Casting Net: Megan Fox, James Franco lead 'Zeroville'
• Megan Fox will take the female lead in Zeroville, starring opposite James Franco, who is also directing. Adapted from the novel by Steve Erickson, the story follows a film-obsessed man (Franco) who arrives in Hollywood in 1969, hoping to break in to the business just as the industry is at a major turning point. Fox will play a Hollywood starlet with an uneasy past who becomes the romantic interest and obsession of Franco’s character. Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Will Ferrell, Jacki Weaver, and Horatio Sanz also star. Vince Jolivette of Rabbit Bandini is producing along with Caroline Aragon, Michael Mendelsohn, and Franco. [THR]
• Olivia Wilde, Armie Hammer, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Smiley have joined the cast of Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire. Set in 1978 Boston, the crime drama stars Wilde as a woman who brokers a meeting between Murphy and Smiley and a gang led by Hammer and Evans. StudioCanal has acquired the U.K. rights to the film. It is being launched for presales at American Film Market by Protagonist Pictures. [THR]
• Lily James (Cinderella) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) are reportedly eyeing the lead roles in Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest Hour and a Half. Based on Lissa Evans’ 2009 novel, the story follows a British movie crew as they attempt to improve spirits after the Blitz during World War II. Gaby Chiappe is adapting the novel for the screen. Wild Gaze’s Amanda Posey is producing as well as long-time associate Stephen Woolley through his Number 9 Films. Principal photography is scheduled for summer 2015. [Deadline]
• Justin Chatwin (Shameless) is joining Pierce Brosnan in Urge. Aaron Kaufman is directing the indie thriller, marking the veteran producer’s directorial debut. The story follows a group of friends who experiment with a new, designer drug while vacationing on an island; the drug makes people lose the ability to control their urges. Chatwin will play Jason, the film’s protagonist, with Brosnan as the creator and gatekeeper of the drug. Ashley Greene, Danny Masterson, Bar Paly, Alexis Knapp, Chris Geere, and Nick Thune also star. Skip 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. The film kicks off production in New York in October. [THR]
• Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger) has landed two strong upcoming parts. The actor signed on to play NASA scientist Dr. Chris Beck in Ridley Scott’s The Martian, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, and Kristen Wiig. He has also boarded Jonathan Demme’s Ricki And The Flash as Joshua, the estranged son of his rocker mom, played by Meryl Streep. Diablo Cody wrote the script for the film, which also stars Kevin Kline and Rick Springfield. [Deadline]