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Casting: Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart Form ‘Central Intelligence,’ Emily Blunt Hangs With ‘Barton’ & More

Casting: Dwayne Johnson & Kevin Hart Form ‘Central Intelligence,’ Emily Blunt Hangs With 'Barton' & More

The Kevin Hart train shows no signs of slowing down and his next effort finds him teaming up with Dwayne Johnson. The pair will star in “Central Intelligence,” a long brewing project that once had Ed Helms attached. He’s sticking around to produce the movie that kicks off “with a class reunion approaching, as a former high school sports star turned accountant (Hart) is contacted by a classmate (Johnson) who was bullied and humiliated back in the day. The ‘loser’ that the accountant remembers is now a CIA contract killer who ropes him into helping foil a plot to sell classified military secrets.” Oh, those wacky federal agents. Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Dodgeball,” “We’re The Millers“) will direct. [Variety]

With “Evil Dead” back to life on Starz, things are looking good for Bruce Campbell, who is now co-starring with James Frecheville, Annabeth Gish, Missi Pyle, G.W. Bailey, and Judge Reinhold in “Highly Functional.” Marc Forby (“Princess Ka’iulani “) will direct the movie about “a washed-up former country rock star who’s kidnapped by a young autistic man, with the belief that his dying caregiver can only be cured by the star performing.” So, autistic kidnappers? That won’t cause controversy. Production begins next month. [Variety]

Emily Blunt is re-teaming with her “The Young Victoria” co-star Rupert Friend for his directorial debut. She’ll star in “Barton & Charlie & Checco & Bill,” which tells the story of “a down-on-his-luck con-artist who meets a woman who he offers to teach the tricks of his trade. She turns the tables on him and they embark on a road trip, along with a 10-year old Mexican boy, where they are pursued a Confederate newspaper mogul, Bill.” We’re getting a “Paper Moon“-ish vibe and that’s not a bad thing, but change that title please. [Deadline]

Anton Yelchin is rounding the bases for “Baseballissimo.” He’ll star with Jay Baruchel (who co-wrote the script) in the movie about “a rising baseball minor-league player who gets detoured on the way to major-league stardom by pitching for the Peones, a baseball team in Italy.” Jacob Tierney (“The Trotsky,” “Good Neighbors“) directs. [THR]

William H. Macy, Joan Allen, and Jacob Tremblay are joining Brie Larson in “Frank” director Lenny Abrahamson‘s “Room.” An adaptation of the best-selling book by Emma Donoghue, the story “is told from five-year-old Jack’s perspective. He describes the small ‘Room’ he lives in with his Ma (Larson). He considers it home, but to Ma, it’s a prison. She has managed to create a childhood for her son in their 10-by-10-foot space, but as Jack’s curiosity is building alongside Ma’s own desperation—she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely.” Production is underway. [THR

Judy Greer, Fred Armisen, and Selma Blair are getting their rock on with Green Day‘s Billie Joe Armstrong in “Geezer.” The movie pivots around “the mid-life crisis of a husband and father who, on his 40th birthday, decides to revisit his punk-rock past by throwing an extravagant party in the presidential suite of the Drake Hotel—where he encounters his beautiful ex-girlfriend and former bandmates who have since moved on to bigger and better things.” And yes, Billie Joe will write some tunes and perform in the movie. We liked this better when it was called “Greenberg.” [Variety]

Fred and Richard Fairbrass, aka one-hit wonders Right Said Fred, are trying their hand at movies. They have written songs and music for a couple of comedies on the horizon—”Meet Pursuit Delange” and “Barcelona Connection“—in which they’ll also appear. They’re writing a script for the inspirational “Refugee Camp Superstar” (if you’re wondering what it’s about the title is pretty self-explanatory). They are clearly not too sexy for filmmaking. But if you think these guys can’t poke fun at themselves, then you clearly haven’t seen their cameo appearance on the underrated “Life’s Too Short“—pure gold. [Screen Daily]

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