Robert Zemeckis' first live-action project in a decade, Flight, has snagged yet another well-respected actor to appear alongside Denzel Washington - who will headline the film as a heroic airline pilot struggling to overcome his personal demons.
In addition, the cast of Andy and Lana Wachowski's Cloud Atlas - which they are collaborating on with director Tom Tykwer - continues to grow, even though production on the expansive literary adaptation began a few weeks ago.
Zemeckis is set to start shooting Flight on location in Atlanta, Georgia, next month - with the intention of getting the film into theaters by late 2012. Cloud Atlas is likewise expected to be released by fall of next year, with the hopes that it could become both a critical darling and sizable financial success.
Golden Globe-winner John Goodman - who made a memorable appearance in the season three premiere of Community, just last week - looks to be doing all right by himself career-wise: He'll first appear in Stephen Daldry's
oscar bait 9/11 drama, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, this winter - and now the actor is onboard for two flicks that look to become contenders in the 2012 awards season: Ben Affleck's true-story CIA thriller Argo, and Zemeckis' Flight.
Flight was scripted by John Gatins (Real Steel) and tells the tale of "Whip" (Washington) - a professional airline pilot who manages to successfully land a damaged aircraft and save the lives of nearly every passenger onboard. However, an investigation into Whip's behavior the night before the almost-crash threatens to destroy his newfound public image - and derail the aviator's attempts to overcome his own destructive tendencies.
Deadline is reporting that Goodman has officially joined the cast of Flight. According to the site, the actor will play a friend of Washington's pilot - one who helps the distressed aviator "come to terms with his problems" (ie. drug/substance addiction).
Between Zemeckis directing, Washington playing the emotionally-volatile lead - and a supporting cast that includes Goodman, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood, and Kelly Reilly - there's good reason to think that Flight could be a genuinely moving and emotionally-rich cinematic drama. That's not to mention, a nice return-to-form for the Oscar-winning Zemeckis.
The latest addition to the Cloud Atlas cast is - surprisingly enough - neither an A-lister or a well-renowned character actor. Considering that people like Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, and Hugo Weaving are appearing in the film (in multiple roles, at that), this almost comes as a shock.
Variety says that the newest addition to the Cloud Atlas cast is James D'Arcy, whose resume includes roles in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Exorcist: The Beginning, An American Haunting, and a recurring role on the popular Secret Diary of a Call Girl TV series. Exactly what part(s) D'Arcy will be playing in the Wachowski's latest project has yet to be revealed.
Cloud Atlas was scripted by the Matrix-creating siblings, based on David Mitchell's acclaimed novel - which is composed of six separate storylines that concern:
- A naïve clerk traveling on a Polynesian voyage in the 19th century
- An aspiring (British) composer who takes up residence with a brilliant composer who has syphilis in the 1930s
- A journalist investigating a California nuclear power plant in the 1970s
- A 21st century publisher who gets his hands on a novel that could change the world
- A human clone designed for slave labor in the future
- A Hawaiian tribesman who has survived the apocalypse and recounts aloud the history of the world from a remote island
It's an ambitious undertaking, no doubt, and that partly accounts for why the Wachowskis recruited Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer) to help streamline Mitchell's time-and-space-spanning narrative into condensed film form. While they are not guaranteed to succeed at that task, the final product should certainly be interesting (to say the least).
Both Cloud Atlas and Flight should arrive in U.S. theaters by the fourth quarter of 2012.
Source: Deadline, Variety