It’s a tale of new beginnings, goodbyes and do-overs in this casting roundup. If there’s one constant in Hollywood it’s that things are always changing and that’s still true of this latest casting news which features updates on horror movies, literary adaptations, musicals and more.
Kicking things off, Rosemarie Dewitt is stepping in as the first cast member of the long-developing "Poltergeist" remake. The talent on board runs the gamut from "Monster House" director Gil Kenan (not the first person that comes to mind for something like this) to "Rabbit Hole" screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (respected dude), and given that the original is a stone cold classic, we're wary. But we're living in the year of horror remakes — "Evil Dead" dropped this past spring, "Carrie" comes this fall— so it was only a matter of time. Deadline reports that the hunt is now on the for the male lead, but the question is: who's going to be the little girl who can communicate with the dead?
As you might recall, Jake Gyllenhaal recently exited the star-studded musical “Into the Woods” due to a packed schedule. Luckily, according to Deadline, the filmmakers have been able to quickly replace him with Billy Magnussen. In the film, Magnussen will play Rapunzel’s prince charming in this adaptation of the fairytale musical production. Magnussen has previously appeared on “Boardwalk Empire” and stared in “The East.” He was also just recently nominated for a Tony for his work in Chris Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” He joins a cast that already includes Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, and Emily Blunt. The film is being directed by Rob Marshall and is set to hit theaters on December 25, 2014.
Meanwhile, Variety has learned that Dave Franco has joined Vince Vaughn in “Business Trip,” a comedy from New Regency. Dave Franco recently starred in “Now You See Me”, but has been doing some great comedy work with films like “21 Jump Street” and “Warm Bodies.” The "Planes, Trains & Automobiles"-esque film will follow a businessman who travels to Europe, where hilarity ensues. Probably hilarity of the middle-aged man variety. The film is being directed by Ken Scott who just worked with Vaughn on “Delivery Man.”
Adrien Brody has taken the lead in "Banking On Mr. Toad," according to Screen Daily. The film, which will reunite him with "The Pianist" actress Celestia Fox, will chronicle the life of author Kenneth Grahame, who created the children’s classic "Wind in the Willows." A mix of live action and CGI, Luis Mandoki ("Innocent Voices," "Trapped" and "Angel Eyes") will direct, with filming slated to get underway by the end of the year.
Finally, “Far From the Madding Crowd” is steadily moving ahead. After a year of sporadic news, we’ve finally gotten two updates on the film in the same month. A couple weeks ago we told you that actress Juno Temple was lining up a role in the production and now we’ve learned from Deadline that Tom Sturridge has been set to star alongside Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan. The Thomas Hardy novel of the same name is being brought to the big screen by director Thomas Vinterberg ("The Hunt"). — additional reporting by Kevin Jagernauth