EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Focus Features are negotiating with Jennifer Ehle to play the role of Carla in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Carla is the mother of Anastasia Steele, she’s a strong Southern woman on her fourth marriage. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia and Charlie Hunnam plays Christian Grey in the Sam Taylor-Johnson directed adaptation of the EL James novel trilogy that is being produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. Ehle recently wrapped the Jose Padilha-directed Robocop and the Alan Rickman-directed A Little Chaos. She was last seen most memorably in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty. She’s repped by ICM Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Ehle is in negotiations to join the cast of RoboCop. The two-time Tony Winner would star in the role of Liz Kline in the movie aside the recently announced Jackie Earle Haley, The Dark Knight Rises’ Gary Oldman, House star Hugh Laurie, Abbie Cornish and The Avengers’ Samuel L. Jackson. Jose Padilha is directing the remake of the 1987 crime action movie. Later this year, Ehle will be seen in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty about the military team that found and killed Osama bin Laden.
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Clarke is the first actor set for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed drama about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden for Sony Pictures and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. An elite group of actors is being courted for the ensemble. I’m told that Clarke–who stars in the Ellison-produced The Wettest County in the World and is playing the gas station owner George Wilson in the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby–will play a terrorist hunter in service of the U.S. efforts to hunt Bin Laden. Also being discussed for roles are Tom Hardy (who also stars in Wettest County), Jennifer Ehle (Contagion), Guy Pearce (who starred in Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker), Idris Elba, Rooney Mara (upcoming Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Nina Arianda (Midnight In Paris). The plan is to start production early next year, so availability could be an issue for some of the actors. Mark Boal wrote the script and is producing with Ellison and Greg Shapiro.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
There have been some changes on CBS’ A Gifted Man, starring Patrick Wilson as an ultra-competitive surgeon whose dead ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle) begins appearing to him, since the pilot for the supernatural medical drama written by Susannah Grant and directed by Jonathan Demme was shot. ER and Law & Order: SVU veteran Neal Baer was brought in as showrunner; actress Rachelle Lefevre was cast as a new regular, as a doctor, in as part of the effort to beef up the medical procedural element of the show; Pablo Schreiber was upped from guest star to regular; and Julie Benz, who plays Wilson’s sister, renegotiated her deal to change her status from regular to recurring. Despite all the changes, “we didn’t retool,” Baer, who is a licensed pediatrician, said at the show’s TCA panel this afternoon. “It’s the same show, the same characters. The pilot sets up the relationship between (Wilson’s and Ehle’s characters), and the next episode is a week later. … So there’s no retooling at all. There’s medicine in the pilot and there’s medicine in the next episode.”
Leslie Bibb has been tapped for the lead in ABC’s dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches, from ABC Studios, Kapital Entertainment, writer-exec producer Robert Harling and exec producer Darren Star. Based on Kim Gatlin’s book, it centers on Amanda (Bibb), a recently divorced mother of two who moves back to the affluent neighborhood where she grew up to find herself in the whirling midst of gossip, Botox and fraud. Crossing Jordan alumna Bibb, repped by ICM and manager John Carrabino, co-starred in the two Iron Man movies. She will next be seen in the feature comedy Zookeeper. Bibb joins previously cast Jennifer Aspen and Annie Potts.
The King’s Speech co-star Jennifer Ehle is set as the female lead opposite Patrick Wilson in CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant drama pilot. Jonathan Demme is directing he supernatural medical drama, from CBS TV Studios and Timberman/Beverly, which centers on an ultra-competitive surgeon (Wilson) whose life is changed forever when his ex-wife (Ehle), a doctor running a free clinic, dies and begins teaching him what life is all about from the here-after. Two-time Tony winner Ehle, repped by ICM and Independent Talent Group, recently shared a best ensemble SAG Award with the rest of the King’s Speech cast. She just finished shooting Contagion and The Ides of …