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Samantha Barks Boards ‘Les Mis’; Common Joins ‘Now You See Me’; Soo Hoo on ‘Ender’s Game’; Piper Perabo to ‘Red Machine’

Written by on January 31, 2012 

If you cared enough about Les Miserables to despair at the casting of Taylor Swfit, rest easy. Deadline reports that someone else — veteran of the stage version, no less — has taken the role of Eponine: Samantha Barks, who was reportedly hand-picked by producer Cameron Mackintosh. Those of you not up on your Victor Hugo will surely appreciate me telling you that, in the story, Eponine is caught in something of a love triangle with Amanda Seyfried‘s Cosette and Eddie Redmayne‘s Marius — all while Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) tries to get a revolution going, that is.

The rest of the cast — as you’ve heard 8,000 times — will be occupied by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sascha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and George Blagden. Barks is very likely the smallest of these names, but, when it comes down to selection, I’ll take a pro over Swift eight days a week — as more accomplished musicians than her or I once sang. With Tom Hooper at the helm and aiming for another undeserved Oscar, the film is expected to open on December 7th.

Now, for something completely different. In an interview with Movieline (via Shadow&Act), Common — a rapper who you’ve possibly seen in Terminator Salvation or on AMC’s Hell on Wheels — revealed that he’ll soon appear in Louis Leterrier‘s Now You See Me. (Which is to say, he’s probably joined the most interesting and potential-filled project of his entire career.) More on that in a second; here’s what he said to them about the film:

“I’m about to film this movie called Now You See Me, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Isla Fisher and Michael Caine and Mark Ruffalo – I’d say it’s an action movie, about these magicians. It’s dope.”

Also starring Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco, Now You See Me — written by Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt — follows a group of magicians who rob banks by using their illusion-based skills. (You can read about the opening scene here.) I love the basic idea behind it, but it’s that lineup of names that really has me itching to check it out. Hence, you can count me down; the movie hits on January 18th, 2013.

Following this, Deadline brings the update that G.I. Joe and Tropic Thunder actor Brandon Soo Hoo will appear in Ender’s Game, Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of the perennial Orson Scott Card sci-fi classic. The young actor will be playing Fly Molo, a comrade to the titular hero, Ender (Asa Butterfield), who joins him in the battle against the villainous Buggers.

Everything about it indicates “minor character,” hence the late casting, but he’s joining an impressive lineup regardless. That, if you don’t know, is also comprised of Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, and a whole lot of child actors. The film is scheduled to open on March 15th, 2013.

Finally, Deadline also informs us that The Prestige and Looper actress Piper Perabo will get into the business of wilderness survival, having joined David Hackl‘s Red Machine. We told you about this film earlier in the month; it’s the one in which James Marsden and Thomas Jane are hunted down by a grizzly bear, while Billy Bob Thornton tries to save their hides. Perabo has the part of “a deaf photographer who is engaged to Beckett (Jane), whom she met during the Iraq War.” That’s all well and good, and I hope it has some sort of emotional heft — but let’s face it: all we really want is some grizzly action.

Which of these projects are you looking forward to the most? How does this casting impact your anticipation?

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