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Casting: Nicole Kidman & Reese Witherspoon Tell ‘Big Little Lies,’ Casey Affleck Clocks ‘Finest Hour’ And More

Casting: Nicole Kidman & Reese Witherspoon Tell 'Big Little Lies,' Casey Affleck Clocks 'Finest Hour' And More

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are combining their acting and producing powers. The pair have teamed up and acquired the rights to Liane Moriarty‘s book “Big Little Lies,” with plans to develop it as a starring comedic vehicle for both of them. The bestseller tells the tale of “of three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.” No word yet on who will tackle the screenplay or direct. [Deadline]

Samuel J. Jackson has replaced Jamie Foxx in the laffer “The Black Phantom,” with the latter actor forced to bail over scheduling issues. Jackson will join Kevin Hart with the pair leading the movie about “an odd partnership formed between a clever double-crossed mob hitman and the notorious hit man The Black Phantom, who has been hired to kill him.” Tim Story will direct. [Deadline]

Casey Affleck will get his sea legs going in “The Finest Hour” opposite Chris Pine. The Craig Gillespie-directed movie “takes place in 1952, when the Coast Guard attempts a dramatic rescue after two oil tankers collide off the coast of Cape Cod.” [Deadline]

Eric Bana, Theo James and Jack Reynor are joining Rooney Mara, Vanessa Redgrave and Jeremy Irons in Jim Sheridan‘s “The Secret Scripture.” Based on the book by Sebastian Barry, the story follows a 100-year-old woman in a mental hospital and the relationship she builds with her psychiatrist. As for who is playing what among the newcomers: “Bana will play a rebellious doctor who is responsible for reviewing Roseanne’s (Mara) case, James will play the local Catholic priest and Reynor a member of the British army and Mara’s love interest.” Filming will get underway this fall. [Variety]

Lee Pace is moving quickly to a new project. He’s replacing Alex Russell in “Prisoner Of War” and will star opposite “Skyfall” Bond gal, Berenice Marlohe. Joe Miale will direct the movie about “an American soldier and a French foreign aid worker who team up in Africa amid humankind’s last stand against a cataclysmic alien invasion.” [Deadline]

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