By Adam B. Vary
Updated April 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM EDT
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Credit: Jonathan Short/AP Images

Penelope Cruz is circling The Counselor, the drug thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a lawyer who dips his toe into the cocaine trade and gets pulled in deep. Cruz would be Fassbender’s love interest; her husband, Javier Bardem, and Brad Pitt round out the cast of the Cormac McCarthy-penned, Ridley Scott-directed project. [THR]

Bradley Cooper is in talks to join Christian Bale in the MPAA-baiting American Bulls—, about “Abscam,” the F.B.I. sting that resulted in the conviction of a U.S. senator and several U.S. congressmen in the early 1980s. David O. Russell is attached to possibly direct. [Deadline]

• Best double-take news of the day: Joseph Gordon-Levitt has cast his Angels in the Outfield costar Tony Danza in Gordon-Levitt’s untitled directorial debut, about a 21st-century Don Juan (Gordon-Levitt) out to mend his ways. Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore costar. [Variety]

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