On the last episode of Wheel of Shortlist Casting Future, five actresses were vying for the two lead roles opposite Tom Cruise in Joseph Kosinki's untitled sci-fi picture formerly known as "Oblivion" and "Horizons." The quintet, who had all tested for the role, included Brit Marling (Sundance indie-darling of "Another Earth" and "Sound of My Voice"), Olivia Wilde ("Cowboys & Aliens," "TRON: Legacy"), Noomi Rapace (the original "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo") & Olga Kurylenko ("Quantum Of Solace") and "Tree Of Life" co-star Jessica Chastain.
Marling already opted out of the Tom Cruise-related "One Shot," choosing Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" instead, which we presume didn't make her a frontrunner here either -- but clearly the superstar is intrigued with her talents. Variety now reports that the actress we least assumed to be interested, Jessica Chastain, is in negotiations for one of the part's which includes Cruise's wife and another mysterious woman, but the trade wasn't certain which role she was up for (let's take a guess with the wife role, unless she's seriously looking to switch it up).
The picture is set in a future where the Earth’s surface has been irradiated beyond recognition and the remnants of humanity live above the clouds, safe from the brutal alien Scavengers that stalk the ruins. But when surface drone repairman Jak (Cruise) discovers a mysterious woman in a crash-landed pod, it sets off an unstoppable chain of events that will force him to question everything he knows.
With one more lead to cast, the aforementioned remaining females who already tested still could snag a spot on this roster -- presumably Wilde, Rapace and Kurylenko were being eyed for the "mysterious" role. The follow-up project to Kosinski's "TRON: Legacy," this sci-fi project seemed at one point doomed after Disney, the company who only made a marginal profit off the "Tron" reboot, dropped the project, fearing they would take another bath on the expensive and ambitious film. Universal, who already dropped the expensive and ambitious "At the Mountains of Madness," by director Guillermo del Toro and producer James Cameron, ironically came in to give it a new life (presumably Tom Cruise and PG-13 is a much safer bet).
If 2011 is the year of any upcoming actress in Hollywood, it's arguably Jessica Chastain's. This year alone she's featured in Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life," alongside Brad Pitt, "The Help," "The Debt" with Sam Worthington and Helen Mirren, "Take Shelter" opposite Michael Shannon, Ralph Fiennes' "Coriolanus," the "Texas Killing Fields" with Worthington again and if the Weinstein's make a last-minute 2011 hail mary, "The Wettest County in the World" with Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf. That's a hell of a year any way you slice it and we just hope this isn't her Michael Fassbender takes "Jonah Hex" career blemish/mainstream experiment.
Who will nab that last female role? One would guess Wilde who already worked with Kosinski has the leg-up and Universal loves her ("The Change-Up," 'C&A'), but at the end of the day it's all about who has chemistry with Mr. Cruise. Already slated for a July 19, 2013 release, production on the picture is expected to begin sometime early 2012.