Casting news and random stories from the last week . . .
LEO IN OBLIVION: Oscar Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) has joined the Tom Cruise sci-fi flick Oblivion. Tom Cruise stars as a veteran soldier who’s banished to the surface of a post-apocalyptic Earth and tasked with repairing ships that hunt down the aliens who destroyed our planet. When a mysterious woman (Andrea Riseborough) crash-lands nearby, their encounter sets off an eye-opening chain of events.
HANNIBAL ON TV: Hugh Dancy has been cast as Will Graham in the new TV series Hannibal on NBC. The part of Dr. Lector has yet to be cast and the show will will be based on Thomas Harris’ series of novels and will focus on the relationship between Graham and Hannibal.
MORE COME OUT OF THE FURNACE: Billy Bob Thornton and Forest Whitaker are in talks to join Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace. Bale plays a man who is released after serving four years in prison only to find that his younger brother has been brutally murdered. He sets out to avenge the death and track down the killer. Thornton would play the villain (is that the only role he plays these days?)
ODB LIVES!: Deadline is reporting Michael K. Williams (The Wire, Chalky White of Boardwalk Empire) is on-board to play Ol’ Dirty Bastard in a biopic directed by Joaquin Baca-Asay. The film is told from the point of view of 22-year-old VH1 intern Jarred Weisfeld who eventually became a manager/agent. Dirty White Boy follows Weisfeld’s misadventures with the rapper until the artist’s death from an accidental overdose in 2004, and the tone is said to be in the vein of Risky Business and 8 Mile.
CHRISTIAN BALE IS FULL OF B.S.: Deadline is reporting Christian Bale may reunite his The Fighter director David O. Russell for American Bullshit. Little is known about the film, but the report describes it as “a fact-based drama with global implications.” Whatever that means . . .
ENTER THE HIVE: Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin are set for The Hive. The film, directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Transsiberian), centers on “on a female emergency line operator (Berry) who, in trying to help a young girl (Breslin), comes up against a killer from her own past.”
TWO RANDOM NOTES: 1. A “reinvention” of the Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn story titled HUCK is under way. The idea is to add “supernatural elements to the script.” In fact, the new project is pecifically being described as “in the vein of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN.” Sounds terrible . . . 2. Another version of George Orwell’s 1984 is in the works . . . Great . . .
UNRELEATED NEWS: There is a rumor going around MTV that the brass at Warner Bros. gave The Dark Knight rises a standing ovation when Christopher Nolan screened the film for them. As if we need any more incentive to see the movie . . .