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Casting Net: Channing Tatum to be 'Struck by Genius' in new drama

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• Channing Tatum will star in the inspirational true story Struck by Genius for Sony. Based on the memoir of the same name released in April, it follows the real life story of Jason Padgett, who became a math genius after a traumatic brain injury outside a karaoke bar. Tatum will play Padgett and the film is expected to follow him dealing with such issues as PTSD and the chronic pain that followed before finding some salvation in art. [THR]

• Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is in talks to join the Ben-Hur remake starring Jack Huston. Kebbell would play the villainous Messala, former friend to the title slave who is now a Roman commander. Wanted‘s Timur Bekmambetov is already set to direct Huston and Morgan Freeman in the adaptation written by Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley. [Variety]

• The Big C star Gabriel Basso has joined the cast of Meg Ryan‘s directorial debut Ithaca. The film written by Erik Jendresen (Killing Lincoln) is adapted from the William Saroyan novel “The Human Comedy” and follows life in a small California town during World War II. Ryan will also appear in the film alongside Tom Hanks, son Jack Quaid, and Sam Shepard. [The Wrap]

• King Arthur has found his queen. French actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey has been tapped to play Guinevere in director Guy Ritchie‘s Knights Of The Roundtable: King ArthurCharlie Hunnam is already set to wear the crown of the title role for the Warner Bros film. Previously, Berges-Frisbey appeared as the mermaid Syrena in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which required the actress to learn English. The story of the royal legend has been adapted by Joby Harold (Awake) with the potential for six installments of a franchise being created. [Deadline]

• Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) has joined Sandra Bullock in the political dramedy Our Brand is Crisis. David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) is directing the movie based on the 2005 documentary of the same name about a U.S. political strategy firm hired by a controversial South American politician in a presidential election. Oscar winners George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing the film written by Peter Straughan (Frank). [The Wrap]

• Paul Reiser will play Dr. Elliott Pellman, the chair of the NFL medical committee in Sony’s untitled football concussion movie. Peter Landesman (Parkland) is writing and directing the drama based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas. It will star Will Smith as neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu with Alec Baldwin and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in supporting roles. [THR]

• Dennis Haysbert (24) will appear in two upcoming films. The first is as one of the leads in the zombie movie Dead Rising from director Zach Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins). The freaky film from Legendary Digital and Crackle is based on the video game of the same name. In addition, Haysbert has also booked a cameo role in Seth MacFarlane’Ted 2, currently filming in Boston and starring Mark Wahlberg, Amanda Seyfried, Morgan Freeman and of course America’s favorite foul-mouthed teddy bear. [The Wrap]

• This won’t be your mother’s Mark Twain. Kyle Gallner (American Sniper) and Adam Nee (Drunk History) will play modern versions of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, respectively, in the comedic thriller Band of Robbers. Adam and Aaron Nee will direct the film, in which the criminal Huck and corrupt cop Tom join together to form the titled group of misfits including Becky Thatcher, played by Glee‘s Melissa Benoist and Injun Joe, played by Avatar‘s Stephen Lang. [Variety]

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