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Emily Mortimer Beats Out Marisa Tomei For Lead In Aaron Sorkin's HBO Pilot

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 3, 2011 at 2:45AM

We bloody love Emily Mortimer. The British star has proved herself over the last decade or so to be an incredibly versatile actress, capable of terrific dramatic work, in projects like "Lars and the Real Girl" or "Lovely & Amazing" (the latter really should have brought her more awards attention) and broad comedy (her turn as Jack Donaghy's bird-boned girlfriend in "30 Rock" is one for the ages), and she even classes up more formulaic fare -- see her turn as a cop opposite Michael Caine in "Harry Brown."
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We bloody love Emily Mortimer. The British star has proved herself over the last decade or so to be an incredibly versatile actress, capable of terrific dramatic work, in projects like "Lars and the Real Girl" or "Lovely & Amazing" (the latter really should have brought her more awards attention) and broad comedy (her turn as Jack Donaghy's bird-boned girlfriend in "30 Rock" is one for the ages), and she even classes up more formulaic fare -- see her turn as a cop opposite Michael Caine in "Harry Brown."

The big names are finally starting to cotton on -- Martin Scorsese cast her in both "Shutter Island" and "Hugo Cabret," and she's lending her voice to Pixar's "Cars 2" this summer, as well as cropping up in the outstanding all-star cast of "Our Idiot Brother," and now it looks like we could be seeing even more of her in future, as Mortimer is now in talks for the female lead in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming pilot for HBO, which has the working title "More as the Story Develops."

Last week, it was reported that Marisa Tomei was close to signing on for the role, that of Mackenzie McHale, the new executive producer of a cable news show hosted by a charismatic, egotistical anchor, Will McAllister, who also happens to be Mackenzie's ex-lover -- a role being filled by Jeff Daniels. Mortimer was mentioned at the time as being in contention for the part, and it seems like in the last few days something's happened to put Mortimer in pole position. Deadline, who broke the story, say that there were a series of readings in the last few days which led to Mortimer being made an offer, but it seems likely that negotiations with Tomei fell apart, possibly due to scheduling conflicts with the indie drama "Lucky Them."

It's a shame that Tomei won't be involved, but Mortimer's terrific, and we can't wait to see what she does with Sorkin's dialogue. Our only reservation is that, at 39, she's a less plausible romantic partner for the 56-year-old Daniels than Tomei was, but it's not exactly the first time in Hollywood history that that's happened. Mortimer and Daniels are joined by Alison Pill and Olivia Munn, who were both said to be in talks last week, but seem to now be signed on, "Adventureland" and "Paul" helmer Greg Mottola is directing, and filming should be underway fairly soon, with a full series hopefully to follow in 2012.

This article is related to: Actors, Actresses, TV Networks, Jeff Daniels, Marisa Tomei, Emily Mortimer, Aaron Sorkin


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