Director Gore Verbinski's classic western adaptation, Lone Ranger, and filmmaker Spike Lee's Americanized manga re-interpretation, Oldboy, are both vastly different, yet similarly-controversial projects. The former has irritated people because of its confusingly massive budget and deviations from traditional Ranger lore; the latter has managed to anger people by simply existing.
Both films are nonetheless well on their way to becoming realities, seeing how Lone Ranger has nearly completed casting, at this point - and Oldboy is expected to finish up pre-production soon, in order to start filming by Spring 2012.
Heat Vision has learned that James Frain has joined the Lone Ranger cast and will portray a tough foreman who works for the villainous railroad tycoon, Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson). Frain's resume includes a recurring stint as Paul Raines on 24, Thomas Cromwell on The Tudors, Franklin Mott on True Blood, and Peter Fleming/Chess on the (now-defunct) The Cape.
Meanwhile, Twitch is reporting that Alice in Wonderland's Mia Wasikowska has been offered the female lead role in Lee's Oldboy, meaning that both she and Clive Owen could (possibly) join the film's cast in the near future. As coincidence would have it, Wasikowska will soon completely wrap up her work on original Oldboy movie director Chan-wook Park's new film, Stoker.
Both of these respective film roles are relatively minor, but are being filled by verifiable good acting talent. Lone Ranger already boasts an overall great cast that includes Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and Helena Bonham Carter, among others; Oldboy has likewise managed to secure a stellar leading man in Josh Brolin and continues to eye top talent for its pivotal villain role.
That's all to say: regardless of whether or not you're actually onboard for either of these projects, there's no denying the quality of creative talent being hired on. Take (or leave) that for what it's worth.
Lone Ranger is scheduled to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on May 31st, 2013.
We will let you know when Oldboy lands an official theatrical release date.