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Casting: Jessica Alba Is ‘Barely Lethal,’ ‘The Hunger Games’ Finds Annie Cresta & More

Casting: Jessica Alba Is 'Barely Lethal,' 'The Hunger Games' Finds Annie Cresta & More

Former Sue Storm Jessica Alba has signed on to play the villain in “Barely Lethal,” an action-comedy starring Hailee Steinfeld as a teenage assassin and with producers including Brett Ratner‘s Rat Entertainment. Joining a cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Alba will play a former associate in pursuit of Steinfeld’s lead. [ScreenDaily]

In more news for the young adult market, Stef Dawson will join ‘The Hunger Games‘ saga as Annie Cresta, love interest of Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) and a District 4 victor. The redheaded Australian actress has signed on for the third and fourth installments: ‘Mockingjay: Part 1‘ and ‘Mockingjay: Part 2.’ [THR]

Now on to the family-friendly fare, Disney has signed Maria Bello to co-star with Kevin Costner in the sports drama “McFarland,” following in the footsteps of Disney hits “Remember the Titans” and “Miracle.”
Bello will play the wife of a track coach (Costner), who leads a team
to victory from a predominantly Latino California community. This will
be Bello and Costner’s second film together after 2010’s “The Company Men.” [The Wrap]

For those who like their films sprinkled with British and Irish accents, “Downton Abbey” actor Allen Leech has already begun getting costume fittings for “The Imitation Game,” a film about English mathematician Alan Turing and the Enigma code. Leech is joining “a bit of a pinch yourself cast” with Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, Keira Knightley as wife and fellow mathematician Joan Clarke, and Matthew Goode as Anglo-Irish cryptanalyst and chess champion Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander. [Flicks and the City]

Speaking of foreign television stars making movies, “Borgen” star Sidse Babett Knudsen will make her English language feature film debut in Peter Strickland‘s “The Duke of Burgundy,” which is being co-produced by Ben Wheatley‘s Rook Films, Film4, and the BFI. We haven’t heard much of the production since last December, but we gather that Knudsen will play the lead role of an amateur lepidopterist (someone who studies moths and butterflies), presumably replacing “Berberian Sound Studio” actress Chiara D’Anna. [Screen Daily]

In more television actor going to the big leagues news, Jose Pablo Cantillo (who played a henchman on “The Walking Dead“) has signed on to work with Neill Blomkamp again, after appearing in Blomkamp’s “Elysium” this summer. In the upcoming “Chappie,” the film will center on a kidnapped robot with artificial intelligence and Cantillo will play Yankie, a gangster who wants to exploit that robot. Sony and MRC have set a March 27, 2015 release date. [THR]

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