By Adam B. Vary
July 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
Dan Steinberg/AP

• In either the most shrewdly or poorly timed piece of casting news this month, Alex Pettyfer is closing in on a deal to star opposite Kristen Stewart in Cali, an action film about two lovers who disappear after making a bundle on a bogus snuff film. Nick Cassavetes (Alpha DogThe Notebook) is directing from a script by Michael Diliberti (30 Minutes or Less). As of press time, no huntsmen or vampires appear to be involved in the film. [Variety]

Jason SchwartzmanPaul Giamatti, and Ruth Wilson (BBC’s Luther) have signed up for Saving Mr. Banks, about the struggle between Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) over the feature film adaptation of Travers’ children’s novels about magical nanny Mary Poppins. Schwartzman will play Richard Morton Sherman, who penned many of the songs in the Disney version of Mary Poppins; Giamatti will play Travers’ L.A. chauffeur; and Wilson will play Travers’ mother in flashback sequences. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) is directing from the script by Kelly Marcel (creator of the Fox series Terra Nova). [Variety]

• Vince Vaughn may be keen on branching beyond his current comedy persona. His production company Wild West Picture Show Productions, has picked up the rights to Ridley Pearson’s thriller The Risk Agent — about a hard-charging hostage extraction expert working to free a Chinese citizen in Shanghai — as a possible starring vehicle for Vaughn. The project remains in the development stage, however, so it has a long road to hoe before getting a greenlight. [Deadline]

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