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Casting Net: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern in negotiations for 'Wilson'

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  • Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern are currently in negotiations to star in Fox Searchlight’s Wilson, the story of a middle-aged misanthrope (Harrelson) who goes looking for his drug-abusing ex-wife (Dern) after the death of his father. When he learns that he has a teenaged daughter who was born after their divorce, he tries to force them all to join him as a family. The film will shoot this June in Minneapolis. [The Hollywood Reporter]

  • Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) and Thomas Mann (Me and Early and the Dying Girl) are in talks to join the Dakota Fanning-led Brain On Fire. Gerard Barrett is set to direct from his own scripted adaptation of Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir of the same name. Fanning will play Cahalan during her sudden, tumultuous and horrifying descent into madness at the hands of a mysterious illness. Mann is set to play Cahalan’s boyfriend. The film will shoot in July in Vancouver and New York.[Deadline]
  • Netflix’s current favorite villain Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) is in negotiations to play another villain in Warner Bros.’ feature adaptation of the ’70s cop show, CHiPs. Dax Shepard and Michael Pena are set to play best friends and motorcycle-bound police officers Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello. Shepard is also directing from his own screenplay writer. The exact plot details for the adaptation are unknown, but it is said to involve an exotic-car theft ring, which D’Onofrio, once a cop himself, now heads up. [Variety]

  • Jayson Warner Smith (Rectify) will join Tom Cruise in Doug Liman‘s Mena, a real life drug-runner tale. Smith will play Bill Cooper, a friend of Cruise’s character who is also one of his trusted pilots. Smith will spend five weeks playing shooting the film, which is currently in production. [The Wrap]

  • Comedian Mickey Gooch Jr. has joined real-life girlfriend Rebel Wilson and the rest of the ensemble cast of the romantic comedy How to Be Single, which follows single New Yorkers who all approach love and dating differently, and are being chronicled by a young female author who is writing a book about bachelorettes. The Christian Ditter-directed film also stars Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie, Nicholas Braun, Jason Mantzoukas, Jake Lacy and Damon Wayans Jr. Gooch will play a character named Big Boy. Production has begun in New York with a release set for next February. [The Wrap]

  • Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy) will star in the historical drama The Birth of a Nation, based on the true story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. Turner was spurred by religious visions to lead a band of 70 rebel slaves and kill between 55 and 65 people in Virginia. The rebellion was stopped after two days, but Turner was able to survive in hiding for over two months. Haley will play a slave patrol captain who takes pride in controlling their movements, and Boone Jr. will play a “crafty” preacher. Filming will begin shortly in Savannah. [Variety]

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