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Casting News: Patton in M:I Reboot, De Niro Loves Bellucci, Hamm and Westfeldt Make Indie

Casting News: Patton in M:I Reboot, De Niro Loves Bellucci, Hamm and Westfeldt Make Indie

– J.J. Abrams’ reboot of the Mission: Impossible franchise is coming together at Paramount, even if it still lacks a firm title. Returning Tom Cruise will be accompanied by Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, both of whom wowed in their low-budget Oscar-winning films last year, Precious and The Hurt Locker, respectively.

The $140-million sequel (modest, these days) is due December 2011.

-Jon Hamm and partner Jennifer Westfeldt (writer, producer and star of Kissing Jessica Stein and Ira & Abby) dropped news that they will shoot an indie film together based on Westfeldt’s script, Friends with Kids, before the next season of Mad Men steals Hamm away. They hope to be joined by Anne Hathaway and Kristen Wiig. Credit to Hamm for not letting himself be typecast as Madmen‘s Don Draper; the guy can do comedy on SNL, sitcom romance on 30 Rock, or play a cop in The Town. He may have a movie career.

– The lovely Monica Bellucci, wife to man-of-the-moment Vincent Cassell (with Black Swan premiering to strong reviews and his Cesar winning Mesrine double feature finally in theaters), has been cast in the third installment of Italian director Giovanni Veronesi’s Manual of Love, which “with [Robert] De Niro in the cast, will have greater international ambitions,” says producer Aurelio De Laurentiis. Bellucci will play De Niro’s love interest. Good thing De Niro can act, since falling in love with Bellucci (pictured) must be tough.

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