Top of the Lake co-director Garth Davis has two films in the works, one in post and one in pre-production. While Lion will see a release this fall, the latter, Mary Magdalene, has just gotten some great news as Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to star opposite Rooney Mara, along with Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ, Deadline reports. Ejiofor would play one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, Peter, who was also his lead disciple and denied Jesus three times before being forgiven after the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene is being produced by See-Saw films, with a script penned by Helen Edmund and Philippa Goslett. Before then, Ejiofor will play a role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
In comedy news, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Plan B Entertainment are set to produce Mike White‘s new feature Brad’s Status, THR reports. Ben Stiller is in final talks to star in the film following Brad, a man obsessed with the greater success of his high school friends, despite his own fortunes in life. He is forced to come face-to-face with those high school friends as he goes on a tour of colleges with his son. White recently co-created the HBO series Enlightened with Laura Dern. Stiller recently wrapped Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories, opposite Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman.
In other news, director Denis Villeneuve‘s untitled Blade Runner sequel has already had a onslaught of news about its large ensemble, and now we have a few more addition. Variety reports that David Dastmalchian (who had a wonderful turn in Villeneuve’s own Prisoners) and Hiam Abbass have been added to the sci-fi epic. How all these members will fit into Villeneuve and co’s. new vision of Ridley Scott’s classic remains to be seen, but Villeneuve has proven he can handle an array of characters and thread them into something satisfying.
Speaking of replicants, Deadline reports that Alice Eve is set to star opposite Keanu Reeves in Replicas, director Jeffrey Nachmanoff‘s new indie sci-fi thriller. Eve plays Mona, who dies in a car crash and is subsequently cloned, granting her memory and life to continue with her husband (Reeves). Assumedly, not everything is that simple as the name “thriller” demands something go awry. Reeves is also co-producing along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Stephen Hamel, and Ara Keshishian. The script is penned by Chad St. John.