Brie Larson in negotiations for 'Kong: Skull Island'
Brie Larson is in discussions to star opposite Tom Hiddleston in Legendary Picture’s Kong: Skull Island. News of Larson’s potential casting in the film follows the recent exit of Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons as a result of scheduling conflicts. Russell Crowe is reportedly in consideration to fill one of those roles. Jordan Vogt-Roberts is directing the film, which follows a team of explorers as they check out the titular landscape. John Gatins and Max Borenstein wrote the script. Universal Pictures will release the film on March 10, 2017 in Imax and 3D. [Deadline]
- Orange is the New Black’s Samira Wiley and True Detective’s Michael Potts have joined the ensemble cast of 37 along with Christina Brucato, Jamie Harrold, Maria Dizzia, Evan Fine, Thomas Kopache, Sophia Lillis, Lucy Martin, and Adrian Martinez. Newcomer Puk Grasten is writing and directing the film, which is an expansion of her 2013 short of the same name. The feature is inspired by the murder of Kitty Genovese in 1964, and looks into the lives of the neighbors who saw the deadly assault but did not try to stop it. [Deadline]
Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs, Bridesmaids) has signed on for Speech & Debate, a teen comedy about three misfit high school students played by Liam James, Sarah Steele, and Austin McKenzie who resurrect the speech and debate club. McLendon will play Joan, who is the mother of one of the debaters. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar, Battle Creek) has also been cast as a parent; he will play the father of James’ character, who is on the school board and gets caught in the middle of his wife and son. Dan Harris is directing with Stephen Karam writing the adaptation of his Off Broadway play. The film is currently underway in Jackson, MS. [Deadline] & [Deadline]
- Richard Jenkins is set to play Senator Richard Russell in director Rob Reiner’s LBJ, with Woody Harrelson as the 36th president, Lyndon Baines Johnson. The film follows Johnson’s road to the White House, and sees him become president in the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination. It also tells of his part in passing the Civil Rights Act. As for Russell, he helped Johnson when he was elected to the Senate but opposed him in the heated issue of civil rights. Joey Hartstone wrote the script for LBJ, which will start filming in September in New Orleans, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. [Deadline]
Chad Hartigan has found his next film in Morris From America, with Craig Robinson and Carla Juri in the leads. The romantic drama follows a 13-year-old American boy and major hip hop fan Morris (Markees Christmas) who must grow up in a new, unfamiliar town when he and his father (Robinson) move to Heidelberg. Juri, meanwhile, is set as Morris’ German tutor, who often lends an ear to the teenager, with Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszal, Eva Löbau, and Levin Henning as costars. The film is currently in production in Germany. [Deadline]
Garret Dillahunt (Hand of God) has been cast in two upcoming projects. First, he will play a competitive coach of his son’s basketball team in Rounding Third, with John C. McGinley as the new assistant coach. The film, which Robert Deaton and George Flanigen are directing, will see the pair disagree throughout the season about their different approaches to coaching. Second, Dillahunt will appear in the Aaron Paul-starrer Come And Find Me. Written and directed by Zack Whedon, the film follows Paul’s David as he goes in pursuit of his missing girlfriend (Annabelle Wallis) upon finding out that she was masking her true identity. According to Deadline, Dillahunt will appear as the girlfriend’s former government handler “who attempts to give David incriminating evidence that the woman was holding against him.” [Deadline]
Miss Potter’s Lucy Boynton and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels’ Nick Moran have been cast in Don’t Knock Twice, a supernatural horror film from director Caradog James. The story follows a mother (Katee Sackhoff) who must investigate the truth about a demonic witch to save her estranged daughter. Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler wrote the script for the film, which starts filming this week in Cardiff, Wales. [Variety]