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  • Courtney Love, Giancarlo Esposito and Timothy Hutton have all signed on to James Franco‘s new indie pic The Long Home. The film is based on a William Gay novel set in Tennessee in the ’40s which centers around a young contractor who is hired by the man who killed his father. Love and Hutton’s roles have not been announced, but Esposito will be playing William Tell Oliver, a Southern salt-of-the-earth kind of man with a colorful past spent entirely within his own county. He makes a living hunting ginseng and loves the wonders of nature. [Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety]

  • John Cleese and Debra Messing are now part of the cast of Albion: Rise of the Danann, a fantasy film in which Cleese will play the villain, the tyrannical leader of Albion, and Messing will play the queen. The story follows a 12-year-old girl (Avery Rath) who is whisked away by a magical horse to a faraway land. The cast also includes Stephen Dorff, as the young girl’s father, and Jennifer Morrison, as a psychologically damaged woman in the alternate universe. The film starts shooting this month with a summer 2016 release planned. [Deadline]

  • Marie Avgeropoulos (The 100) has signed on to the thriller Isolation, which centers on a couple in a tumultuous relationship who decide to go on an island vacation to try and reignite their romance. But they become stranded with a pair of smiling psychopaths instead. Avgeropoulos is set to play Marie, described as beautiful girl with a very dark side, and girlfriend to Dominic Purcell’s character Max. Filming has begun in Gulfport, Mississippi. [The Wrap]

  • Juliette Binoche will be starring in Pearl, based on the life of Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck. Buck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1931 for her novel The Good Earth, listing the struggles of Chinese farmers, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, “for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces.” Buck spent the majority of her life in China, as a missionary and then a novelist who began writing to support her mentally challenged daughter so she could attend a special school. The film is set to take place after the the Nanking Incident in 1927, which started the struggle between Communists and Nationalists that would be known as the “Ten Years Civil War.” Roxanne Messina Captor is directing with shooting scheduled to start in 2016 in Zhejiang Province, Shanghai and Prague. [Variety]