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Casting Net: Guy Pearce, Dominic West join 'Genius;' more

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Guy Pearce
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

• Guy Pearce and Dominic West have signed on for Genius, joining Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Linney. Michael Grandage is directing the film, marking his feature debut. John Logan adapted A. Scott Berg’s book for the screen. Pearce will play F. Scott Fitzgerald, while West will portray Ernest Hemingway. The film will relay the true, complicated relationship between novelist Thomas Wolfe (Law) and his editor,  Max Perkins (Firth). Kidman will play Aline Bernstein, with Linney as Louise Perkins. Genius comes as the third collaboration between Grandage, producing partner James Bierman, and John Logan. Filming kicks off next month at Shepperton Studios and on location in the U.K. [Deadline]

• John Slattery (Mad Men) and Jamey Sheridan (Homeland) have been cast in Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s Catholic sex abuse film. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) has also officially joined the film, as well as Brian D’Arcy James (Smash). Spotlight follows the Boston Globe’s 2001 investigation of sexual abuse by priests. McCarthy will direct. He penned the script with Josh Singer. Other cast members include: Liev Schreiber as Globe editor Marty Baron, Michael Keaton as Spotlight team editor Walter Robinson, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams as reporters, and Stanley Tucci as attorney Mitchell Garabedian. Slattery will play Ben Bradlee Jr., also an editor for the Spotlight team, with Sheridan as Jim Sullivan, a lawyer who represented the church.  Crudup will play Eric MacLeish, an attorney who represented the  victims, with James as reporter Matt Carroll. The film is a co-production of Anonymous Content and Rocklin/Faust. Steve Golin and Michael Sugar of Anonymous are producing alongside Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust. Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King are executive producing alongside Michael Bederman, Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg and Peter Lawson, and Entertainment One’s Patrice Theroux and Harold van Lier. Open Road will distribute the film domestically; Entertainment One will manage it internationally. Spotlight starts shooting in Boston on Thursday, and is set for a 2015 release. [THR]

• Robert Knepper (Prison Break) and Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas) are set to star in Cold Deck. Zack Bernbaum is directing the heist drama, which also stars Stefano Gallo as a gambler attempting a robbery to pay off his debt. Jason Lapeyre penned the script. Jesse Ikeman and Jeff Glickman of Sudden Storm Entertainment alongside Gallo of Scooping Owl Productions are producing. Gallo is also executive producing alongside Bernbaum and Justin McConnell. The indie is scheduled to shoot in Toronto next month. [THR]

• Katheryn Winnick (Love and Other Drugs) has signed on for Dean Devlin‘s environmental disaster flick Geostorm. The Warner Bros. film follows Jake (Gerard Butler), a man sent to space to stop climate-controlling satellites from creating a massive storm that could destroy the planet. Winnick will play Olivia, Jake’s ex-wife and mother to Hannah. Other castmembers include: Jim Sturgess, Andy Garcia, Ed Harris, and Abbie Cornish. Devlin, Michele Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney wrote the script. Devlin, Skydance Productions, and Electric Entertainment are producing. Filming begins next month in New Orleans. The film is scheduled to open on March 26, 2016. [Deadline]

• Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) has been cast in Paul Duddridge’s Mother’s Day, joining Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, and Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri Martino. Wesley will play an artsy pastry-chef named Kevin, who is the boyfriend of Amurri Martino’s character. [Deadline]

• Disney’s The Finest Hours has enlisted Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent), John Ortiz (The Drop), Michael Raymond James (True Blood), and Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards). Craig Gillespie will direct the film, which stars Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. Set in 1952, the film tells the story of a rescue mission following an oil tanker accident off the cost of Cape Cod. Lonsdale will play Eldon Hanan, the youngest crew member on his first voyage. Ortiz will play A.B. Seaman Wallace Quirey with Raymond-James as Seaman D.A. Brown, and Brosnahan as Bea Hansen. [Deadline]