Nicole Kidman HFPA
Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Queen of the Desert

• Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Guy Pearce (Prometheus) and Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit) will all star in the Australian thriller Strangerland, about a couple whose two teenage children go missing in the Australian desert. Kim Farrant will direct the film from a script by Fiona Seres and Michael Kinirons. [THR]

Damian Lewis (Homeland) is close to a deal to star alongside Nicole Kidman in Queen of the Desert, directed by Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn). Lewis will play Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie, an English war hero in an unhappy marriage who exchanges love letters from 1913-1915 with Gertrude Bell (Kidman), the British explorer and writer who helped established the formation of the Middle East at the beginning of the 20th Century and to whom the title refers. [Deadline]

• Oscar nominee Ellen Page (Juno) and Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen) will play sisters in Into the Forest, directed and adapted by Patricia Rozema (Grey Gardens) based on the Jean Hegland novel of the same name. Page will also serve as one of the producers of the film, which chronicles the sisters’ survival in the not-too-distant future after the collapse of society. [Deadline]

John Krasinski (The Office) is in talks to join the all-star cast of Cameron Crowe’s upcoming romantic comedy. The as-yet untitled film already includes Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Emma Stone (The Amazing Spiderman), Rachel McAdams (About Time), Danny McBride (As I Lay Dying), Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine), and Bill Murray (Hyde Park On Hudson) in the cast. Krasinki would play a military man married to McAdams, the ex-wife of Cooper’s character, a defense contractor who falls in love with an Air Force Pilot, played by Stone, after being assigned to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii. [THR]

Nelsan Ellis (True Blood) has been tapped to play Bobby Byrd, James Brown’s longtime friend and collaborator in the upcoming Brown biopic, Get on Up. Directed by Tate Taylor, Chadwick Boseman (42) will play the legendary singer with Viola Davis (Prisoners) and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) also starring. [Deadline]

• Action star Jason Statham (Parker) is in talks to show off his comedic roots in director Paul Feig’s Susan Cooper, starring Melissa McCarthy (The Heat) as an inept secret agent. Statham would be a spy on the same side in what would be Feig and McCarthy’s third collaboration, following Bridesmaids and The Heat. [Deadline]

Queen of the Desert
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