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Casting Net: Gal Gadot in talks for 'Ben-Hur;' more

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• Gal Gadot is in talks for the female lead in Ben-Hur. Timbur Bekmambetov is directing. The work is a remake of the 1959 film of the same name, as well as an adaptation of the Lew Wallace novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film follows Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by Messala (Toby Kebbell). Morgan Freeman will play the man who teaches Ben-Hur the art of chariot-racing. If Gadot signs on, she will play Esther, a slave and the love interest of Ben-Hur. Keith Clarke penned the script with a rewrite by John Ridley. Mark Burnett, Sean Daniel, and Joni Levin are producing. Roma Downey, Ridley, Clarke, and Jason F. Brown are executive producing. The film will begin filming in Europe early next year. It is considering a February 2016 release date. [THR]

• David Krumholtz, Josh Pais, James DuMont, and Wrenn Schmidt have joined the cast of I Saw the Light. The Hank Williams biopic stars Tom Hiddleston as the musician with Elizabeth Olsen as Williams’ wife, Audrey Mae Williams. Marc Abraham is directing the film. He also adapted Colin Escott‘s biography for the screen. The film will tell the life of the famed country singer who quickly rose to fame but later struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Krumholtz will play James Dolan, a journalist who interviews Williams. Pais will play Dore Schary, a one-time production president of MGM who tries to talk Williams into acting. DuMont will play WB Nolan, a music promoter and small-town mayor who forces a performance out of the singer. Schmidt will play Bobbie Jett, one of many women in Williams’ life and the mother of his daughter. RatPac’s Brett Ratner and Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert are producing along with G. Marq Roswell and Mark Abraham. James Packer is executive producing for RatPac. Patty Long is the line producer/executive producer. The film kicks off production this week in Louisiana. [THR]

• Briana Evigan (Step Up 5) and Emily Osment (Hannah Montana) have signed on for Love Is All You Need. Kim Rocco Shields is directing. She and David Tillman co-wrote the indie indie drama, which is set in a world where being gay is the norm and being straight is cause for bullying. The film is based on Shields’ 2011 short film of the same name. Evignan will play a star college quarterback, Jude, who begins a romance with a male journalist. Osment will play Jude’s girlfriend, Kelly. Kyla Kennedy (The Walking Dead) also stars as an 11-year-old girl who is bullied for a crush she has on a male classmate. Filming kicks off this week under Love Is All You Need, LLC. [Deadline]

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