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CASTING WATCH: Aronofsky's 'Noah' Wants Winstone, Watson & Wife; Penelope Cruz Joins 'Counselor,' Reteams with Almodovar

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 12, 2012 at 4:28PM

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "The Departed," "Hugo") has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts.
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Ray Winstone in "The Proposition"
Ray Winstone in "The Proposition"

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "The Departed," "Hugo") has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts. Jennifer Connolly and Julianne Moore's names have both been thrown in the mix to play Noah's wife, Naameth. "Noah" starts filming in August.

Connolly starred with Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" and could use a high profile project -- her latest efforts include the disappointing "Virginia," "Salvation Boulevard," and "The Dilemma." Moore is currently playing the mother in Kimberly Peirce's "Carrie." Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth will also star. [Deadline, Variety]

Following her roles in Pedro Almodovar's "All About My Mother," "Volver," "Broken Embraces") Penelope Cruz will join the Spanish auteur again this summer for  Standby Lovers." The film will also star Almodovar regulars Lola Duenas, Cecilia Roth, Paz Vega and Javier Camara. As the title suggests, the plot involves airplanes and affairs.

Cruz will then join the fantastic cast of Ridley Scott "The Counselor," which also includes Michael Fassbender as the titular attorney, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz and (Cruz's husband) Javier Bardem. Cormac McCarthy wrote the script. [Playlist]

This article is related to: CASTING WATCH, News, News, Penélope Cruz, Russell Crowe, Michael Fassbender


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.