin Diesel, who joined the pop star on stage for the announcement. Santos brings with him a huge fan following, which will presumably boost Fast & Furious 7's profile.
Following the untimely death of Paul Walker last year, the Fast 7 production was sent into a tailspin as Universal struggled to find a solution that both honored the late star and didn't force the cast and crew to start from scratch. After months of weighing the options, the studio decided that two of Paul Walker's brothers will help finish the actor's scenes, and they will retool the story to give the Brian O'Connor character a fitting send-off.
Fast & Furious 7 will hit theaters on April 10, 2015.
Indie mega-hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding is finally getting a sequel.
Writer/star Nia Vardalos has a script ready to go for the follow-up, which features the reveal of a new family secret and another big wedding. Vardalos' co-star John Corbett, who played her character's non-Greek fiancée in the original film, has also signed on to return.
The first My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a huge hit for IFC films, grossing $368 million worldwide during its historic 52-week run at the box office. However, that was over 12 years ago, so it's unclear whether or not this forthcoming sequel will be able to duplicate its predecessor's success.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier actor Anthony Mackie is interested in starring as legendary Olympian Jesse Owens.
While there are already several Owens biopics in various stages of development, Mackie is trying to put his project together as fast as possible with writer Jamie Linden (We Are Marshall). Like many of those Owens projects, Mackie's film would focus on the events leading up to and including the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Owens won four gold medals with Hitler watching on.
While it's unclear what exactly will set Mackie's biopic apart from the others, his involvement instantly skyrockets the project to the top of the list. Mackie has been consistently on the rise for the past few years, both as an action star and a dramatic lead, and that trend should continue if this film is a success.
The Wolverine director James Mangold is in early negotiations to helm the upcoming Joe Namath biopic for Fox.
Mangold is no stranger to the biopic genre, having helmed the Johnny Cash story Walk the Line in 2005. That film went on to win several Golden Globes, as well as an Academy Award for star Reese Witherspoon.
However, while some parallels could be drawn between Cash and Namath, the latter's tale is a lot more vibrant. In addition to his celebrated career as the New York Jets' quarterback in the '60s and '70s, Namath was a noted partygoer known for his extravagant tastes. It's for that reason that he earned the nickname "Broadway Joe".
With Mangold on-board, this project should only heat up, but ultimately the true test will come down to who Fox casts in the lead role. Namath was a bigger than life figure, and so the studio will need to find the right man for the job.
Ifans will play an original character named Zanik Hightopp who, like his son the Mad Hatter, has a hard time hiding his colorful hair beneath his top hat. Johnny Depp, of course, will once again play the Mad Hatter.
Most of the first Alice in Wonderland's cast is also on-board, including Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter. Alongside returning cast members, new additions for Alice 2 include Sacha Baron Cohen as a villain named Time and James Bobin, who will be taking over directorial duties from Tim Burton.
Source: The Wrap
Will Smith has dropped out of Brilliance just as the film was gearing up for production.
Brilliance's concept, based on the novel by Marcus Sakey, centers on a group of humans, called "brilliants", who possess extraordinary abilities. Smith was slated to play a federal agent and brilliant tasked with tracking down rogue brilliants. Just last week, Noomi Rapace was in talks to star as one of those rogue brilliants, but it's unclear if this new development will impact that.
As we mentioned, Universal was hoping to start filming Brilliance later this summer with Nigerian director Julius Onah. Without a lead, however, those plans are now likely in flux.