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Luke Grimes Joins ‘Taken 2’; Wendi McLendon-Covey Having ‘White Trash Christmas’; Jake Abel Frontrunner to ‘Host’

Written by on November 9, 2011 

With the main cast returning and a villain found, the next crucial step of Taken 2‘s pre-production has been completed: getting someone for the daughter’s boyfriend. As Variety tells us, Brothers and Sisters star Luke Grimes will appear in Olivier Megaton‘s sequel as the companion of Maggie Grace‘s character, Kim. Kind of sounds like a thankless role for a young actor, right? Well, they say that he “will likely have to help her rescue her parents from the baddie’s clutches.” Not bad compared to most boyfriend parts.

The sequel follows Liam Neeson‘s Brian Mills and his family — which includes Kim (Grace) and ex-wife Lenore (Famke Jannsen) — as they attempt to escape the clutches of a man (Rade Sherbedgia) whose son was killed by Mills during the events of the original film. In this, “the tables are turned,” since Mills is now being held captive; but the use of “the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one” makes this one’s outcome clear as day. You can see how they arrive at this inevitable conclusion on October 5th, 2012.

Variety also reports that Bridesmaids actress Wendi McLendon-Covey has landed a starring role in White Trash Christmas, co-written (with Terri Hauffman) and directed by Ron Carlson. The film is said to be inspired by A Christmas Carol, as it centers on “a whiskey-soaked, trashy mother who is visited by three ghosts who try to show her a path to a brighter future.” Or, you know — it’s just A Christmas Carol, but with a switched setting. As has been done thousands of times. While that sounds derivative and a little unappealing, I do like McLendon-Covey a good deal as a comedic performer; at least one part should be funny, then.

Last and least, Deadline tells us that Twilight actor Jake Abel is sticking to familiar territory, since the actor is currently the frontrunner to play Ian in The Host, Andrew Niccol‘s adaptation of the other Stephenie Meyer book. The other male lead, Jake, is being cast right now, with Liam Hemsworth, Max Irons, Kit Harington, and Jai Courtney all being considered. Abel is smaller than some of the names mentioned for that role; his biggest credits thus far include The Lovely Bones (which also starred this film’s lead, Saoirse Ronan), I Am Number Four, and Percy Jackson. Yikes.

Meyer‘s original novel followed a girl named Melanie who, upon being taken control of by a parasite, “refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer.” She “uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert.” The creature’s perspective on humanity changes during this time, some romantic brooding is possibly involved, people pout, etc. Knowing this, there will be two straight Andrew Niccol films I have no interest in seeing. Boy, that sentence is a downer to type.

Does any of this casting make you excited? What are your thoughts on the projects they’re getting involved with?

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