Firstly, rising thesp Rodriguez is in talks to star opposite Paul Walker in a post-Katrina indie-thriller written and directed by Eric Heisserer, whose current claim to fame is scripting "Final Destination 5" and the recent remakes of "Nightmare On Elm Street" and "The Thing." No word on what exact role she'll be taking on, but the story itself centers on a father who fights to keep his newborn daughter alive in a New Orleans hospital after Katrina hits the city. Rodriguez recently wrapped on Arnold Schwarznegger comeback-pic "The Last Stand" and also featured in "Man On A Ledge," "Casa De Mi Padre" and "What To Expect When You're Expecting."
Former "The L Word" star Beals, meanwhile, caught our eye with her portrayal of the first female police superintendent of Chicago in Shawn Ryan's now-defunct "The Chicago Code." She's currently set to produce and star in indie jazz film "The Lord Of Vinyl," which will mark the directorial debut of Dennis Bartok.
The story will follow the "bittersweet life and comic despair of a lonely fortysomething Angeleno who's obsessed with jazz, and finds himself exploring the possibility of new love with an unhappily married post office worker (Beals)" and the possibility of a single surviving recording by New Orleans native Buddy Bolden, the enigmatic "godfather of Jazz." It remains to be seen when production will get underway but the project does have Patrick Cunningham producing after the success of "Martha Marcy May Marlene." [Deadline/Variety]