EXCLUSIVE UPDATE, 10 AM: Here is the short list of actors going up for the other lead roles in Warcraft, the Legendary Pictures/Atlas Entertainment adaptation of the vidgame World Of Warcraft. I’m told that on the short list is Paul Dano, fresh from the weekend openers Prisoners; Travis Fimmel, a revelation as the star of the History Channel series Vikings; Anson Mount, who stars in the AMC series Hell on Wheels; and Star Trek‘s Anton Yelchin. Paula Patton is in advanced negotiations and Colin Farrell has been offered one of the leads.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, SUNDAY PM: Legendary Pictures and Atlas Entertainment are casting up Warcraft, the movie adaptation of the hit Blizzard video game World Of Warcraft that Duncan Jones will direct. I’m told that Paula Patton is negotiating for a lead role and that another lead has been offered to Colin Farrell. I’m not sure that Farrell is going to make a deal — sources said it’s 50/50 — and Jones is testing other actors for the major roles. Production will begin in January and Charles Leavitt wrote the script.
The role-playing game takes place in a medieval-like setting where players control avatars that take on gryphons, dragons, zombies, werewolves and elves. Time travel and alien worlds also are part of the mix. The project is one of Legendary’s biggest and was supposed to be made at Warner Bros. Since Thomas Tull’s financing/production company moved over to Universal Pictures, I expect the film to be located there as well. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol’s Paula Patton has signed with CAA. She had been repped at WME. Patton, whose credits include Deja Vu and Precious, makes the rep switch after completing Disconnect opposite Jason Bateman and Alexander Skarsgård (the film opens April 19); Two Guns opposite Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington (opening August 16); and the Fox Searchlight romantic comedy Baggage Claim, which opens in October. Her husband, singer Robin Thicke, is also repped at CAA. She continues to be lawyered by Jason Sloane and Shelby Weiser.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight has set Paula Patton to star in Baggage Claim, a comedy that David Talbert has adapted and will direct from his bestselling 2003 novel. Patton will play flight attendant Montana Moore, who at 35 is the oldest woman in her family not married. With her sister tying the knot, Montana and her fellow flight attendants become determined to put a claim check on a husband in 30 days or 30,000 miles.
The film will shoot in September and it will be Talbert’s second time behind the camera. He wrote and directed First Sunday for Screen Gems, which was based on his play. Talbert is an underrated resource at a time when urban-themed films are in high demand after the success of Think Like A Man. Like Tyler Perry, Talbert developed a following in the black community by writing and touring his plays, the most recent of which was What My Husband Doesn’t Know, which played in 40 cities. He’s been doing that for 20 years and seems poised for a screen breakthrough. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton is in talks to star with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in 2 Guns, a film that’s based on a Steven Grant graphic novel published by Boom! Studios. Baltasar Kormakur, who just directed Wahlberg in the remake of his film Contraband, is helming. The script was written by Blake Masters. Emmett/Furla Films is co-financing, and Universal will distribute domestically. Marc Platt is producing along with Boom!’s Andrew Cosby and Ross Richie, and Randall Emmett and George Furla.
Patton is coming off the female lead in Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol, the Brad Bird-directed hit. In 2 Guns, Patton will play Washington’s love interest, I’m told. She just completed Disconnect opposite Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Bateman. She’s repped by WME and managed by Flavor Unit.
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton has joined the cast of Disconnect, the indie drama that’s being directed by Murderball‘s Henry Alex Rubin. She joins Alexander Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Frank Grillo 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. Patton’s coming off Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and Jumping The Broom. She’s repped by WME and Flavor Unit. The film’s being produced by Liddell Entertainment and Wonderful Films, with Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton, Bill Horberg and Marc Forster producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will move Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol from its Dec. 16, 2011 release date to Wednesday, Dec. 21, putting the picture smack into the holiday corridor. That moves the film back from opening against Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. It will now open against the David Fincher-directed Sony drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and be released two days before Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, Summit’s The Darkest Hour, Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, and FilmDistrict’s release of the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey.
At the same time, Paramount will soon formalize a Feb. 8, 2013 release date for One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child mystery novel series that the studio hopes will launch another Cruise franchise. Cruise committed earlier this month to play Jack Reacher, a retired military policeman who wanders the country with his toothbrush, the clothes on his back and his bankbook and inadvertently gets involved in conspiracies that find him taking the side of the powerless and exploited. He often settles matters with explosive violence. For Paramount, the strategy is to replicate the winter release pattern it followed successfully on Shutter Island, the Dennis Lehane novel that was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Read More »
Sony Pictures is casting up its Total Recall remake, which Len Wiseman will direct with Colin Farrell starring in the role originated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. There are two major female roles in the film, and several top actresses are vying for them. First, there is the role of Lori, who started out the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-directed original as the happy homemaker wife of Douglas Quaid, only to transform into the bride from hell. That’s the role that really launched the star of Sharon Stone (who would star in Verhoeven’s Basic Instinct) and I’m told that Kate Bosworth and Inglourious Basterds‘ Diane Kruger [UPDATE: Kruger's reps said she opted out of the reading] are reading this week for that role. Those readings began yesterday.
There is also the role of Melina, which was originated by Rachel Ticotin, playing the woman who helps the protagonist get to the bottom of the futuristic scandal on Mars. I’m told that Eva Mendes and Paula Patton are reading for that role. Studio insiders warn me that list is not inclusive, and I’ve heard that Jessica Biel could be in contention for Melina, Eva Green too, and that Mendes is also being considered for the Lori role. Neal Moritz is producing.
The 4th entry will be titled Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol. The name was announced at a press conference in Dubai attended by Tom Cruise, director Brad Bird and co-stars Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. It’s in production now and is scheduled for release in December 2011. Besides the Dubai location, other shooting spots include Moscow and Prague.
What does the title mean? In CIA parlance, the term “ghost” can refer to some of the suspected terrorists held at Guantamo Bay and other secret bases around the world. Could the plot involve Ethan Hunt and his team being assigned to hunt down an escaped “ghost?” Just speculating.
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton has landed that female lead role that Deadline told you she was testing for, alongside actresses Lauren German and Kristen Kreuk. I’m told that Patton will play a young operative who works with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character. The film will not be called Mission: Impossible 4. Cruise and JJ Abrams, who hatched the project together, always envisioned it as a franchise reboot. The film begins production in the fall with Brad Bird directing Cruise, who’ll co-star with The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner in what was another hotly contested role. Paramount co-finances the $140 million film with David Ellison’s Skydance banner. It marks the first film for Cruise and Paramount since he left the studio after generating over $3 billion in worldwide grosses for Paramount.
Now that Jeremy Renner snagged the big male lead opposite Tom Cruise in the next Mission: Impossible, the focus of Paramount Pictures, director Brad Bird and producers Cruise and JJ Abrams are intent on filling the role of a young female operative. I’m told that Lauren German and Paula Patton are testing for the job. UPDATE: I’m told that Kristen Kreuk will also test for the role…. Superbad‘s Joe Lo Truglio is replacing Fred Armisen in the role of nudist Wayne Dunbar in Wanderlust, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy for Universal which David Wain is directing from the script he wrote with Ken Marino. Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux star in the comedy about a couple that detours from a mundane life to a commune. Generate-repped Lo Truglio just completed the Universal comedy Paul… Ari Graynor has landed the female lead opposite Jonah Hill in The Sitter, the David Gordon Green-directed Fox comedy. She’ll next be seen opposite Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell in Conviction, and stars opposite Anna Faris in What’s Your Number next spring. UTA and Principal Entertainment rep her… Using Twitter (the new publicist) John Cusack informed the world today that he’ll play Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven. This isn’t going to be great news to Sylvester Stallone, whose dream is to play Poe.