Casting Net: Sacha Baron Cohen joining 'Alice in Wonderland' sequel?
• Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) is in early talks to join the cast of Disney’s Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. James Bobin (The Muppets) will direct, with Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) reprising their roles as the Mad Hatter and Alice, respectively. Details of the plot are being kept secret, with filming expected to begin toward the end of the year with a May 27, 2016, release date. [Variety]
• Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona) will co-produce and star in the Spanish-language film Ma ma, directed by L.A.-based Spanish director Julia Medem (Sex and Lucia). Luis Tosar (Miami Vice) and Asier Exteandia (Broken Embraces) will co-star in the film, which will shoot in Spain this spring. Cruz will play the lead told of Magda in the intimate woman’s drama laced with moments of comedy. [Variety]
• Bruce Willis (Die Hard) will star in Vice, a futuristic action thriller set in a city in which humans can enact their most perverse fantasies onto androids. Ambyr Childers (2 Guns) will play a self-aware android who breaks out and tries to shut down the organization. Willis will play Julian, owner of the Vice resort that caters to the depraved. Filming begins in Alabama in March. [Deadline]
• Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) is reportedly in negotiations to play Jane in David Yates‘ Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), and Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers). The Aussie starlet is also in negotiations to replace Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables) in Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah with Chris Pine (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave). Seyfried dropped out of the production due to a delay in schedule for Ejiofor’s current Oscar campaign. Robbie would play a young woman who believes she’s the only survivor after a devastating nuclear event. [The Wrap]
• Ed Helms (The Hangover), Kevin Hart (Ride Along), Nick Kroll (The League), Jordan Peele (Key & Peele), and Thomas Middleditch (The Wolf of Wall Street) will all lend their voices to DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming Captain Underpants film, based on the popular book series. Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens) is directing from a script by Nick Stoller (The Muppets), who adapted Dav Pilkey’s popular book series. Hart and Middleditch will voice scheming fourth-graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who accidentally bring their favorite comic book character, Captain Underpants, to life through a hypnosis accident involving their megalomaniacal principal Mr. Krupp, voiced by Helms. Peele will voice George and Harold’s nerdy nemesis Melvin, while Kroll will voice the villain, Professor Poopypants. [The Wrap]
• Olivia Williams (Hyde Park on Hudson), Rory Kinnear (Broken), and Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys) have joined the cast of Man Up, directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners) and starring Simon Pegg (The World’s End) and Lake Bell (In a World…). Written by Tess Morris, the movie tells the story of a couple on a first date “like no other” as they embark on the evening without realizing they are not meant to be on the blind date together. Filming began this week in London with Sharon Horgan (Pulling), Harriet Walter(Atonement), and Ken Stott (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) also on board. [THR]