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Cannes: Benjamin Walker & Teresa Palmer In Good Universe’s ’2:22′

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 8:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

benwalkBenjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer star in 2:22, a psychological thriller 2:22 that Lightstream Pictures’ Paul Currie directs from a script by Todd Stein with Nathan Parker and Currie. Good Universe will sell at Cannes. Walker plays a man whose life is permanently derailed when an ominous pattern of events repeats itself in exactly the same manner every day, ending at precisely 2:22 PM. He falls for a woman (Palmer) whose life is threatened by these strange events, and he must solve the mystery to save her. Shooting begins in October in Australia. Producers are Pandemonium’s Bill Mechanic, Walk The Walk Entertainment’s Steve Hutensky and Lightstream Pictures’ Currie. They did The Moon And The Sun, in production with Pierce Brosnan. Walker is repped by Inspire Entertainment and WME. Palmer is repped by WME, Management 360 and Shanahan Management.

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Benjamin Walker In Talks To Join Ron Howard’s ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in talks with Benjamin Walker, who played the prexy in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to join Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland in In The Heart Of The Sea, the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of the Nathaniel Philbrick book about the whale attack on the Essex which became the basis for Melville’s Moby Dick. Brian Grazer is producing with Joe Roth, Paula Weinstein and William Ward, with Palak Patel exec producing. Warner Bros is making the film with Village Roadshow Pictures. Walker is in talks to play George Pollard, the arrogant privileged son of a whaling family who attempts to use his family name to gain captaincy, and who butts heads with shipmate Chase (Hemsworth), who knows the job and the sea much better. Pollard’s rep is ruined because of a mishap with another ship and he is relegated to night watchmen duty for the rest of his life.

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Benjamin Walker Set As The Lead Of HBO’s Cold War Drama Pilot ‘Missionary’

By | Wednesday November 7, 2012 @ 11:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker has been cast as the lead of HBO’s Cold War spy drama pilot The Missionary, from film/TV writer Charles Randolph, producers Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg and author Malcolm Gladwell. Set in Berlin in the late 1960s, The Missionary centers on Roy (Walker), a young American missionary who gets caught up in Cold War intrigue while helping a young woman escape East Berlin. Baltasar Kormakur is directing. Read More »

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‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ Revival: Scarlett Johansson Is Maggie, Ciaran Hinds Is Big Daddy, Benjamin Walker Is Brick, Debra Monk Is Big Mama

By | Thursday September 20, 2012 @ 7:44am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Tony winner Scarlett Johansson has now been set to return to Broadway to star as Maggie in a new production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and Ciarán Hinds has been set to play Big Daddy, Benjamin Walker is going to play Brick, and Tony/Emmy winner Debra Monk will play Big Mama. The revival of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer classic will be directed by Rob Ashford, and will begin preview performances Tuesday, December 18 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street for a January 17 opening night. Stuart Thompson is producing. Read More »

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Benjamin Walker Lands Co-Lead In ‘The Great Wall’

By | Friday June 8, 2012 @ 1:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING…. Benjamin Walker has nabbed the co-lead of Legendary Pictures’ The Great Wall, the Ed Zwick period adventure movie that already stars Man Of Steel‘s Henry Cavill. Deadline previously told you that Walker, repped by WME and Inspire, was in the running for the part with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard. Walker next appears as the hero in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The Great Wall, set in 15th century China, is about British warriors who happen upon the hurried construction of the massive wall. As night falls, the warriors realize that the haste in building the wall isn’t just to keep out the Mongols — there is something inhuman and more dangerous. The picture, based on an idea by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and Max Brooks, is being made through the Hong Kong-based Legendary East.

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Will Alexander Skarsgard Or Benjamin Walker Scale ‘The Great Wall?’

Mike Fleming

The co-lead of the Ed Zwick-directed The Great Wall is between True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard and Benjamin Walker, who stars in the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The Legendary Pictures film already has Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill set to star in an adventure film about British warriors traveling through 15th Century China and happen upon the hurried construction of the massive wall. As night falls, the warriors realize that the haste in building the wall isn’t just to keep out the Mongols. There is something inhuman and more dangerous. The picture, based on an idea by Legendary CEO Thomas Tull and Max Brooks, is being made through the Hong Kong-based Legendary East.

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Camilla Belle Is Eve In ‘Paradise Lost’

By | Thursday September 22, 2011 @ 6:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I hear that Camilla Belle is Legendary Entertainment and Alex Proyas’ choice for the lead role of Eve in Paradise Lost. She would join Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker, who plays the archangel Michael in the action epic battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Belle starred in 10,000 B.C. and before that played Daniel Day-Lewis’ daughter in The Ballad of Jack and Rose. Let’s see if her deal works, but this is a role a lot of young actresses wanted. She sparks the war that began all wars for the future of mankind. Belle is repped by WME. Warner Bros is distributing and eyeing a fourth quarter 2013 release.

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Legendary Ups Jon Jashni To President

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Legendary Entertainment chairman and CEO Thomas Tull has promoted Jon Jashni to president, a new post. Jashni, a veteran executive and producer who joined Tull six years ago, will continue to function as chief creative officer and has been a big part of Legendary’s evolution from a co-financier of Warner Bros films to an enterprise that is generating its own films that are released by Warner Bros. Legendary’s rise has been fueled by being partner in such films as The Hangover, Clash of the Titans, the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy and Inception, as well as the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel. Tull’s company is generating its own tent pole films, including the Guillermo del Toro-directed alien-invasion film Pacific Rim that stars Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, and a reboot of Godzilla. Jashni is a producer on those films as well as the Alex Proyas-directed Paradise Lost that will star Bradley Cooper and Benjamin Walker, and the Sergey Bodrov-directed The Seventh Son, which stars Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Ben Barnes. Read More »

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Alex Proyas Setting Benjamin Walker To Play Archangel Michael In ‘Paradise Lost’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is negotiating with Benjamin Walker to play the archangel Michael in Paradise Lost, the action epic battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Walker, who just wrapped the title role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will go mano a mano against Bradley Cooper’s Lucifer in what I’m told is the war that began all wars. After being cast out of Heaven, Lucifer mounts an army that battles the forces of good, and the film will have cutting-edge visual effects that will make these battles resemble 300 meets Lord of the Rings — but with winged warriors. While Warner Bros is finalizing a release date, I’m told Paradise Lost is likely to reach theaters in fourth-quarter 2013.

Production will begin in January in Sydney, which will give Cooper time to star alongside Jennifer Lawrence in the David O Russell-directed The Silver Linings Playbook for The Weinstein Company.

Paradise Lost is a sprawling fantasy epic that has taken seven years of development to get right. It was originally scripted by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi, with subsequent drafts by Stuart Hazeldine and Lawrence Kasdan, and the latest draft by Ryan Condal. Paradise Lost is being produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, and Vincent Newman (Red Dawn). The film’s logistics are still being worked out with Digital Domain, but the picture is likely to … Read More »

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Films Casting Roundup

Mike Fleming

Michael Ealy has been set to play the male lead alongside Kate Beckinsale in the fourth installment of the Underworld franchise for Screen Gems and Lakeshore. He will play a police detective who hunts the vampiress and ultimately teams up with her. Ealy, repped by Gersh and Epidemic Management, most recently played a soldier who returned from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder in  the Tyler Perry-directed For Colored Girls, and he worked for Screen Gems in Takers. Underworld 3D just got under way in Vancouver, directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein from a script by J. Michael Straczynski and John Hlavin, a co-production between Lakeshore and Screen Gems. …

Robin McLeavy has been set to play the role of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. The role is brief but sets the tone for the action. It’s her death at the hands of a bloodsucker that hardens young Abe Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) into going to war against the growing scourge of vampires in the 1800s. The Australian actress, who just signed with UTA, is also repped by Wishlab and Shanahans in Australia. She played Stella opposite Cate Blanchett’s Blanche in the Liv Ullmann-directed revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. … Read More »

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Tony Gilroy Casts Net For ‘Bourne’ Spinoff

Mike Fleming

The hot role for young actors right now is the lead in The Bourne Identity spinoff that will start production this fall with Tony Gilroy directing his script for Universal. Here are the names I’ve heard have met with Gilroy or are  otherwise in the mix: Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, Taylor Kitsch, Benjamin Walker. Gilroy will pare the list quickly. Several of the actors might have availability issues. Stay tuned.

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Anthony Mackie And Dominic Cooper Staking Out ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Fox is negotiating with The Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper to play Abe Lincoln’s mentor Henry, the mysterious ageless guy who teaches Abe to kill bloodsuckers. The studio had been in talks with Joaquin Phoenix for that role, but it’s going to be Cooper, another up-and-comer, whose dual performance as Uday Hussein and the man forced to be his body double was the talk of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

EARLIER, 12:30 PM: Anthony Mackie is in talks to star with Benjamin Walker in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Mackie will play the role of Will, Lincoln’s best friend. The role is a good one, he gets to be in the center of the vampire slaying. Director Timur Bekmambetov is putting together a group of up and comers to headline the movie. Mackie is ready to pop and is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue. He next stars with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau and stars with Hugh Jackman in Real Steel. Mackie is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment. Mackie also turned in a fascinating performance as jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden in the Dan Pritzker-directed Bolden!. I’ve seen some footage from that picture, which Pritzker shot in a rather meticulous production that took forever. Pritzker completed and released an offshoot silent film Louis, which toured with a … Read More »

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Honest Abe? Joaquin Phoenix Mulls Acting Return in Fox’s ‘Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Joaquin Phoenix is the front-runner to play the mentor who teaches the 16th President how to kill bloodsuckers in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Phoenix has met on the project and I’m told that it’s his if he wants it. He would join Benjamin Walker, who last Thursday was set to play the title character in the Timur Bekmambetov-directed adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel whose producers include Tim Burton. It’s an encouraging sign that the fine actor might be returning to form after a surreal detour in I’m Still Here, the mockumentary directed by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck that purported to be Phoenix’s attempt to build a career as a rapper. While both Phoenix and Affleck initially maintained the docu was legit, they later acknowledged it was an artistic ruse. It was a waste of his considerable talent. From Gladiator, To Die For to We Own the Night and Walk the Line, Phoenix consistently turns in fascinating performances and this is a showy return role. The role is Henry, a mythic, ageless figure who turns Lincoln into an axe-throwing expert slayer of vampires. The pic’s produced by Bekmambetov, Tim Burton and Jim Lemley. Phoenix is cagey and could decide not to go forward. Stay turned to see if his deal makes. WME reps Phoenix.

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Actors Testing For Abe in ‘Vampire Hunter’

EXCLUSIVE: There are few hotter projects in Hollywood right now than Twentieth Century Fox’s macabre 3D Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the Seth Grahame-Smith novel (he also wrote the script) that will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Timur, Tim Burton, and Jim Lemley. The studio has set a June 22, 2012 release for the film and has been focused on casting since November. Now we can tell you the list of actors who’ll be screentesting for the role of young Abe Lincoln this week and next: Benjamin Walker, James D’Arcy, Adrien Brody, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Josh Lucas. It’s a very interesting mix of semi-knowns and unknowns, stage and screen vets.

Twentieth won the project after a hard fought auction that included Sony and Paramount and Universal and Summit. Bekmambetov and Burton liked it so much they used their own money to option the book earlier this year, and Fox had existing relationships with both filmmakers – Timur dating back to when the studio talent-spotted him in Russia and released his first movie Night Watch worldwide. The movie is a 3D re-imagining of Lincoln’s life that depicts the 16th president as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires Read More »

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