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John Cusack Takes A ‘Kickback,’ Anton Yelchin & Dakota Johnson Go Shakespeare & More

John Cusack Takes A ‘Kickback,’ Anton Yelchin & Dakota Johnson Go Shakespeare & More

A few bits of casting news to keep you apprised of all that’s moving and shaking in Hollywood’s various corridors. So without further ado……..

First up, John Cusack‘s presence is helping the long-developing thriller “Kickback” get rolling into the production. The directorial debut of Raza Mallal, the movie will tell the tale of “a renegade Moscow detective investigating the murder of a female war journalist. He becomes embroiled in a web of counter espionage involving chemical warfare, and the assassination of the Russian president.” Intriguing stuff for sure, but mostly we’re surprised/concerned by the presence of former “The O.C.” star Mischa Barton in the supporting cast, which is rounded out by Sean Astin (!?), Michael Biehn, Noureen DeWulf, John Hannah and Tamer Hassan. The script is being given a once over with shooting to begin this winter.

Next, Ethan Hawke‘s latest venture into Shakespeare territory with “Hamlet” director Michael Almeredya, has added a couple more young thesps. Anton Yelchin and Dakota Johnson will tackle the Bard in “Cymbeline.” They join Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich and Penn Badgley in the modern day take on the material that will center on the clash between a biker gang and cops. Yelchin has nabbed the role of Cloten with Johnson as Imogen. Production on the movie begins next week in New York.

Last, “Evil Dead” star Jane Levy and Nicholas Braun will feature in “Good Kids.” The feature debut of “Guardians Of The Galaxy” writer Chris McCoy—who also penned the Black List script—the movie centers on “four overachieving high school students on Cape Cod who reinvent themselves after graduation when the summer people come to town.” Sounds perfectly Sundance-ready. [ScreenDaily/Deadline]

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