Despite roles in blockbusters like “Prometheus,” “Thor” and “Pacific Rim,” Idris Elba still hasn’t had that one role that would catapult him into a household name—sorry, “The Wire” doesn’t count—but he’ll be getting his shot at the spotlight with the previously-announced action vehicle “Bastille Day.” Deadline reports “The Woman In Black” director James Watkins will take over helming duties from the long-departed Pierre Morel and that “Blue Is The Warmest Color” star Adèle Exarchopoulos has joined the cast as (we presume) the young artist that ends up improbably paired with Elba’s washed up agent to stop an attack on Paris.
The famed British playwright (and occasional screenwriter) Noel Coward was all set to be portrayed by Colin Firth as of two years ago in a project that would have narrowed its focus onto Coward’s two-week stay at The Desert Inn in Las Vegas in 1955, but the project has since stalled which is just fine for the just-announced competing Coward biopic. Screen Daily reports “Glee” star Chris Colfer will star as the playwright in “Noel” and that British actors Sir Ian McKellen, Vanessa Redgrave and Jonathan Pryce are in talks to join the TV star. The Martin Sherman-scripted biopic is set to be helmed by Joe Stephenson “for a late summer shoot” and will focus on Coward’s “early life and influences” before he found success.
Michael Shannon has joined Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in the gay rights drama “Freeheld,” reports Screen Daily. The story follows “a gay police-woman’s struggle to ensure that her police pension is passed to her partner after she is diagnosed with a terminal illness.”
Screen Daily also reveals that Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts and Sarah Silverman will star in the dramedy “Ashby.” The movie “charts the relationship between a high school student (Wolff) and a retired CIA assassin (Rourke) who only has months to live.” Tony McNamara (“The Rage In Placid Lake“) wrote the script and will direct.
Out of “Point Break” and into a “Den Of Thieves.” Variety reports that Gerard Butler has joined the thriller about “a legendary bank heist crew decides to rob the Federal Reserve in Los Angeles right under the nose of a rogue sheriff’s deputy.” Christian Gudegast, the writer behind “London Has Fallen,” will make his directorial debut.
Justin Bartha, Olivia Thirlby and Constance Zimmer have come aboard “Phoenix” for director Amy Redford. Screen Daily says the story will center on “a one-night stand between love-averse strangers that sends them on a 4,000-mile trip from Brooklyn to the Grand Canyon and back.”
Sam Neill has signed up to star in Andrew Goth‘s “DxM.” The high-octane thriller follows a group of young bio-engineers, led by Jaxon, a gifted and highly ambitious scientist, who realize that quantum theory can be used to transfer motor-skills from one brain to another. Rallied by Stella, they decide to freely spread this technology believing it to be a first step towards intellectual equality. However, as the mysterious past of Stella is revealed, dark forces emerge that threaten to subvert the technology they’ve discovered into a means of mass control. Tom Payne and Melia Kreiling co-star with production starting next month.
Ed Westwick and Dominick Sherwood will star in Jim Gillespie‘s “Take Down.” The thriller centers on the wayward sons and daughters of international billionaires, who have been sent by their frustrated parents to an exclusive, tough-love boot camp on a remote island, where they will be taught basic survival skills in the hope it will teach them to take responsibility for their lives. When they are taken hostage and held for a billion dollar ransom by a group of sophisticated kidnappers, the young captives suddenly need every ounce of their brief training to survive. Jeremy Sumpter and Phoebe Tonkin co-star with lensing starting in June.