Maintaining his skill to assemble a fine cast, TheWrap report that Luc Besson‘s next writing-directing gig, Lucy, is on the verge of nabbing Morgan Freeman to fill its second lead. As reported back in April, the project revolves around a woman (Scarlett Johansson) whose duties as a drug runner go awry, but in doing so transform the character into an “ass-kicking machine” of incredible mental and physical strength. Fun, but something of a risk at the same time.

This is where a secondary character (naturally) comes in, as Freeman is said to be portraying “a professor well-versed in evolution and the capabilities of the human brain who Lucy is on a mission to find before she dies.” Because if you’re going to have exposition delivered, only one man can do it with the proper gusto.) Universal will distribute Lucy, which is expected to begin rolling cameras in the next few months.

In further news, Deadline report that, after months of casting — and somewhere around a month of production — Ryan Gosling‘s directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster, has secured its lead actor. The fortunate young man at hand is Iain De Caestecker (Filth, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who’s being handed the opportunity to portray a teenage boy, Bones, whose actions set the film’s central events into motion.

Here’s how the plot’s been broken down:

How to Catch a Monster weaves elements of fantasy noir, and suspense into a modern day fairytale. Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.”

Warner Bros. have picked up How to Catch a Monster, and are expected to release the film in 2014. Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Matt Smith, and Rob Zabrecky also star.

Finally, actor Jim Beaver (Deadwood) announced, on his Facebook page (via ThePlaylist), that Guillermo del Toro has selected him to fill “one of five leading roles” in Crimson Peak. The director’s upcoming picture — shooting this spring from a script by the director, Matthew Robbins, and Lucinda Coxon — is at once a throwback to and subversion of the haunted house films of old, in its combination hoping to strike a fine balance that delivers scares for the modern audience.

As a slightly confused quote from del Toro will illustrate:

“It’s the turn of the century. So it’s at the turn of the century and half of the movie takes place in America, and the other half takes place in a crumbling mansion in Cumbria. And basically it’s a ghost story and gothic romance, trying to subvert the rules of the usual gothic romance…the first half is a love story, then that love story turns darker. And it’s at the same time a ghost story.”

Benedict Cumberbatch, Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain, and (potentially, though not absolutely) Mia Wasikowska will headline Crimson Peak.

Do your early estimations change at all with the following updates?

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