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Casting Watch: Nicholson & Cruise Reunite; Bigelow Woos Depp and Hanks; Handler Goes to War

Casting Watch: Nicholson & Cruise Reunite; Bigelow Woos Depp and Hanks; Handler Goes to War

-Jack “You can’t handle the truth!” Nicholson and Tom Cruise may reunite for El Presidente, an action comedy about a secret service agent (Cruise) and a former US President (Nicholson) – both on the same side – after a threat is made on his life. While it’s hard to imagine the pair being as entertaining playing pals as they were playing enemies shoved into a courtroom face-off in A Few Good Men, this one will still get plenty of attention if it goes ahead (Cruise is attached, an offer is out to Nicholson).

-Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are wooing Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks for Triple Frontier for two of five leading roles in the story set in the crime-ridden lawless zone bordering Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Depp is already scheduled to start Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows in February, when Triple Frontier is set to shoot. And Hanks is starring in Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, opposite Sandra Bullock (who is reportedly in talks for the role Natalie Portman turned down in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity), followed by a 2012 reprise of the Robert Langdon role in the third Da Vinci Code installment, The Lost Code.

– Another comedy, This Means War, which already boasts the delectable cast of Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy, just got funner (and blonder): TV host/comic Chelsea Handler will play Witherspoon’s best friend. Handler recently hosted the VMAs, just completed shooting her first film, the CG/live action Hop with Russell Brand, and her third book, Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang is a bestseller. Proof that Handler will give Witherspoon some interesting rom-com best-friend advice is below.

– Idris Elba, who is taking over Morgan Freeman’s stint as Dr. Alex Cross in James Patterson’s murder mystery series, is negotiating to join Nicolas Cage in the sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, set for a 2012 release. Elba will play an alcoholic warrior monk whose job is to track down Cage’s Johnny Blaze. Johnny Whitworth (Gamer) is also negotiating to play a criminal recruited by the devil to find the Blaze’s son.

Here’s Chelsea Handler:

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