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Sam Riley Joins Michelle Williams In 'Suite Francaise'; Ray Winstone Joins Sean Penn In 'The Gunman'

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by Kristen Lopez
June 15, 2013 1:30 PM
3 Comments
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Actor Sam Riley has been progressing up the ranks after his break-out performance in the 2007 biopic “Control” and his more recent turn in "On The Road."  With a starring role alongside Angelina Jolie in “Maleficient” next summer, Riley has jumped aboard the Weinstein Company’s adaptation of Irene Nemirovsky’s book, “Suite Francaise.” Set in WWII, the project recently acquired leading lady Michelle Williams, on top of a cast that already includes Kristin Scott Thomas as Williams’ mother. The story follows a French woman (Williams) who falls in love with a German officer (played by Matthias Schoenaerts). The cast is a fine assortment of indie darlings and past Oscar contenders who could give it strong legs for awards consideration next year. Production is set to start later this summer for a release next year. [Deadline]

Despite the presence of director Pierre Morel (who directed the less than critically acclaimed “Taken” and “To Paris with Love”), the casting for the upcoming film, “The Gunman” is spectacular. A onetwo punch of excellence was given with the casting of Javier Bardem and Idris Elba on top of the announcement that Sean Penn will be taking the leading role of Martin Terrier, a government operative forced to go on the run after being double crossed. According to Deadline, the project has just signed on Ray Winstone (“The Departed”) to play Penn’s mentor. Winstone is great at playing the heavy, and this role could see him having a lot of fun opposite Penn. Winstone can be seen next opposite Russell Crowe and a menagerie of animals in the biblical epic, “Noah.” “The Gunman” starts filming sometime this month. [Deadline]

The upcoming Alan Turing biopic, “The Imitation Game,” is becoming one of the hottest projects out there and the casting keeps getting better. After nabbing Hollywood’s new golden boy, Benedict Cumberbatch, for the lead role of Turing, it was announced a few weeks ago that Keira Knightley is set to play an unknown role. According to the Daily Mail, Knightley is still in negotiations but will be playing fellow scientist Joan Clarke, who loves Turing in spite of his homosexuality. The article also discloses that Matthew Goode (“Stoker”) has signed on to play code-breaker Hugh Alexander. Turing was an acclaimed scientist and code breaker who cracked the German’s Engima code during WWII and was later prosecuted for illegal sex crimes which ended up ruining his life. “The Imitation Game’s” script, written by Graham Moore, was a 2011 Black List winner for Best Unproduced Script, and was once slated to have Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. Regardless, the cast is shaping up to be another fantastic addition to a story that’s worth researching. [Daily Mail]

Director Rob Marshall can create good musicals, like the Oscar-winning “Chicago,” or bad musicals, like the little-seen “Nine.” The Walt Disney Company hopes Marshall can craft magic in the genre with his next movie musical, the acclaimed Stephen Sondheim story “Into the Woods.” The story of a Baker and his wife who hope to lift a witch’s curse in order to have children, has already nabbed Hollywood legends Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, and are hoping to strike gold with Chris Pine and Jake Gyllenhaal as singing princes - regardless of the fact that neither one has sung on film. Why does Hollywood continue to believe actors who have never sung can do so when filmed? The latest announcement divulges that Tracey Ullman has jumped on-board as the mother to Jack the Giant Killer, a role that hasn’t been cast yet. Ullman has retired from the screen since the 2007 comedy “I Could Never Be Your Woman,” and without knowing much about the role, she could be a solid, albeit small addition to the cast. [Hollywood Reporter]

After marking his return to Hollywood in the successful “Silver Linings Playbook” last year, “Rush Hour” star Chris Tucker continues to use that momentum to his advantage. The Wrap is reporting that Tucker has secured the lead in the Phil Joanou (“Gridiron Gang“) directed film, “Second Honeymoon,” from Relativity Media. The synopsis is a tad ambiguous on whether the story is a thriller or an outright horror movie, but it follows a couple hoping to rekindle the love of their earlier years by going on a second honeymoon to Antigua. What starts out as a trip to reignite their romance becomes a fight for survival. So, a honeymoon thriller where survival ends up helping them rediscover their love? Could make for a compelling little thriller. Relativity seems to be banking on a few of these smaller projects with the Liam Hemsworth thriller “Paranoia” out later this year. There’s no details on when “Second Honeymoon” will start production. [The Wrap]

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3 Comments

  • Anne | June 16, 2013 8:50 AMReply

    Respectfully, Kristen Lopez is uninformed - not good for a journalist. Both Gyllenhaal and Pine can sing.
    More so, Jake Gyllenhaal has musical theatre studies. 12 years ago he auditioned for "Moulin Rouge". As director Baz Luhrmann recalls in a MTV interview, Jake "sang some Sondheim, very complicated song. He has a tremendous voice, he should do a musical".

  • Kristen Lopez | June 17, 2013 2:20 AM

    Anne, thus why I wrote neither had performed "on-screen." While Gyllenhaal did audition for "Moulin Rouge," there's no filmic proof. He may be able to sing, but we've never seen it on film, therefore I reserve judgement until it's actually on camera. I guess, I should have explained that better.

  • Munki | June 16, 2013 6:50 PM

    She got a film title wrong too. So that means the world is ending as concluded in this weekend's new feature film, along side Man of Steel of course.

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