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‘Independence Day’ and ‘Men In Black’ Sequels to Be Will Smith-Less, Anne Hathaway Joins Robert De Niro In ‘The Intern’ & More

Written by on February 10, 2014 

It’s not often we start our casting round-ups with something in the opposite category, but when it comes to an A-list star not taking part in franchises that helped launch his career, it’s worth mentioning. After being back and forth for some time, Deadline reports that Will Smith will not be returning to the role of Captain Steven Hiller in the forthcoming Independence Day sequel, as well likely bowing out of a potential fourth Men in Black. The former won’t be problem for Roland Emmerich and co-writer and producer Dean Devlin, as it was revealed last year that James Vanderbilt has crafted two scripts, one with Smith and one without. Last we heard, Michael B. Jordan may take on a starring role, but with a July 1st, 2016 release penciled in, expect formal announcements soon, which will hopefully mention a director.

In actual casting news, Nancy Meyers‘ latest project, The Intern, previously had Robert De Niro and Reese Witherspoon in lead roles, but the comedy has undergone a switch-up with the lead role. According to THR, De Niro is still attached, but Anne Hathaway has now stepped in for Witherspoon’s role. The project centers on the founder of a highly successful fashion website (Hathaway) who is prompted to take part in her company’s Senior Intern Program. Lo and behold, an elderly widower (De Niro) shows up with a suit and a briefcase and becomes a part of the effort, with their relationship growing from old world and new world business values into something more as the intern becomes a mentor to the young entrepreneur. Expect a 2015 release for the WB production.

Next up, Khurram Longi is pulling together his directorial debut Alive Alone and we have another casting update. Set to star Noomi Rapace, her Prometheus cohort Idris Elba has now stepped into a role originally set for Matthias Schoenaerts, with Sam Worthington rounding out the cast. The Black List project will see Elba play an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay, while Rapace’s character is on the run from a crime boss (Worthington) and their paths cross. I personally would’ve have though Elba and Worthington’s roles would be reversed, but THR says otherwise. Production likely kicks off this year for a 2015 release.

With Everest already penciled in for a February 27th, 2015 release, Universal Pictures has added to the ensemble that already includes Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke and John Hawkes. Based on a true story, The Wrap reports that Michael Kelly (House of Cards), Martin Henderson (The Ring), Thomas Wright (Top of the Lake), and perhaps most notably, Emily Watson, have joined the project. Coming from 2 Guns director Baltasar Kormákur, the film is based on Into Thin Air author Jon Krakauer‘s account, it follows the journey to conquer the world’s highest mountain. One can check out the source to see the role of each actor in the drama, scripted by Mark Medoff (Children of a Lesser God) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire).

Lastly, John Travolta and Salma Hayek have lined up a new drama titled A Three Dog Life. Based on Abigail Thomas‘ memoir, The Kids are All Right and Monster producers J. Todd Harris and Clark Peterson, respectively, are on board for the project, which is set to be directed by Nick Guthe (who last helmed the Alec Baldwin-led Mini’s First Time. The film follows the leading duo as a married couple whose life is shattered when Travolta’s character loses all of his memory after a car accident and their life must be reinvented.

Which of the above projects are you most looking forward to?

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