– Scarlett Johansson will star in Judd Apatow’s Can A Song Save Your Life?, written and to be directed by John Carney (Once). The musically themed story will pair a young songstress with “a washed up A&R man.” They form a bond and sing, putting Johansson’s singing talent to use. Carney confirms to The Sunday Business Post: “‘I went out to Los Angeles to meet Scarlett a couple of months ago. She was everything you could imagine – very hot, elegant and she’s really smart.” Mark Ruffalo and Jim Carrey are rumored as possible co-stars. ThePlaylist has more.
– Slumdog Millionaire‘s Dev Patel joins Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot More As This Story Develops, which already boasts Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston, Allison Pill, Olivia Munn and Josh Pence (The Social Network, as Armie Hammer‘s faceless twin). Greg Mottola is directing the pilot, which we likely won’t see until 2012. Patel also stars in John Madden’s India-set ensemble drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, along with Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith (Fox Searchlight) as well as Cherry (with James Franco and Heather Graham).
– Bryan Cranston, well known for HBO’s Breaking Bad and gaining traction with the likes of The Lincoln Lawyer and the upcoming Drive (September 16) and Contagion (October 21), may be joining Alan Arkin and John Goodman in Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage crisis film, Argo. Cranston is in talks to play “an Irish CIA agent from Boston and Dwight Eisenhower’s wartime bodyguard,” reports Variety. Here’s more on the project, in which Affleck will also star as the agent who got six American hostages out of Iran with a fake Hollywood production.
– Will Smith’s passion project, The American Can, is now eyeing Denzel Washington for its lead role. Smith will produce and John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) wrote the script and will direct. Vulture offers the following synopsis of the true story, as chronicled in the short documentary below:
“follows the real-life harrowing ordeal suffered by the residents of the American Can apartment complex when the levees broke. Trapped by eleven feet of fetid water for two days, a six-foot-seven ex-Marine named John Keller stayed behind to ward off looters and help care for the dozens of aged or infirm residents who couldn’t evacuate. After spending two futile days trying to flag down help, Keller ultimately succeeded in getting desperately needed food, water, and medical supplies air-dropped onto the complex only after finally moving dozens of aged and infirm — and notably, white — residents onto the rooftop of American Can to catch rescuers’ attention.”