Marion Dougherty, a former Bergdorf-Goodman window dresser who rose to become one of Hollywood’s most influential casting directors, died December 4 in Manhattan of natural causes. She was 88. Once called “the father of casting as we know it” by Paul Newman, Dougherty was responsible for giving Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Ed Asner, Anne Bancroft, Bette Midler, Christopher Walken and numerous others their first breaks. She also was instrumental in the early careers of James Dean and Robert Duvall.
Dougherty entered the business casting the TV series Kraft Television Theater, Naked City and Route 66 during the late 1940s and into the early 1960s. At that time, the end of the studio system meant actors were free agents to be discovered in regional theaters, off-Broadway and at local playhouses, and the demands of TV meant they had to be found fast. She eventually moved into film casting, where she revolutionized the process by moving away from type-casting and toward character and individuality. Her movie credits include casting Pacino in Panic In Needle Park, Redford in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Voight and Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy, as well as The Owl And The Pussycat, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Paper Chase, Lenny, The Day Of The Locust, The World According To Garp, Full Metal Jacket, Tim Burton’s Batman, and the four Lethal Weapon movies. Her most recent movie credit was 2001′s Venus And Mars. ”I think she’s one of the key figures in cinematic history; she was the Mozart of casting,” said Tom Donahue, who is making the documentary Casting By, about the evolution of the casting industry of which Dougherty was a central figure. Read More »
Castings continue on Legendary Entertainment’s Paradise Lost, the action- and effects-centered take on John Milton’s epic poem being directed by Alex Proyas. The latest: Diego Boneta, who is playing the lead in New Line’s musical Rock Of Ages, has been cast as Adam. He will play opposite Camille Belle, whom Deadline reported is playing Eve. Bradley Cooper is Lucifer and Benjamin Walker plays the archangel Micheal in the film, which tells the biblical tale of the battle between good and evil that was the war that began all wars. Production is slated to begin in January.
EXCLUSIVE: Hope Davis has landed a role in the Disconnect, the Henry Alex Rubin drama that also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Max Theriot, Andrea Riseborough, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton and Jason Bateman. The story, written by Andrew Stern, revolves around disparate lives that intertwine as the digital technologies intended to bring people closer together push families further apart. Davis, who will be onscreen this weekend in Disney’s Real Steel, will play a woman coping with her son’s attempted suicide while simultaneously trying to find her own identity. She is repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.
EXCLUSIVE: David Morse has been cast in Paramount’s zombie-infestation pic World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that has been set for a December 21, 2012 release. Morse, who stars on HBO’s Treme and next appears on movie screens in Disney’s The Odd Life Of Timothy Green, will play a prisoner living in an abandoned jail in World War Z, which stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale. The two-time Emmy nominee is repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.
Max Theriot has joined the cast of Disconnect, the indie drama that’s being directed by Murderball‘s Henry Alex Rubin. He joins Alexander Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton and Jason Bateman in the Andrew Stern-scripted drama about disparate lives that intertwine as the digital technologies intended to bring people closer together push families further apart. Theriot next stars with Jennifer Lawrence in the Mark Tonderai-directed House At the End of the Street and recently wrapped the Max McGuire-directed Foreverland and the Nick Cassavetes-directed Yellow. He’s repped by Gersh.
WWE wrestler Kevin Nash has been cast as part of the male-stripper troupe in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, the semi-autobiographical film based on Channing Tatum’s experiences as a male dancer. Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Mangianello star. Usually, these wrestlers appear in WWE Studios fare, but Nash’s credits include The Longest Yard, The Punisher and DOA: Dead or Alive, and he recently wrapped a part in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages. He is repped by Pantheon and ADS Management.
Liam Hemsworth has been cast in The Expendables 2, the sequel to the action-hero-rich actioner that Simon West is directing for Millennium Films. The movie already stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li, as well as Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme — with expanded roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis thrown in — and filming is set to begin in October. The original movie made $274 million worldwide. Hemsworth recently wrapped shooting on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount is negotiating with Kelly Reilly to play the female lead opposite Denzel Washington in Flight, the Robert Zemeckis-directed thriller. This is a real opportunity for the British actress, who scores a role that a lot of actresses wanted. The short list going into the weekend was Reilly, Olivia Wilde and Dominique McElligott. In the John Gatins-scripted drama, Reilly is negotiating to play Nicole Devlin, a drug addict who is at rock bottom when she meets Whip (Washington), a commercial airline pilot who heroically flies a damaged plane to safety, saving saving 98 lives on a flight carrying 106 people. That achievement comes under a cloud when an investigation ensues over whether or not he had been drinking. The pilot and the girl become friends as each tries to get their demons under control. Reilly, whose credits include Sherlock Holmes, its upcoming sequel and Pride & Prejudice, is repped by ICM and Troika in the UK.
John Malkovich has signed on to Summit’s Warm Bodies, the Jonathan Levine-directed adaptation of the novel about a zombie who rediscovers his soul through a relationship with a human girl. Nicholas Hoult plays the zombie; Teresa Palmer plays the girl; and Malkovich will play her father, General Grigio. It starts an interesting autumn for Malkovich, who’ll perform in two operas, The Giacomo Variations and The Infernal Comedy, before going off to direct a French-language version of Les liaisons dangereuses in Paris. Malkovich starred in 1988′s Dangerous Liaisons. He’ll be free in January, and will certainly follow by reprising his eccentric assassin Marvin Boggs in the sequel to the 2010 hit Red. Summit is right now searching for a director to replace Robert Schwentke, who’s directing Universal’s R.I.P.D. Malkovich is repped by WME.
BREAKING: Josh Brolin was rumored to be on the short list to star in Spike Lee’s Oldboy, a remake of the cult 2003 Korean revenge thriller from Park Chan-wook. Now it’s official: Brolin will topline the Mandate Pictures redo, which begins production in March. Brolin, who just wrapped Men in Black 3 with Will Smith, next begins work on Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. It looks like he’ll squeeze in Oldboy before shooting Jason Reitman’s Labor Day opposite Kate Winslet; that movie is set to begin production in June.
The new Oldboy has script adapted by Mark Protosevich, who will co-produce. Roy Lee and Doug Davison will produce via Vertigo Entertainment with Lee’s 40 Acres & A Mule. Mandate president Nathan Kahane will executive produce. Originally, DreamWorks was looking to pick up remake rights in 2008, with the idea that Steven Spielberg would direct Smith. The story centers on a man who is kidnapped on his daughter’s birthday and held for 15 years in solitary confinement without explanation. He is eventually released and sets out on a path to take revenge on those who destroyed his life.
EXCLUSIVE: Mike O’Malley, who is a series regular on Glee and a writer on Showtime’s Shameless, has just been cast in Universal’s supernatural comedy R.I.P.D., which stars Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds in a movie based on the Peter Lenkov comic that centers on a police force made up of undead cops. The Robert Schwentke-directed film has been slated for a June 28, 2013 release. O’Malley, who begins shooting his scenes next week, will play Elliot, a kind of ghost. He is repped by CAA and Principato Young.
EXCLUSIVE: Rosamund Pike is negotiating for the female lead opposite Tom Cruise in One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the bestselling Lee Child novel series for Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. Pike was among a small group of actresses vying for the role. The British actress played Andromeda in Clash of the Titans 2, and she recently wrapped the David Frankel-directed The Big Year opposite Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin, and the Rowan Atkinson comedy Johnny English Reborn.
Cruise is playing Jack Reacher, the retired military policeman who wanders the country with only his passport, bankbook, toothbrush and the clothes on his back. He finds his way into scrapes, taking the side of the underdog. In One Shot, Reacher investigates a case in which a lone sniper murders five victims before being captured. Reacher discovers it’s more than a simple open-and-shut case.
Pike will play Helen Rodin, a local defense attorney defending the man arrested for the shootings. She works with Reacher to bring the true culprits to justice. Don Granger and Cruise will produce through Mutual Film Company and C/W Productions. Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg are producing as is Gary Levinsohn and Paula Wagner, and Ken Kamins is exec producer. UTA reps Pike with Shelly Browning and UK-based Dallas Smith.
BREAKING: Brad Pitt will star in the New Regency action movie The Gray Man. James Gray was set in January to direct the film, an adaptation of Mark Greaney’s thriller novel. I’d heard Pitt’s name back then, but the studio and actors reps denied the Moneyball star was doing it at the time. The question has always been timing, because Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie don’t work at the same time. They usually rotate. Jolie directed In the Land of Blood and Honey, and now Pitt is starring in World War Z. Jolie has been seriously eyeing the Disney film Maleficent, but that picture needs a director. If she took her turn, then the timing of The Gray Man gets thrown off. If Pitt makes two movies in a row, he’ll finish World War Z in late fall and The Gray Man will begin production in January or February. That’s how it’s looking now, because I’m told that Pitt has been locked down for that first-quarter 2012 slot. Read More »
Cheryl Cole, who became well-known in the U.S. for being hand-picked and then jettisoned as a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming Fox singing competition The X Factor, apparently has been cast in a cameo role in Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting, the adaptation of the best-selling pregnancy guidebook. The pop singer’s publicist confirmed the news via Twitter. The BBC said Cole, who appeared on Cowell’s UK version of X Factor before leaving that show too, would play a TV talent show judge in the movie, which would mark her first big-screen appearance. She also recently has been rumored to be a candidate for a judge on the UK version of The Voice. What To Expect, whose ensemble cast includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Brooklyn Decker, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford, Rob Heubel and Matthew Morrison, is due out May 11, 2012.
EXCLUSIVE: Up in the Air star Vera Farmiga is set to star with Mark Strong in Closer to the Moon, a period drama set in communist Romania. Nae Caranfil is directing, and production begins early fall in Bucharest. Strong plays Max Rosenthal, a former head of a criminal investigation unit for the Bucharest police force who is implicated in a bank robbery in which he and three others perpetrated the crime while assuring the crowds they were filming a movie. They are tried and sentenced to death because they are Jews, but only after the communist government forces them to re-enact their crime in a propaganda film. Farmiga plays Max’s former lover and mother of his child, who returns from studying in Moscow as the drama unfolds. Michael Fitzgerald is producing. Farmiga’s directorial debut, Higher Ground, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in late August. She most recently starred in Source Code and Henry’s Crime, and she recently wrapped Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds for Universal. She’s repped by CAA and Jon Rubinstein.
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon has been set to co-star in Imogene, joining Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in the indie comedy that started shooting this week in New York. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are directing, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures is producing with Anonymous Cntent’s Alix Madigan and Steve Golin. Dillon plays the eccentric love interest of Bening’s character. He claims to be in the CIA, but his behavior suggests he just might be crazy. In the Michelle Morgan-scripted comedy, Wiig plays a playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt in reaction to the triple-whammy of losing her job, getting evicted and getting dumped by her boyfriend. She hopes to gain sympathy from her ex, but instead is consigned to return to the home of her gambling addict mother (Bening). Dillon last starred in Takers and guested on Modern Family. He’d been expected to star with Brendan Fraser and William H. Macy in the Charlie Matthau-directed Elmore Leonard novel adaptation Freaky Deaky, but when Fraser dropped out of that due to personal reasons, the other actors followed, and that film will now star Christian Slater, Billy Burke, and Crispin Glover. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Laurence Fishburne has landed the role of Daily Planet editor Perry White in Warner Bros and Legendary’s Man of Steel, which Zack Snyder is directing ahead of a June 2013 release. Fishburne joins a cast that includes Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe and Christopher Meloni. The Oscar-nominee recently opted not to renew his contract to continue on CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father finally has a son: Ben Foster has been tapped to play John Gotti Jr in the pic, which stars John Travolta as John Sr, Al Pacino and Kelly Preston. Joe Pesci also has been cast in the production, but he’s suing producer Fiore Films over his role. Barry Levinson, who replaced original helmer Nick Cassavetes, is directing the pic from a screenplay by Levinson and James Toback. Production is set to begin Jan. 3. Foster, who co-starred in 3:10 to Yuma and more recently opposite Jason Statham in The Mechanic, is reuniting with Levinson after starring in the director’s 1999 film Liberty Heights.
Former So You Think You Can Dance contestant Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman have been set to star in Summit Entertainment’s fourth Step Up movie. Scott Speer is directing the pic, which will be shot in 3D and begin production later in the summer.