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Taraji P. Henson to star in Hidden Figures

Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Danny McBride also cast in various projects

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Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Backstage Creations
  • Taraji P. Henson is set to star in Hidden Figures. Ted Melfi is directing the film, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. Henson will play math wiz Katherine Johnson in a story about how Johnson and her colleagues, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, helped launch astronaut John Glenn into space and bring him home safely. The film hits theaters on Jan. 13. [Variety]
  • Kate Winslet is circling Collateral Beauty, which has Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Keira Knightley, Michael Pena, and Naomie Harris amongst its cast. The part is a “key supporting role,” which Rachel McAdams had been considered for. David Frankel is directing from a screenplay by Allan Loeb. The story focuses on a New York advertising executive (Smith), who hides away after going through a personal tragedy — so his colleague looks for ways to help him heal. The film is scheduled for a Dec. 16 release. [The Wrap]
  • Idris Elba is in talks for director Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us. Based on the novel by Charles Martin, the romantic drama tells the story of a couple, previously to be played by Charlie Hunnam and Rosamund Pike, who fall for each after when they’re lost in the wild following a plane crash. J. Mills Goodloe and Scott Frank wrote the early versions of the script, with a rewrite from Chris Weitz. [THR
  • Danny McBride is in early talks for Alien: Covenant. The Ridley Scott film will have Michael Fassbender return as David, the robot he played in Prometheus, with Katherine Waterston stepping in as the new female lead. The film follows the crew of a colony ship named Covenant who happen upon what they believe to be undiscovered territory — but it has an inhabitant in David, who made it through the disastrous Prometheus expedition. Scott’s company, Scott Free, is producing the film, which could kickstart a new Alien trilogy that would connect Prometheus with the original feature. [The Wrap]
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh is in early negotiations for Annihilation, an Alex Garland film that already stars Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson. The film is based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, which centers on a group of women — an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist/group leader, and a biologist/narrator — who embark on a perilous venture “where the laws of nature don’t apply.” Scott Rudin is producing. [The Wrap]
  • Julia Ormond is replacing Catherine O’Hara in Rememory, a drama about a professor who passes just before his big invention is released. She’ll play the professor’s wife, Carolyn, who finds her husband’s memory recoding and playing device and uses that to uncover the details of his death, with assistance from an unexpected friend played by Peter Dinklage. Mark Palansky is directing and also developed the script with Mike Vukadinovich. [Deadline]
  • Stephen Moyer is no longer attached to The Tribes of Palos Verdes because of a scheduling conflict. Based on the YA novel by Joy Nicholson, the story centers on two teenagers and their parents who move to the wealthy suburb. Their mother (Jennifer Garner) soon nears a nervous breakdown, and their father (previously Moyer) becomes a surgeon for celebrities. Their daughter, Medina (Maika Monroe), takes up surfing to cope with her family matters. Cody Fern plays her brother, Jim, and Elisabeth Rohm, Milo Gibson, Goran Visnjic, Joely Fisher, Noah Silver, and Stevie Lynn are also in the film. Emmett and Brendan Malloy are directing, and Karen Coner wrote the script for the drama, which is expected to recast Moyer’s part straight away. [Deadline
  • Nicola Peltz was in negotiations to appear opposite Alex Roe in the romance drama A Moment to Remember, but dropped out on Wednesday following the announcement. The film stars Roe as a husband who tries to remind his wife of their love after she is affected by a disease that wipes away her memory. Ben Lewin is directing the film, and Susannah Grant wrote the script. [Variety]
  • James Purefoy, Aneurin Barnard, and Samantha Barks have been cast in Interlude in Prague. John Stephenson is directing the film from a script by Brian Ashby. The film is set in Prague in 1787 and centers on composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, detailing a few dramatic months that affected the making of his opera Don Giovanni. “The storyline follows a brief interlude in the composer’s colorful life during one of his several visits to Prague — the dates and locations are real, but the plot is fictitious,” Variety notes. Principal photography kicks off in Prague in April. [Variety