Casting news and rumors: James Franco, Charlize Theron, Gerard Butler, Colin Firth, and many more

-Charlize Theron has officially signed on to Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS, joining Noomi Rapace (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) and Michael Fassbender (INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS) in the Fox sci-fi epic. [Variety]

While the studio, director and writer Damon Lindelof ("Lost") have publicly claimed PROMETHEUS had transformed into something original intstead of the initially intended ALIEN prequel, Fassbender tells MTV it's still set in the same movie universe: "Oh, absolutely. There's a definite connecting vein. You realize you're part of something else, but it's definitely in keeping with the old [ALIEN movies]."

-Although he's about twice as old as the original character, ever-busy James Franco is reportedly interested in playing pill-popping futuristic biker-gang leader Kaneda in the live-action AKIRA. The Warner Bros. adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga transports the story from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan, and has Albert Hughes (THE BOOK OF ELI) directing and Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way producing. Tetsuoooo!!!! [Just Jared]

-Gerard Butler will hit the waves for MAVERICKS, from director Curtis Hanson (8 MILE, LA CONFIDENTIAL). The project is "based on the true story of Santa Cruz surf phenom Jay Moriarity and his quest to ride the treacherous Northern California breaks known as Mavericks, where winter swells create waves the size of five-story buildings. Butler will play Rick "Frosty" Hesson, the mentor who trained Moriarity for over a year and forged a close relationship with the surfer in the process." Butler currently has MACHINE GUN PREACHER, CORIOLANUS and the soccer drama PLAYING THE FIELD in the pipe. [Deadline]

-Oscar frontrunner Colin Firth (THE KING'S SPEECH) may join Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska in the thriller STOKER, about a girl and her mother who are visited by a mysterious uncle after the girl's father dies. The script comes from "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller, and will be the English-language debut of South Korean director Park Chan-Wook (OLDBOY). [LA Times]

-Anthony Mackie (THE HURT LOCKER) and Dominic Cooper (CAPTAIN AMERICA, MAMMA MIA) are joining ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith's historical/horror mashup book, the Fox movie comes from director Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED) and producer Tim Burton. Broadway star Benjamin Walker ("Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson") plays the bloodsucker-battling President, Mackie will be his best friend, and Cooper plays the mentor (a role that Joaquin Phoenix was considering). [Deadline]

-Jeremy Renner, Judi Dench, Jennifer Garner and Michelle Monaghan are attached to the indie BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY, from writer-director David Posamentier. The movie "tells the tale of a straitlaced small-town pharmacist stuck in a loveless marriage who rediscovers himself through an affair with a wild, drug-experimenting trophy wife." [Variety]

-Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake, Catherine Zeta Jones and Rebecca Hall (THE TOWN) star in LAY THE FAVORITE, TAKE THE DOG from director Stephen Frears (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS). The sports-gambling movie, adapted from Beth Raymer’s memoir, is described as a mix of THE GRIFTERS and HIGH FIDELITY (which Frears also directed). [Vulture]

Source: Various



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