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Casting: Neil LaBute Enlists Ethan Hawke, Vera Farmiga For New Thriller; Logan Lerman Joins Brad Pitt For ‘Fury’

Casting: Neil LaBute Enlists Ethan Hawke, Vera Farmiga For New Thriller; Logan Lerman Joins Brad Pitt For ‘Fury’

Logan Lerman might be known for the forgettable “Percy Jackson” films (a sequel arrives this summer), but he almost scored the coveted lead in “The Amazing Spider-Man” a few years ago and he impressed with his acting chops in “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.” Casting directors and filmmakers have noticed. He’s getting called up into the big leagues and will join Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf in the WWII tank thriller “Fury” that “End of Watch” filmmaker David Ayer is writing and directing for Sony Pictures. The movie is already set for a Fall 2014 release and it’s an interesting one because it will be Ayer’s first non police-centered movie. Let’s hope unlike the almost great “End Of Watch,” the visual material doesn’t stand in the way of a good story and strong dynamic. [Deadline]

Now that Neil LaBute is seemingly back on track after some strange career paths (see our recent interview with the director), his long-gestating thriller “The Geography of Hope” is coming back to life. He’s scored a strong character-acting cast as well. Ed Harris already stars and he’ll be joined by Ethan Hawke, Vera Farmiga, and French actress Emmanuelle Devos (“Coco Before Chanel,” “A Christmas Tale“). Based on a script LaBute wrote before he broke into the theater or film world, the 1970s-set story follows two crooks (Hawke and Harris) who flee to Baja, Mexico, after a robbery in a San Diego convenience store goes bad. There they encounter several American women, and they find themselves torn between the impulse to grift the ladies and romance them. Aaron Eckhart was once attached, but that’s no longer the case and that’s probably ok since there sounds like a lot of similarities to “The Company of Men,” his breakthrough misogynist role. [ScreenDaily]

There’s a new IFC miniseries coming called, “The Spoils Of Babylon.” Why do you care? Well, it has an awesome cast that includes Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, and Kristen Wiig. The very lucky Haley Joel Osment (where’s he been?) is set to co-star opposite them all. [Deadline]

The Universal Pictures/Illumination Entertainment spinoff of the “Despicable Me” franchise, titled “Minions” was inevitable. The original grossed $543 million worldwide and part two should rake in a bundle this summer. Apparently you can make voice changes rather easy in animated films that have been animated long ago. Al Pacino was supposed to be one of the antagonist voices in “Despicable Me 2,” but he’s been replaced by Benjamin Bratt instead. Meanwhile, “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm has signed on to provide the lead voice (alongside Sandra Bullock) in “Minions.” [Deadline]

Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall are teaming up once again. Marshall directed Depp in “Pirates of The Caribbean 5” and now they’re making a film version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into The Woods” (Depp’s familiar with Sondheim having starred in Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”). English stage, television and film actor James Corden is apparently in talks to star. Meryl Streep is evidently being courted. [Daily Mail]

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