Casting Net: Jason Bateman to star in and direct spelling bee comedy. Plus: Channing Tatum circling Evel Knievel biopic, and 'The Wolverine' gets villain
• Jason Bateman is in talks to star in and make his feature directing debut with the indie comedy Bad Words, about an unhappy adult who games the system to enter a national children’s spelling bee. First-time screenwriter Andrew Dodge penned the script, which was on the 2011 Black List. [Variety]
• Channing Tatum is in talks to produce and star in an untitled biopic about famed daredevil Evel Knievel. Tatum’s producing partner Reid Carolin (Magic Mike) penned the script, based on the Stuart Barker book Life of Evel. No director is attached. [THR]
• Hiroyuki Sanada (Lost, Revenge, Rush Hour 3) will play Big Bad yakuza crime boss Lord Shingen opposite Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine. James Mangold is directing. [Deadline]
• Melissa Leo and Rick Yune (Die Another Day) have signed onto the White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen (this is the one starring Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent, and Aaron Eckhart as the president, with Antoine Fuqua directing). Leo will play the Secretary of Defense, and Yune will play the mastermind behind the North Korean takeover of the White House. [THR]
• Rob Corddry is negotiating to join the untitled Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy cop comedy. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) is directing. [Variety]
• The Steve Jobs biopic jOBS added a raft of new actors to its cast, the filmmakers announced today, including JK Simmons (as Apple investor Arthur Rock), Victor Rasuk (as Apple’s first employee Bill Fernandez), and Kevin Dunn (as Apple chairman Gil Amelio). Also joining the cast about the Apple Computer co-founder (played by Ashton Kutcher) are Elden Henson (The Butterfly Effect), Lenny Jacobson (Nurse Jackie), Giles Matthey (True Blood), and Ahna O’Reilly (The Help).