Casting round-up with tidbits on Joaquin Phoenix, Tyler Perry, Val Kilmer, and more

Lots of casting morsels to report on today for a variety of projects. I figured let's just cram them all into one article to ease your perusal. So, what's going on?

- Joaquin Phoenix, back again sans unkempt hair and hobo beard, is said to be the frontrunner to play the mentor role of 'Henry Sturges' in ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER. The role would feature him instructing the young 16th President (the recently cast Benjamin Walker) in the art of undead ass-kicking. [Via Deadline]

- John Malkovich and Catherine Keener, may reunite for the first time since 1999's BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. The two are attached to star in an indie comedy from director Jesse Peretz (MY IDIOT BROTHER, which our own Chris Bumbray really enjoyed) titled WHAT'S THIS S%^@ CALLED LOVE? The film "centers on a teenage boy who's contemplating coming out. But in a twist, his ultra-progressive family actually wants to celebrate the boy's newfound sexuality, while all the boy wants is to be left alone." The progressive parents would be played by Malkovich and Keener. [Via LA Times]

- Tyler Perry will inexplicably be starring in I, ALEX CROSS playing the title character who first appeared in a series of books written by novelist James Patterson (the role has previously been embodied by Morgan Freeman in the films KISS THE GIRLS and ALONG CAME A SPIDER). The action film, to be directed by Rob Cohen (STEALTH, XXX), will tell of the origins of the detective/psychologist. [Via Variety]

- Kodi Smit-McPhee (LET ME IN, THE ROAD) will be starring in the THE CONGRESS, a futuristic sci-fi film from WALTZ WITH BASHIR director Ari Folman. The film is based on author Stanislaw Lem's novel The Futurological Congress (he also wrote Solaris which spawned two film adaptations) which is about a man "who is propelled into a world where hallucinogenic drugs have replaced reality." The Playlist adds that the film has taken that idea and expanded it into a story about "the world of an actress [to be played by Robin Wright]. She's in decline because the studios just sampled her and they kept using her image. She walks into the future, which is a world that is totally controlled by the manufacture of psychiatric pharmacology products." [Via We Got This Covered by way of The Playlist]

- Alex Pettyfer (I AM NUMBER FOUR) has been offered the lead role in the adaptation of THE LAST APPRENTICE from director Sergey Bodrov (MONGOL: THE RISE OF GENGHIS KHAN, NOMAD), "about a teenage boy training to be an exorcist in the 1700s." Oscar nominees Jeff Bridges (TRUE GRIT) and Jennifer Lawrence (WINTER'S BONE) have already been offered the roles of the exorcist and a suspected witch respectively. Pettyfer is reportedly ditching a multi-million dollar offer to play the lead in THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS for this. [Via Vulture]

- Val Kilmer (MACGRUBER) is reuniting with his REAL GENIUS co-star Jon Gries (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) for DEEP IN THE HEART, an indie film based on the true story "of an alcoholic who reinvented himself as a multimillionaire businessman." Kilmer will play a "Christ-like figure" known as 'The Bearded Man' (a great chance for him to sport his real-life hobo face scruff) that guides Gries' 'Richard Wallrath' back onto the bandwagon. [Via THR]
Extra Tidbit: Tyler Perry in an action movie? THIS Tyler Perry?? WUT???
Source: Various



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