Berlin starts today, and as such, there is an eruption of casting news, so let’s get to it. Most excitingly, Justin Kurzel‘s “Macbeth” starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard has kicked off its seven-week shoot. The rest of the cast has also been revealed, and it’s a good one, with ScreenDaily reporting that Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor (“What Richard Did“) and Elizabeth Debicki (“The Great Gatsby“) are all on board for this new take on one of the Bard’s most famous works. No release date yet but The Weinstein Company have the rights and we presume this will be planned for a 2015 release.
Michael Mann‘s daughter, Ami Canaan Mann, is gearing up her third feature film, “Your Right Mind.” Katherine Heigl will star in the film that follows Ryan, a modern-day traveling folk singer with only a backpack and banjo to his name. Ryan puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets Jackie, a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Together, with their passion for music, and soon, each other, they form an unlikely relationship. Ben Barnes, Clea Duvall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and Ryan Bingham round out the cast for this one which is now shooting.
Melissa Leo has joined James Franco in Ian Olds‘ “The Fixer.” The film tells the story of Osman, an Afghan journalist exiled from his war-torn country to a small bohemian community in Northern California. When he attempts to turn his menial job on the local police blotter into “Afghan-style” coverage of local crime, he gets drawn into the backwoods of this small town—a shadow Northern California where sex is casual, true friendship is hard to come by, and an unfamiliar form of violence bubbles up all around him. The search is one for the role of the Afghan fixer, and if you’re in Fremont on February 16th, there will be an open audition.
Vera Farmiga is aboard the ballet comedy “Prima.” Described as a mix of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Billy Elliot,” the story centers around twelve-year-old Jesse Urchin who shocks everyone when she is accepted into the prestigious Battleboro School for Dancers. While Jesse learns that to get to the top she must kill or be killed, her mother Corinne struggles to acclimate to her posh stomping grounds. Shooting begins in March with Evan Greenberg writing and directing.
“The Book Thief” star Sophie Nelisse, Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover and Octavia Spencer will feature in the adaptation of the Newbury Award-winning children’s book, “The Great Gilly Hopkins,” Variety reports. The story will follow the titular “wisecracking, gum-chewing 12-year-old, who is moved from foster home to foster home, outwitting them all. When she is placed in the home of Maime Trotter, the most unorthodox foster mom yet, Gilly battles her way out, but her life takes an unexpected turn.” Family movie veteran Stephen Herek (“101 Dalmatians,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus”) is directing with cameras rolling April.
Lastly, The Wrap reports that Cuba Gooding Jr. will star in the action thriller “Gridlocked,” playing “a former SWAT team leader who’s being shadowed by an arrogant movie star researching a role. When a team of mercenaries attacks a training facility, the unlikely duo must organize its survivor members and fight for their lives.” So, the serious version of “Ride Along“? Anyway, Allan Ungar will direct the Hackybox Pictures productions (yes, that’s what they’re called).