Happy Midweek all!
I’ve got another director-related post nearly ready to go, but I thought I’d share a trio of casting news I heard this week that I’m excited about, all involving three talented underrated actors I’d love to see getting more work. So here goes.
Karl Urban’s cast in JJ Abrams’ futuristic drama pilot for FOX
The idea of seeing the ultra hunky Karl Urban on the TV screen is certainly a very enticing prospect. Deadline reported that after a lengthy negotiations, the 40-year-old New Zealander has closed a deal to star opposite Michael Ealy in Fox‘s untitled J.H. Wyman/J.J. Abrams drama pilot (formerly Inhuman). As you know, Abrams directed Urban as Bones in the Star Trek movie franchise, though I wish Urban had been given more screen time this time around. Anyway, though I’m a bit tired of seeing sooo many procedural shows on TV, I quite like the sound of this one. It’s billed an action-packed buddy cop show set in the near future when all LAPD officers are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids.
Apparently Urban will play a human cop John Kennex and his partner Dorian (Ealy) is an android cop. Kennex is described as a respected police officer who has shut down emotionally after a tragic mission left him critically injured. The cast of the pilot also includes Lili Taylor and Minka Kelly (meh). Urban’s played a bad ass futuristic cop before in Dredd 3D, I’m just thrilled that this time we could actually see his entire face The show’ll be produced by Warner Bros TV and Abram’s production company Bad Robot. Let’s hope this one won’t tank like Abrams’ once-promising show Alcatraz.
Rebecca Hall joins Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence
Oh man, this film’s quickly become one of my most-anticipated for 2014!
Last week I heard that Johnny Depp nabbed the lead role in Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s first film, which already has Paul Bettany as well. Fans of Christopher Nolan’s films are certainly familiar with the Chicago native Pfister as he’s the cinematographer in seven of his films, including the Batman trilogy. Last year he was also nominated for his work in Moneyball. This time Nolan lends his support as an executive producer, along with his wife Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder.
Now they’ve cast Rebecca Hall in the female lead as Depp’s wife in this sci-fi drama. Apparently she beat out Rooney Mara and Emily Blunt for the role (per Collider). Now, what’s this film about? According to IMDb, here’s the premise:
A story centered on a scientist whose brain is uploaded into his creation — a supercomputer with the potential to think for itself — after he is assassinated by anti-technology terrorists.
Hall has worked with Nolan before in The Prestige. I quite like her in that one, and also her work in The Town, Everything Must Go and Starter for 10 with James McAvoy. I personally would rather see her than the other two actresses. I like Blunt but I’m not too fond of Mara, plus those two have been getting more steady work than Hall anyways.
I have high hopes for this one, though it also has a first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen penning the script. For sure it’ll look amazing, but whether or not Wfister’s career as a director will take off or not remains to be seen. It’s set to open on April 25, 2014.
Alessandro Nivola joins a stellar cast for David O. Russell’s ABSCAM film
Now, last but not least. Nice to see Alessandro Nivola’s name being mentioned in this all-star cast. It’s still in the negotiation stage but I sure hope it would materialize! Per Deadline, Nivola is negotiating to join, get this, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams AND Jennifer Lawrence in the David O Russell-directed drama on the ABSCAM scandal. WOW, what a cast!! I don’t know if all of the cast are confirmed, four of them have gotten accolades (including Oscar) under Russell’s direction before. One interesting cast member is comedian Louis C.K.
Nivola will play Reggio, the federal prosecutor who tried the case in court. The Eric Singer-scripted drama is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam that took down a bunch of U.S. congressmen.
The article also mentions Nivola other project he’s just wrapped that also sounds intriguing: Atom Egoyan-directed Devil’s Knot, a drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. He plays Terry Hobbs, a stepfather of one of the three murdered children, who later became a focus of suspicion though he has denied any part in the triple murder and has not been brought up on charges. Glad to see Nivola getting more work, I mean people seems to only know him as Pollux Troy in Face/Off! He’s actually quite versatile, he was very good in Laurel Canyon, Mansfield Park, Junebug, and Coco Before Chanel. Those are pretty diverse roles and he pulled off every single one convincingly. He even sang in Junebug and he has a nice voice!
Well, what do you think about any of these actors and/or projects? Any one of them appeal to you?