July 12, 2018
Casting Bits: Ben Affleck, Julianne Moore, Ralph Fiennes, Michael C. Hall, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ and More
A whole bunch of casting news happened this week, and we went ahead and rounded it all up for you in one spot. You’re welcome! In this edition of Casting Bits:
- Ben Affleck and more join Anne Hathaway in Dee Rees new movie The Last Thing He Wanted.
- Julianne Moore will co-star with Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window.
- Ralph Fiennes will star in Terry Gilliam‘s Mr. Vertigo.
- Rosario Dawson takes the lead in USA Network pilot Briarpatch.
- Michael C. Hall, Cleopatra Coleman, and Bokeem Woodbine will appear in the Netflix drama In The Shadow of the Moon.
- Quentin Tarantino has added even more people to his never-ending Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cast.
The Last Thing He Wanted
THR says Ben Affleck, Toby Jones, Rosie Perez and Edi Gathegi will all co-star alongside Anne Hathaway in The Last Thing He Wanted, the new film from Mudbound director Dee Rees. The film is an adaptation of Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same, and focuses on “hardscrabble journalist, Elena McMahon (Hathaway), who inherits her father’s position as a dealmaker — an arms dealmaker. She soon finds herself on dangerous ground as the Iran-Contra Affair’s arms-for-drugs plot reaches its tipping point.” This is a damn good cast, and I’m loving the return of Anne Hathaway, who seems to be working more and more these days. The Last Thing He Wanted will be distributed by Netflix, who also distributed Rees’ Mudbound. It will be the second Netflix film for Affleck, who is also starring in J.C. Chandor’s Triple Frontier for the streaming service. Everyone wants to get in on this Netflix action, folks.
The Woman in the Window
Red head powers, activate. THR reports that Julianne Moore is likely to join Amy Adams in the thriller The Woman in the Window. The Rear Window-esque film is based on the best-selling novel by A.J. Finn, and focuses on an alcoholic recluse (Adams) who spends her time spying on her New York City neighbors. A new family moves in to a house across the way, and Adams’ character ends up witnessing something she shouldn’t. Cue the spooky music. Per THR, “Moore will play the mother of a mysterious young boy who moves in across the street.” Joe Wright is directing, with a script by Killer Joe writer Tracy Letts. This project sounds derivative as hell, but that combination – Adams + Moore + Wright + Letts – is pretty damn fantastic, so it’s going to be hard to ignore this film. The Woman in the Window opens October 4, 2019.
Terry Gilliam likes to tempt fate. Even though he continually has problems when making his films, he refuses to give up. Case in point: after spending approximately 300 years trying to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made, Gilliam got the job done. Now he’s moving on to something else. That something is Mr. Vertigo. Speaking at the Brussels International Film Festival (via The Playlist), Gilliam announced his intention to helm the film, which is adapted from a Paul Auster novel. Gilliam also said that Ralph Fiennes will star in the film. Here’s the book’s synopsis:
Paul Auster, the New York Times-bestselling author of The New York Trilogy, presents a dazzling, picaresque novel set in the late 1920s – the era of Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, and Al Capone. Walter Claireborne Rawley, renowned nationwide as “Walt the Wonder Boy,” is a Saint Louis orphan rescued from the streets by a mysterious Hungarian Jew, Master Yehudi, who teaches Walt to walk on air. Master Yehudi brings Walt into a Kansas circus troupe consisting of Mother Sioux and Aesop, a young black genius. The vaudeville act takes them across a vast and vibrant country, through mythic Americana where they meet and fall prey to sinners, thieves, and villains, from the Kansas Ku Klux Klan to the Chicago mob. Walt’s rise to fame and fortune mirrors America’s own coming of age, and his resilience, like that of the nation, is challenged over and over and over again.
This sounds pretty neat, and Fiennes is a phenomenal actor. The only wildcard here is Gilliam, who was once an amazing filmmaker but hasn’t really delivered anything memorable in decades (reviews for Don Quixote have been mixed at best).
Rosario Dawson has spent the last few years playing a thankless supporting role on Marvel’s Netflix shows. Now, she’s taking the lead elsewhere. Variety says Dawson will star in the USA Network pilot Briarpatch. The show will have Dawson playing “Allegra ‘Pick’ Dill, a tenacious and highly-skilled investigator working in Washington, DC for a young, ambitious Senator. When her ten-years-younger sister, a homicide detective, is killed by a car bomb, Allegra returns to her corrupt Texas hometown. What begins as a search for the murderer becomes a fraught and dangerous excavation of the past Allegra has long sought to bury.” If Briarpatch goes to series, it will be Dawson’s first lead TV role. There was a time when USA Network shows didn’t inspire much confidence, but in recent years, the network has stepped up its game. Last year’s The Sinner was a particularly well-received show for the network.
According to Deadline, Michael C. Hall, Cleopatra Coleman and Bokeem Woodbine are joining Boyd Holbrook in the Netflix drama In the Shadow of the Moon. Holbrook plays “a Philly police officer who struggles with a lifelong obsession to track a mysterious serial killer whose crimes defy explanation.” No word on Hall, Coleman or Woodbine’s characters. I’m particularly interested in this for two reasons: one, I’m from Philadelphia, so I’m always vaguely fascinated by movies and shows set there. And two: In the Shadow of the Moon comes from director Jim Mickle. Mickle helmed the fantastic, under-seen John Carpenter throwback Cold in July, which also featured Hall. In the Shadow of the Moon is expected to hit Netflix next year.
Alright, Quentin Tarantino. This is getting out of hand. Deadline says the filmmaker has added even more cast members to his star-studded Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Here are the latest names: Spencer Garrett, Martin Kove, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, Nichole Galicia, Mike Moh, Craig Stark, Marco Rodriguez, Ramon Franco and Raul Cardona. I’ll be honest: I don’t know who any of these actors are, with the notable exception of James Remar. Remar is a stellar character actor whose appeared in pretty much everything, including Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Deadline doesn’t confirm this, but there’s a rumor floating around that Mike Moh is playing legendary actor and martial artist Bruce Lee. This rumor seems to be bolstered by this Tweet from Moh (although this tweet is from 2015, so there’s no way the actor was somehow dropping a hint about the film way back then).
— Mike Moh (@mikemoh) July 21, 2015
These actors join a cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Burt Reynolds, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Scoot McNairy and Al Pacino. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in Hollywood during the summer of 1969. Various characters and storylines intersect, while the specter of Charles Manson and his Manson Family lurks in the background. The film will open August 9, 2019.