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Casting Net: Octavia Spencer to play God in 'The Shack'

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  • Octavia Spencer is in final negotiations to play God in the adaptation of the bestselling novel The Shack. The story follows a man whose youngest daughter is taken during a family vacation, with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe that she was murdered. Four years later, the man receives a note, supposedly from God, inviting him back to the shack and he accepts the invitation and finds something there that will change his life forever. [Variety]
  • Jeremy Renner will star opposite Amy Adams in Story of Your LifeThe film is about alien crafts that land around the world, and an expert linguist (Adams) who is recruited by the military to decide whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that are the key to unlocking the mystery about the purpose of their visit. Renner will play a physics professor paired with the linguist to help communicate with the aliens. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Damon Wayans Jr. is in talks to join the romantic comedy How to Be SingleDakota JohnsonLily CollinsAlison BrieRebel Wilson and Leslie Mann are already cast. The film will be released in time for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 12, 2016. Shooting is set to begin in April. The film is an ensemble comedy, similar in style to He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Benjamin Bratt will star alongside Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger in The Infiltrator, a fact-based thriller. The film centers on a customs and excise agent (Cranston) who went undercover as a money launderer and infiltrated the bankers who were behind the Medellin drug cartel. Bratt will play Roberto Alcanio, the agent’s contact who dealt directly with the cartel board members, including Pablo Escobar. Production is set to begin shortly. [Deadline]
  • Garrett Hedlund is in advanced negotiations to play the second lead in the Ang Lee-directed Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. He will play the leader of the Bravo Company squad, Sgt. Dime in the adaptation of the novel that centers on 19-year-old private Billy Lynn. The company is brought home by the U.S. administration for a promotional tour, ending at the halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day football game, all while facing their return to the war. [Deadline]

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