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Dylan McDermott Next for ‘Olympus’; Oscar Isaac Jumps to ‘January’; Justin Long One of the ‘Ten O’Clock People’

Written by on June 29, 2012 

In a brisk week, Antoine Fuqua‘s Olympus Has Fallen went from one Scottish star to four leading actors. I guess Roland Emmerich is a large-looming specter, then? The latest signing concerns one Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), who Variety says will appear as a Secret Service agent — presumably, one trying to protect the President (Aaron Eckhart) when North Korean terrorists invade the White House.

Gerard Butler will lead, playing a disgraced member who sees the primary tasks fall on him — I mean, come on, he’s an action movie star — while Angela Bassett gets into “angry mode” as the Secret Services’ head. I’m sure they and McDermott, being a plenty solid actor, will do just fine in Olympus Has Fallen, yet I can’t help but sense this will be a lower-scale version of the two “Die Hard in a White House” films.

No matter what, a July start should ensure it comes first.

Now, for a promising update on a forgotten film. Variety also reports that Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Bourne Legacy) will be joining Viggo Mortensen in The Two Faces of January, an international mystery we had only heard of once before — over a year ago. But things are coming together now, and it looks as though Hossein Amini — writer of Drive, in which Isaac gave a memorable turn — will get his debut before cameras at some point in 2012.

Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train), January revolves around an American con man, his wife, and a stranger met whilst traveling across Athens. When one murders a cop, they’re all pit into “a high-stakes game with the authorities and one another as they attempt to cover up the crime and flee the country.” And it can only get worse from there.

Unless a Cloud Atlas-like approach is being taken, we can expect Isaac to play the stranger; a good choice, really, given the supreme quality of his prior work, and I’m sure he’d do some crackerjack stuff when pitted with (eventually, against) Mortensen. With a quick news item, I’m suddenly thrilled this is back on track.

Finally, Deadline has learned that Justin Long may lead The Ten O’Clock People, a big-screen adaptation of the Stephen King short story; Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night) is writing and directing. The movie would see him play Brandon Pearson, a man whose attempts to quit smoking reveal society’s authority figures to be evil “batmen” intent on destroying humanity. From that point on — not exactly an easy place to “pick up” from, in all fairness — he joins a group trying to eradicate the creatures.

I get the impression People is, ultimately, a small film — speaking in terms of budget and all that follows from there — but Long‘s an actor with more range and capability than, I think, most people even realize; scale notwithstanding, he could bring an interesting edge to the role. Frankly, that’s more than I expected from this production.

Holland‘s Dead Rabbit Films will produce with Making Ten O’Clock Productions for a September start.

Does McDermott have a chance of bringing something good to Olympus? Is this a good way to hear of January‘s survival? How could Long enhance People?

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