By Jennifer Maas
February 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST
Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic; Ari Perilstein/Getty Images
  • Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) will be playing major roles in the Matthew McConaughey historical drama, The Free State of Jones. The film is currently in pre-production in Louisiana. McConaughey plays a solider for the confederate army who leaves in opposition. Russell will play his first wife, who leaves him and when she shes him next he is married to a slave. Ali will play a runaway slave whom McConaughey sees as an equal and who tries to get black people to vote. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Willem Dafoe will join Matt Damon in The Great Wall, a “fantastical” origin story of the construction of China’s barrier. It is set for an April start in China. Dafoe will play a soldier who, along with Damon’s character, survives an attack while bringing gunpowder from China to Europe, and is a man intent on retrieving gunpowder at all costs. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Luke Evans, Teresa Palmer, and Alfred Molina are all in negotiations to join Chadwick Boseman in Message From the King. The action thriller would have Evans playing a Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist who provides legal and illegal services to help Boseman’s character find his sister. Palmer will play a mother who prostitutes herself to support her daughter and her drug habit. Molina will portray a Hollywood producer who has underworld connections who may or may not help Boseman. The movie is looking at a March shoot in Los Angeles. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes) has joined the cast of the drama Juveniles, which will begin shooting later this month. Perkins will play a single mother who is trying to raise her family under challenging circumstances. The film tells the story of present day tribal rivalries that collide in a small town in America. [Variety]
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