EXCLUSIVE: The Rayburn siblings are all in place. Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz is set to co-star opposite Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini and Sissy Spacek in Netflix‘s 13-episode psychological thriller from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler and Sony Pictures TV. It centers on a close-knit family of four adult siblings (Chandler, Mendelsohn, Cardellini, Butz) whose secrets and scars are revealed when the black sheep oldest brother, Danny (Mendelsohn), returns home. Butz will play the youngest brother Kevin, the extroverted and charming owner of a boat repair yard who considers himself the “unofficial mayor” of this small coastal town. Butz, repped by CAA and Elin Flack Management, is one of only nine actors ever to have won a lead actor Tony Award twice.
After a long search, newcomer Saxon Sharbino has landed the lead in Fox’s untitled Karyn Usher drama pilot. Written by Usher and directed by Brett Ratner, the project centers on Jane Forsythe (Sharbino), the orphaned 14-year-old daughter of a CIA operative who encounters a mysterious rogue agent who serves as her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world. 20th Century Fox TV and 21 Laps/Adelstein produce.
In other pilot castings, Norbert Leo Butz has been cast in Jason Katims’ NBC drama pilot County starring Jason Ritter. The Universal TV-produced project chronicles the lives of young doctors, nurses, and administrators in a frenetic, underfunded and morally compromising LA County Hospital. Butz will play a gregarious new intern at County, a former CPA who is more focused on finding the next party than work most of the time. Also cast in pilots are Cary Elwes, who joined ABC comedy Prairie Dogs, toplined by Kal Penn; and Laila Robbins, who was added to ABC’s untitled Emmerich/Kloser drama.
EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark star Reeve Carney has signed on to play Jeff Buckley in the untitled film about the late musician that Welcome to the Rileys helmer Jake Scott is putting together for a November shoot. Carney, who performed the Bono/The Edge-penned Spider-Man single Rise Above 1 at the American Idol finale, will do all the singing to bring to life the music of Buckley, who was just getting started as a solo artist when he drowned at age 30.
Considering that Buckley had only released a single album when he died in 1997 after getting caught in the wake of a passing boat in Tennessee’s Wolf River, it seems amazing that there are not one but three feature films about him. The first one to start production will be Greetings From Tim Buckley, the Dan Algrant-directed indie film that starts a four-week shoot Monday in Brooklyn. Conventional wisdom that the first film out of the gate wins doesn’t necessarily apply here; these two projects tell very different stories about Buckley. Scott is making a biopic, while Greetings From Tim Buckley stars Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley as a pre-fame Jeff Buckley who reconnects with his estranged father Tim by singing at a tribute concert for his folk-singer dad. In Algrant’s film, that short adventure forged Jeff Buckley’s own solo aspirations. The other Buckley film is called A Pure Drop and it is being mounted by Mad Bastards director Brendan Fletcher. The title comes from the book A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley.
Susan Sarandon is the latest addition to the pilot from writer John Logan and director Kathryn Bigelow. She is among several actors tapped for guest-staring/potential recurring roles on the pilot starring Norbert Leo Butz, Frank Langella and Hope Davis, which started filming today in New York. The Miraculous Year is described as an exploration into a high-powered New York family: Terry Segal (Butz), A wildly self-destructive and manipulative