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Sandra Bullock Is Villain In ‘Despicable Me’ Spin-Off ‘Minions,’ Ralph Fiennes & Clive Owen To Lead ‘Sands’ & ‘Blue Angel’

Sandra Bullock Is Villain In 'Despicable Me' Spin-Off 'Minions,' Ralph Fiennes & Clive Owen To Lead 'Sands' & 'Blue Angel'

We got a round of casting news for you from a trio of films, that between them deal with a couple separated by a coma, a washed-up novelist and an Audrey Hepburn-like villain. Onwards…

First up is the James Foley-helmed “fantasy drama-romance” “Sands” which, per Variety, is lining up Ralph Fiennes for the lead role. The Renata Bovara-written project focuses on a New York-based surgeon and wife after an accident puts the wife in a coma. Here’s the description: “Caught between life and death, the woman’s spirit travels to India where she is drawn to an imaginary man. She must choose between her love for that man and her husband, who is desperate to bring her back to life.” Most famous for directing the film adaptation of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Foley’s last feature-length effort was the Halle Berry and Bruce Willis-starring shlock thriller “Perfect Stranger.” More recently he’s helmed a few episodes of “House of Cards.” Fiennes is apparently still “in advanced discussions” and no other actors have been cast, though a producer told the trade that “a prominent Hollywood thesp will star opposite Fiennes.” Production is looking to start this fall.

While many filmmakers have been embracing the opportunities of television, “Nip/Tuck” and “Boss” executive producer Richard Levine is the latest showrunner to make the leap to the big screen. Levine will adapt Francine Prose’s 2000 novel “Blue Angel,” and according to Screen Daily, he’s nabbed Clive Owen as his leading man. The “Children of Men” star will play Swenson, who published a novel years ago but is now stuck as a disillusioned professor in a New England creative writing program. “Enter Angela Argo, a pierced, tattooed student with a rare talent for writing. Angela is just the thing Swenson needs. And, better yet, she wants his help. But, as we all know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions . . .” Sounds like a great thematic fit for Levine, considering that his two previous series both dealt with authority-type figures sometimes taking advantage of their power. No production start date is listed but we’d imagine that with Owen locked in, things will start to pick up.

And finally, as the long wait for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” draws to a close this fall, Sandra Bullock has carved some time aside to join the “Despicable Me” spin-off “Minions.” Deadline reports that the Oscar-winning actress will voice the lead villain of the children’s animated film, “Scarlet Overkill, a stylish bad-ass super-villain who is bent on world domination.” The film will apparently take place in the ’60s, thereby setting the spin-off before the original film. Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda will direct the 3D CG-animated film, which is set for release on December 19, 2014. You’ll be able to catch her later this year though, in “Gravity,” which drifts into theatres on October 4th, and “The Heat,” which comes first on June 27th

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