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Casting: Robert De Niro Visits Stephen Gaghan’s ‘Candy Store’; Alicia Vikander Joins Alex Garland’s Robot Thriller & More

Casting: Robert De Niro Visits Stephen Gaghan’s ‘Candy Store’; Alicia Vikander Joins Alex Garland's Robot Thriller & More

Writer/director Stephen Gaghan has given us the scripts to Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” “Rules of Engagement,” and “The Alamo,” but turned full-fledged filmmaker with 2005’s excellent political drama, “Syriana.” He hasn’t directed a film since, but not for want of trying. Gaghan’s been attached to several projects over the years, but for whatever reason, none of them have come to fruition. He may have struck gold with the cast of his his latest, “Candy Store.” The picture already stars “Zero Dark Thirty” star Jason Clarke and Omar Sy (“The Intouchables”), but his latest casting coup is even more impressive; Robert De Niro. The acting legend is joining the cast for a story about an undercover agent (Clarke) who begins a new life as beat cop in Brooklyn, but finds that his past life comes back to haunt him. De Niro plays a former cop who teams up with him to stop the threat that could endanger the city of New York. [Variety]

It feels like strange material for her, at least based on her period-piece pedigree thus far, but rising star Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina,” “A Royal Affair”) is in negotiations to play the female lead in Alex Garland’s robot thriller “Ex Machina.” The film already stars Oscar Isaac and Vikander’s ‘Karenina’ lover Domhnall Gleeson. Vikander and Felicity Jones were said to be vying for the role, but apparently Vikander won. The film will be the directorial debut of Garland, the screenwriter of “The Beach,” “28 Days Later,” and the story centers on a billionaire programmer (Isaac) who picks a young employee (Domhnall) to help him test out an AI-driven, female robot on his estate. Pretty and talented, expect Vikander to continue to spread her wings far beyond simple period piece movies. It’s only a matter of time before she’s up for major roles and folks like Marvel come calling. [The Wrap]

BBC TV is getting back in the political spy business. They’ve recruited Helena Bonham-Carter, Winona Ryder, Christopher Walken to join Bill Nighy in a pair of sequels to David Hare’s “Page Eight.” The original made-for-TV films starred Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Tom Hughes, Judy Davis and Ralph Fiennes as the Prime Minister. The two new films will be titled, “Turks & Caicos” and “Salting The Battlefield.” [The Daily Mail]

House Of Cards” star Kristen Connolly is joining a “Good Marriage,” an adaptation of a Stephen King novel that will be directed by documentarian Peter Askin. Joan Allen already stars and “House Of Cards” season 2 is shooting now. [Deadline]

Remember when Sam Worthington was supposed to be the next big thing after “Avatar”? “Clash Of The Titans” and other still-born would-be franchises proved that’s not really going to be the case. His career is more in tune with Gerard Butler and it’s probably only a matter of time before the two actors are teaming up together. Meanwhile, Worthington has joined “The Keeping Room” opposite Brit MarlingHailee Steinfeld and Nicole Beharie. The story follows two sisters (Marling, Steinfeld) who, along with an African-American slave (Beharie), are forced to defend their Southern home from soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army. [Deadline]

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