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James Franco and Others Are ‘Spring Breakers’; Ben Kingsley to Inhabit ‘A Doll’s House’; Rashida Jones ‘Decoding Annie Parker’

Written by on November 1, 2011 

We’re hearing from Variety that James Franco and Harmony Korine will make their second pairing in Spring Breakers, something I would call a drama — but you never know with this guy. The film follows “four college-aged girls who rob a fast food restaurant to afford spring break in Florida, only to get arrested upon their arrival.”

Franco has been locked to play “Alien, a rapping drug and arms dealer who bails them out and entices them to kill his arch-rival, a murderer who is appropriately named Arch,” and Emma Roberts is in talks for the part of “one of the girls, Candy, a Southern brunette who feeds off danger.” Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez are also in talks (why are you looking at me like I’m joking?). Should they join, the latter will appear as “a religious girl who isn’t a thrill-seeker like the rest of the group.”

Those who only know Franco for his mainstream work may not realize it, but this sounds like a role that would fit the actor perfectly. (His weird, slightly off-putting side makes him a fit, at least.) If I didn’t hate Korine‘s work and, to be honest, him, I’d be more interested in how this will turn out, but that’s just how it goes. Seeing some Disney stars in one of his repulsive situations could be pretty interesting, though. MJZ’s David Zander is producing with Chris Hanley of MUSE Productions, alongside Charles-Marie Anthonioz and Jordan Gertner.

Variety also reports that Ben Kingsley will co-star in A Doll’s House — he’ll be joined by Julian Sands, Jena Malone, and Michele Martin for director, co-writer, and producer Charles Huddleston. The story is an update of Henrik Ibsen‘s play, which centered on “a young woman’s escape from an overbearing husband.” This has a connection to the modern world; it’s set during today’s recession, and the director sums it up as a “tale of a family unraveling in the face of the debt crisis.”

The main character — “Nora Helmer, the naive young wife of a banking executive” — is being played by Martin; Malone has the part of “Christine Linde, a friend of Nora’s who has to decide between her loyalty to Nora and her own future”; Sands will be seen as “Nathan Gynt, a professional in the seedy world of lending desperate people money”; finally, Kingsley will portray “Dr. Rank, a friend to the Helmers.”

A Doll’s House is being sold at the American Film Market, and shooting is slated to get going in January. With a cast containing that much promise, I’ll be interested in seeing what happens.

Finally, it makes me very happy to report on a new film role for Rashida Jones. THR tells us that the Parks & Recreation star has joined Decoding Annie Parker, a drama starring Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton, Aaron Paul, Corey Stoll, and Maggie Grace, to be directed by Steven Bernstein. The currently-shooting project focuses on “geneticist Mary Claire King (Hunt), who discovered a gene linked to breast cancer”; Jones will appear as “Kim, a friend who helps Morton’s character with her research.”

Variety has some further news on it: Midnight in Paris actor Corey Stoll is involved with the part of “a young doctor who befriends Samantha Morton’s character and tries to help her achieve her medical goals.” Media House Capital will produce with Ozymandias Productions and co-finance. It doesn’t sound all too fascinating, but the cast has enough talented names to make me think that it could be just fine.

Are you interested in any of these projects? What does the casting say to you?

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