After negotiations first broke surrounding the role last month, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has at last been confirmed to star in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation at Tristar of Petit’s book, “To Reach The Clouds." Following the journey toward Philippe Petit’s daring stunt of tightrope-walking between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, the film will Zemeckis direct Levitt as Petit from a script written by him and Christopher Browne; also—this being Zemeckis—it will utilize 3D to gain the most stomach-lurching cinematography that the “Flight” helmer can muster. The film goes into production this May. [Variety]
Actress Lily Collins spent much of last year stuck in franchise panic, as planned heavyweight “The Mortal Instruments” weathered delays and production halts following the first installment’s poor critical and box office reception. Her long-term duty to Cassandra Clare’s series remains uncertain, but for now she’s signed on to another adaptation: “How To Be Single," based on Liz Tuccillo’s novel, written for the screen by Marc Silverstein and Abby Kohn, and produced by Drew Barrymore. Charting a young woman’s search for love while living in New York, the film will once again pair Collins and director Christian Ditter after working together on Lionsgate’s upcoming “Love, Rosie”. [Variety]
Tahar Rahim’s acting potential, first seen in 2009’s gripping “A Prophet”, has steadily grown into a capable leading presence in films like “Grand Central” and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past." Now he’s in the process of adopting a more light-hearted persona, this time with “The Volcano” director Alexandre Coffre. “Le Père Noël," currently shooting in Paris and its surroundings, follows Rahim as a robber dressed as Santa Claus who’s pursued by a six-year-old convinced the man is the real deal; the cast includes Victor Cabal, Philippe Rebbot, and Anne-Lise Hesme, and should offer a nice bit of counter-programming to Rahim’s more dour roles. [CineEuropa]
In addition to his continued series role on “Shameless” and impressive directorial debut “Rudderless” (which premiered at Sundance last month), William H. Macy is set to next delve into a number of small-scale feature dramas including “Walter” and “Stealing Cars." Now the latest, “Dial-a-Prayer”, finds him starring alongside “Pitch Perfect” actress Brittany Snow, who plays a young woman sentenced to community service in a prayer request call center. Produced by Jason Potash and directed by Maggie Kiley, the film will shoot in Michigan this March. [THR]
Debra Winger, Josh Lucas, Eddie Izzard (replacing Alfred Molina) and Kevin McHale have joined Dustin Hoffman in the drama "Boychoir." Ben Ripley ("Source Code") has penned the script that Francois Girard ("The Red Violin") will direct about an "angry young boy who is completely out of his element in the new school and finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding choir master Carvelle (Hoffman) who recognizes a unique talent in the kid and pushes him. Lucas will play the boy’s estranged father, with McHale as a young music teacher who champions the kid. Winger will play the principal at the boy’s Texas school, and Izzard is a teacher at the new school who is Carvelle’s right-hand." [Deadline]
Lastly, that "Point Break" remake is still pushing ahead and now Gerard Butler's Bodhi has found his Johnny Utah. Luke Bracey will take the part of a young FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a criminal gang in the world of international extreme sports. Ericson Core (“Invincible”) is directing from Kurt Wimmer’s (“Salt,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “Total Recall”) screenplay.