Casting Net: Ariana Grande joins 'Underdogs,' Lizzy Caplan in talks for 'Now You See Me 2'
• Ariana Grande, Katie Homes, Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Matthew Morrison (Glee), John Leguizamo (Chef), Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave), Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), and Chazz Palminteri (Rizzoli & Isles) have signed on to voice The Weinstein Company’s Underdogs, EW has confirmed. The film, from Argentinian director Juan Jose Campanella, is being re-voiced in English by TWC with a script that has been reworked for domestic audiences. The story follows football player Jake (Morrison) and his love interest, Laura (Grande). With Laura’s support, Jake beats the town bully, Ace (Hoult), in a foosball game. Later, Ace becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns to the wreck havoc on the village and kidnap Laura. When Jake’s foosball table comes to life, he and the players set out to save the town and Laura. Underdogs will be released in 2D and 3D on April 10, 2015.
• Lizzy Caplan is in talks for the female lead in Now You See Me 2. From director Jon M. Chu, the magic-themed sequel will see the return of its original stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo. Daniel Radcliffe is a new addition to the cast. Caplan’s role is unknown at this time. Ed Solomon returned to pen the script with Pete Chiarelli. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Bobby Cohen are producing. Lionsgate/Summit will release the film on June 10, 2016. [The Wrap]
• Alexi Knapp, Bar Paly, Chris Geere, and Nick Thune have singed on for indie thriller Urge, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Ashley Greene. Film producer Aaron Kaufman (Chef) will direct, making his directorial debut. Urge follows a group of friends who discover a new drug on an island during a destination weekend—the drug takes away the ability to control ones urges. Skipp Williamson and Mark Neveldine are producing through their Blackmrkt Incorporated banner. Tim Smith, Alastair Burlingham, Lee Vandermolen, Yoram Barzilai, Frank Martinez, Anthony Gudas, Clay Pecorin, Russell Geyser, Gerald Fruchtman, and Peter Fruchtman are executive producing. Urge begins production in New York in October. [THR]
• Odeya Rush (The Giver) is joining action-thriller Hunter’s Prayer. Jonathan Mostow is at the helm of the U.S.-U.K. co-production, formerly known as For The Dogs. Based on the Kevin Wignall novel, the film follows Ella (Rush), a young girl who pairs with the hit man hired to kill her family in order to find out who’s behind it all. Sam Worthington will play the contracted killer, Lucas. Paul Leyden, Oren Moverman, John Brancato, and Michael Ferris are adapting the novel for the screen. Navid McIlhargey and Anthony Rhulen are producing for Film Engine, Chris Milburn for Midsummer Films, John and Michael Schwartz and Worthington for Full Clip. Paul Rock, Jimmy Costas, and Leyden are also producing. Filming begins next month in the UK. [Deadline]
• Jack Davenport and Kelli Garner have signed on for Americana. The film, a Hollywood noir being made by the film group Flies Collective, stars David Call with Frank Mosley and Peter Coyote. Zachary Shedd is writing and directing. The story follows alcoholic film editor (Call) as he pieces together his movie star sister’s (Garner) murder. Davenport will play Calib, the producer behind the actress’ last film. Matthew Petock and Daniel Patrick Carbone are producing. Filming begins later this month in San Francisco. [THR]