Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Casting links: Frieda Pinto joins Julian Schnabel, Zac Efron won't dance, and more...

Hollywood's newest It girl, Freida Pinto has signed on to star in Julian Schnabel's latest film, Miral. The film is an adaptation of Rula Jebreal's book about an orphanage during the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of Israel. It sounds good, but you can just feel the controversy and angry protests coming from a mile away. Not that Schnabel will care. [Variety]

Zac Efron has (thankfully) dropped out of the remake of Footloose. He is also starring in 17 Again (a remake of sorts), and an adaptation of Johnny Quest. I can feel my childhood dying a slow death. [HitFix]

Mad Men star Jon Hamm has joined the cast of indie drama Howl, and will play defense lawyer Jake Ehrlich, who inspired the TV series, Perry Mason. The film is about the 1957 obscenity trial of Allen Ginsberg's poem. The film also stars James Franco and David Strathairn. It's possible that there is just too much handsome in all this. [Variety]

And speaking of howls: Twilight sequel, New Moon has five new actors to play members of the wolf pack. Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman have been cast, although no one has revealed who will play whom. Each member of the wolf pack is of Native American decent. Spencer is Lakota (Sioux), Pelletier is Cree-Metis, Meraz is Purepecha (Tarasco), Gordon is Hualapai, and Houseman is Cree. [Empire]

On the biopic front: Anthony Hopkins is attached to play writer Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway and Fuentes, which will be written and directed by Andy Garcia. Annette Benning may also take on the role of Hemingway's widow, Mary Welsh. I'm drawn to this because the film isn't taking the typical paint by numbers, biopic formula. Instead, it will focus on the last days of Hemingway's life. [Hollywood Reporter]

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