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CASTING WATCH: Jolie Gets Agent to Go Indie, U.N.C.L.E. Eyes Tatum, Beatty Picks Felicity Jones

CASTING WATCH: Jolie Gets Agent to Go Indie, U.N.C.L.E. Eyes Tatum, Beatty Picks Felicity Jones

Angelina Jolie has finally gotten herself a talent agent after years of functioning with only a manager (Geyer Kosinski), attorney (Robert Offer) and writer-director agent (UTA). She was briefly with CAA back in 2006, but has now signed with Ilene Feldman at IFA Talent for smaller roles in independent films. It’s the opposite from how most actresses navigate their careers, but given Jolie’s taste and global uber-star wattage, this move could balance studio tentpole actioners with high-caliber dramatic work  such as “A Mighty Heart,” “Changeling” and “Girl, Interrupted.” Big budgets and glitz (“Salt,” “Wanted,” “The Tourist”) capitalize on Jolie’s marquee value more than her acting strengths. FilmDistrict will open Jolie’s directorial debut, indie war drama “In The Land of Blood and Honey” on December 23.

Warren Beatty is returning to the big screen to direct, star and produce a dramedy about aging Howard Hughes and his affair with a young woman. The star has handpicked young Brit Felicity Jones (“Like Crazy”) to play the woman, who first gets involved with Hughes’ driver-confidante before falling for the magnate himself. Justin Timberlake and Alden Ehrenrch have been mentioned for the driver, repirts Deadline, while Owen Wilson, Annette Bening, Jack Nicholson and Alec Baldwin have also been linked to roles. Further plot details on this New Regency backed project are slim.

– We got excited about Steven Soderbergh’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” when Joel Edgerton and Bradley Cooper were pegged for the two leads of the 1960s spy series revival, but now the busy Cooper is officially out and Edgerton–also increasingly busy–will likely pass as well. So who’s next in line? Soderbergh’s man of the moment, Channing Tatum, may fill the shoes of Napoleon Solo, left vacant by Cooper (and George Clooney before him). Tatum and Soderbergh recently shot “Haywire” (January 2012, here’s our review) and are filming “Magic Mike” (June 2012), so the director may as well hold on to him until a co-star is found to play the other half of the duo, Illya Kuryakin.

-Scott Z. Burns (Soderbergh’s “The Informant” and “Contagion,” TOH interview here) is writing the script about the 1960s Cold War era London-set United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Emily Blunt and Imogen Poots’ names have been tossed in the mix to play female U.N.C.L.E. agent Lisa Rogers.

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