James Gandolfini To Join Steve Carell & Jim Carrey In 'Burt Wonderstone'

by Oliver Lyttelton
October 31, 2011 12:57 PM
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Search For Female Lead Narrowed To Olivia Wilde & Sarah Silverman



Since "The Sopranos" ended back in 2007, James Gandolfini's been doing pretty well for himself, all told. He might not have taken any roles with as major an impact on the cultural zeitgeist as angsty mob boss Tony Soprano, but he's managed to tackle a diverse range of stuff, from a foul-mouthed general in "In The Loop" to a mood-swing-prone monster in "Where The Wild Things Are," and he's got some high-profile supporting turns on the way, in Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and Andrew Dominik's "Cogan's Trade."

And now, the actor's taking on something a bit lighter as Variety report that Gandolfini is in talks to join comedy titans Steve Carell and Jim Carrey in "Burt Wonderstone," the upcoming New Line comedy set in the world of stage illusionists. Carell plays the title character, a once-famous magician, fallen on hard times, who clashes with a trendier, Criss Angel-style rival (Carrey), with Gandolfini looking to play Doug Munny, a "classy billionaire" (is there such a thing?) who owns the Las Vegas casino where Wonderstone works.

The site also report that the short-list for the female lead reported last week has shrunk to only two: not-Lara Croft Olivia Wilde, and comic Sarah Silverman. We're disappointed to see that Judy Greer (reported to also be on the list, alongside Jessica Biel and Michelle Monaghan), has dropped off, considering how good she is in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," but we suppose she was always a long shot for a part like this.

Carell and Carrey can each be a little patchy with their big-screen broad comedy projects, but there's reason for optimism here: "30 Rock" helmer Don Scardino is directing, and Jason Reitman did a polish on the script recently, so we're hoping it'll be a cut above, say, "Dinner With Schmucks" or "Yes Man." Gandolfini's certainly a nice addition to the cast, anyway. Filming will start in January.

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