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Zac Efron Plays DJ, Judi Dench Catches ‘Tulip Fever,’ Michael Gambon Has A ‘Casual Vacancy’ & More

Zac Efron Plays DJ, Judi Dench Catches ‘Tulip Fever,’ Michael Gambon Has A 'Casual Vacancy' & More

While “Star Wars” and Marvel franchise rumors are just that thus far regarding Zac Efron, one thing is clear—the actor is certainly willing at the present to play up his public image for laughs, as “Neighbors” recently exampled to a surprisingly effective degree. He’s got the range to add some empathy to the character as well, and it’s clear directors have been paying attention to that juggling act, as a new role could see Efron back in sending up his partying ways.

The Wrap reports Efron is in negotiations to star in an Untitled DJ Project produced by Working Title and directed by Max Joseph, one-half of the hosting team on MTV’s “Catfish” series. Following a young DJ as he navigates the music world and aims to deliver his first club hit, the film will serve as Joseph’s feature directorial debut; he isn’t entirely green though in either technique or subject, as Joseph’s also directed a number of short documentaries including “12 Years of DFA Records.” Efron has yet to confirm his place in the role—an interesting if not timely avenue to take—but Joseph is currently casting other parts in hopes of shooting this July in Los Angeles.

Once stalled in pre-production for some time, the newest iteration of “Tarzan” is in full swing with David Yates at the helm and Alexander Skarsgard in the title role, and you can count one more onboard as Djimon Hounsou has joined the project, reports Deadline. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor will play Chief Mbonga in Yates’ adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel, and alongside a strong cast including Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz the stars are lining up for the film to head into production this summer.

Christian Slater is in a bit of a revival at the moment, and in some peculiar roles as well. Last seen as the tree-worshipping father to a young Joe in Lars Von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac,” the actor is next up to star opposite James Franco in the long-gestating “Adderall Diaries,” based on the “true crime memoir” by Stephen Elliot. Slater will play Hans Reiser, a man on trial for killing his wife, while Franco will play Elliot, who observes the case unfold and explores key moments from his own life. The Pamela Romanowsky-directed film is set to shoot in New York this year. [Deadline]

J.K. Rowling‘s venture into television with the miniseries adaptation of her book “The Casual Vacancy” is rounding up a cast. Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, Rufus Jones, Simon McBurney, Colin Wall, Keeley Forsyth, Abigail Lawrie, Krystal Weedon, Richard Glover, Marie Critchley, Ruth Price and Michelle Austin will star in the BBC/HBO production reports Deadline. The series will follow the behind-the-scenes dramas of the residents of Pagford, a small English village. Production begins in July.

Finally, a Tom Stoppard-penned period piece is always an occasion to celebrate, and on top of an already-stellar cast including Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Christoph Waltz and Zach Galifianakis, the 17th-century drama “Tulip Fever” can now count two more: Dame Judi Dench and “Glee” star Matthew Morrison. Centering around a married woman (Vikander) in Amsterdam who falls for the man painting her portrait, Dame will occupy a supporting role as the Abbess of St. Ursula’s, a “rescuer of orphan children”, while Morrison will play Mattheus, an oft-drunk bohemian artist. We’ve heard somewhat little news about the Justin Chadwick-directed adaptation of the Deborah Moggach book, but with a cast this good consider our interest peaked. [Variety]

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