EXCLUSIVE: One of the most hotly pursued actresses this past pilot season, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, has been tapped as one of the leads in Carlton Cuse’s 10-episode A&E Network drama series The Returned. Also cast in the adaptation of the acclaimed French series are Sandrine Holt (House Of Cards, Hostages) and Agnes Bruckner (24). Returned, from A+E Studios and FremantleMedia, focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. Winstead plays Rowan, the girlfriend of late musician Simon (Mat Vairo) who had a very difficult time getting past his death 10 years ago and now will have to adjust to his return. Holt, repped by D2 Management and Innovative, plays Julie, a competent compassionate doctor who is struggling in her personal life. Bruckner, repped by APA and Radius, plays the sheriff’s chief deputy.
Related: Jeremy Sisto To Co-Star In A&E Series ‘The Returned’
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Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been spoken for. One of the most hotly pursued actresses this pilot season has been tapped as the lead of ABC‘s drama pilot Exposed, from writer Charles Randolph, Peter Traugott’s TBD Entertainment, Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment and Universal TV. Based on the best-selling Swedish novels by Liza Marklund, Exposed centers on Anna (Winstead), an investigative journalist who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth, including making questionable alliances. Winstead turned down some half-dozen pilot offers this season before settling on Exposed. The actress, repped by WME and Anonymous Content, has been straddling the indie and mainstream feature worlds with roles in indies like the 2012 Smashed, which landed her an Indie Spirit nomination, and in such big-budget movies as A Good Day To Die Hard and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
EXCLUSIVE: Having just signed on to two new indie roles earlier this month, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has further added to her dance card and joined the Michael Cuesta-helmed Kill The Messenger. The actress will play Dawn Garcia in the true-story thriller about journalist Gary Webb and his suicide after being smeared for stories he wrote linking the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California. Winstead’s character is the editor of the San Jose Mercury News, where Webb worked. The Avengers’ Jeremy Renner plays Webb. Rosemarie DeWitt is also in the film as is Barry Pepper. Peter Landesman wrote the screenplay for the pic, to which Focus Features picked up worldwide rights ahead of Berlin. Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films is producing with Landesman, Renner and Naomi Despres. Winstead is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
Related: Barry Pepper Joins Jeremy Renner Pic ‘Kill The Messenger’
Off her turn in A Good Day To Die Hard and Sundance success in The Spectacular Now earlier this year, Mary Elizabeth Winstead has put down new dual stakes in the indie world. Winstead is on board with Faults, her husband Riley Stearns’ next directorial project. The actress will play a young cult member whose parents hire an expert to deprogram her, but the expert begins to think they might be more of a threat than the cult. Produced by Snoot Entertainment, Faults is scheduled to start shooting later this year. The actress will also star in Chris Messina’s yet-untitled directorial debut with Derek Luke, who had a recurring role on the first season of FX’s The Americans. Winstead will play an environmental lawyer who is left to raise her 12-year-old son alone after her husband bolts. The Mindy Project co-star Messina is helming the pic with Electric City’s Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell producing. The latest projects come with Winstead having already been cast as the female lead in the Cinemax pilot Quarry, and she has an album coming out this summer with producer Dan the Automator under the moniker Got A Girl. Winstead is repped by WME, Anonymous Content, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.
EXCLUSIVE: Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been added to a cast with the previously announced Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and Jane Lynch in the comedy directed by Stuart Zicherman and based on a script from Zicherman and Ben Karlin. Karlin and Tim Perell will produce. Winstead will play Lauren Stinger, a long-time girlfriend of Carter (Scott) and the rock in his increasingly chaotic life. Teddy Schwarzman is producing and fully financing A.C.O.D. via his company Black Bear Pictures.
Next up for Winstead is the starring role of Mary Todd Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the bestselling novel. She also starred in Sundance’s Smashed along with Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer. Her other credits include Live Free Or Die Hard, The Thing and Scott Pilgrim Vs.The World. She is represented by CAA and attorney Karl Austen.
Black Bear Pictures recently wrapped Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones and the untitled Ramin Bahrani film with Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid. Black Bear will produce J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost starring Robert Redford and is in development with Jeremy Renner on King Of Heists based on the bestseller by J. North Conway.
I’m hearing that How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers and that a deal could be done before the weekend is out. The role has been the subject of high speculation since Samuel L. Jackson gave it up in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he would be reading as Nick Fury alongside five actresses vying for an unidentified female sidekick role. That audition happened yesterday. Reports had V’s Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as other candidates. Smulders wasn’t completely unknown to Whedon. In fact, he liked her as a candidate for Wonder Woman when he was working on that superhero film. Deadline has learned that the role is Maria Hill, who in the comics was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD, who was not above blackmailing and bullying superheros to get her way. She was eventually supplanted in that top job by Tony Stark aka Iron Man. As with all Marvel movies, the deal comes with a pile of options for appearances in future superhero films. She’s repped by UTA and Roar. Marvel Studios starts production in April, which presumably falls into Smulders’ TV hiatus on the CBS sitcom.
The Avengers will be released by Disney May 4, 2012, and it shapes up as … Read More »