The latest batch of casting news concerns Ruben Fleischer's star-studded crime pic, Gangster Squad, the Hasbro sequel, G.I. Joe 2, and the next installment in the Jason Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy.
Gangster Squad definitely has the makings of a great period-piece /mobster drama along the lines of The Untouchables, with its intriguing real-life subject matter and a stellar cast that includes Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, and Giovanni Ribisi (though, sadly, Bryan Cranston is reportedly no longer onboard).
Variety is reporting that the latest addition to the Gangster Squad cast looks to be Emma Stone, who would reunite with her Zombieland helmer (Fleischer) on the project. Stone is up to portray Jean, the "sharp-tongued siren" who is romantically linked to both Penn's mobster, Mickey Cohen, and Gosling's cop character.
Ex-cop-turned-screenwriter Wil Beall (Castle) is scripting Gangster Squad, which dramatizes the LAPD's attempts to control the "Jewish Mafia" headed by Cohen during the 1940s. With a cast that includes Penn as a ruthless criminal, Gosling as a hard-edged detective, Stone as a gorgeous femme fatale, and Beall's script, this could ultimately prove to be as memorable an L.A. Noir flick (reference to the video game not intended) as the 1997 Oscar-winner L.A. Confidential.
If nothing else, Fleischer deserves credit for casting Stone as the seductive female lead in his period crime tale. Casting a lovely rising starlet in that sort of part might seem like a no-brainer, but similar projects have managed to stumble in that regard before (see: Scarlett Johansson's role in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia).
G.I. Joe 2
When the news about Ray Stevenson signing on as martial artist Firefly in the upcoming G.I. Joe sequel got out, there was also discussion about Paramount seeking to fill the role of Mouse, an "18-year-old Southern charmer" who will play a pivotal role in the film - and, if studio heads have their way - will help attract the interest of young teen girls who would normally have no interest in seeing a G.I. Joe movie (good luck with that, Paramount).
Deadline has learned that Joseph Mazzello is now officially onboard to portray Mouse in director Jon Chu's "down and dirty" G.I. Joe pic. He'll appear alongside big names like Dwayne Johnson as the deadly cook Roadblock, Adrianne Palicki as covert op Lady Jaye, and RZA as the mysterious Blind Master.
Mazzello recently appeared in The Social Network and starred in HBO's The Pacific, but he is still best known for playing young Tim in the original Jurassic Park. Whether the G.I. Joe followup will truly offer Mazzello the chance to shine as an adult actor - or if he'll struggle to stand out, alongside noteworthy action stars like Johnson and Stevenson - remains to be seen.
The Bourne Legacy
Up until now, the cast for Tony Gilroy's Bourne Legacy has not included any familiar faces from prior installments. While Gilroy's project isn't a direct sequel to the last entry, The Bourne Ultimatum, it reportedly does take place within the same universe as the other Bourne movies. Hence, it seems only natural that a couple of series veterans would pop up again in Legacy, if only to help maintain a sense of continuity. As it turns out, that will indeed be the case.
Variety has learned that multiple Oscar-nominees Joan Allen and Albert Finney are currently in negotiations to appear in Legacy. Allen, you should recall, played the crusading CIA agent Pam Landy in the last two Bourne movies, while Finney will be back as Dr. Albert Hirsch, a "behavior-modification expert" who was revealed to be a pivotal figure behind the assassin training program "Operation: Treadstone" in Bourne Ultimatum.
With Jeremy Renner starring as a new Bourne-like killer, Edward Norton lining up to play a villain, and Oscar Isaac in line to portray a fellow brainwashed government spook, Bourne Legacy definitely shows promise - though, it still feels like kind of an extraneous addition to the franchise.
The Bourne Legacy is slated to hit theaters on August 3rd, 2012.
G.I. Joe 2 is scheduled for theatrical release in the U.S. a week later on August 10th.
Gangster Squad has yet to secure an official release date. We'll let you know when that changes.
Source: Variety (link 1) (link 2), Deadline