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Will Smith Finds ‘Focus’ Foe; Tye Sheridan Secures New Project; Patton Oswalt Jumps In ‘Kitchen Sink’; ‘Annie’ Adds Cannavale

Written by on August 19, 2013 

A new leading man and lady in place, the ever-changing cast of Focus — a con-man comedy from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), which should be relatively easy to lock together — can, now, stake out new casting territory. A true sign of advancement, wouldn’t you say? Securing things a bit more, then, is Rodrigo Santoro (300‘s Xerxes, Jane Got a Gun), who THR peg as the villain of the piece, his role being “the magnetic and powerful owner of an international auto racing team.”

Should you wonder how automobile competition factors into the story of a smooth grifter (Will Smith) and his criminal partner / romantic interest (Margot Robbie), their logline informs us the antagonist “hires Smith to gain a competitive edge for his racing team,” all the while chasing after the eager young woman who tags along with Focus‘ protagonist in Buenos Aires. Expect stolen finances and broken hearts when Warner Bros. begin rolling with the project in coming months.

To follow that, Deadline have a two-part story concerning, we can presume, two heavily different projects. The title inspiring more confidence for yours truly concerns Tye Sheridan, who’s reported to be circling Dark Places, the Gillian Flynn adaptation starring Charlize Theron, Chloe Moretz, and Nicholas Hoult; Gilles Paquet-Brenner has been tapped to direct. Fortunately, the Mud and Tree of Life star will be taking a major role, portraying the young boy charged with mudering his family and raping a group of girls, events which set into motion the modern-day narrative of his now-adult sister (Theron) helping a group who investigate the crime in hopes of clearing long-standing charges.

In that same story, it’s noted that Guardians of the Galaxy, weeks into its production, has added Gregg Henry — with whom James Gunn has twice collaborated, having once given the performer roles in Slither and Super. The part to which he’s been assigned is not being disclosed, though it is, still (and promisingly), the strangest cast of any Marvel production yet. In opening a new side of that particular universe, Guardians features Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, and Djimon Hounsou.

The film will open on August 1, 2014.

It is next said that Patton Oswalt and Bob Odenkirk have come aboard Sony’s go-for-broke genre mash-up The Kitchen Sink, the project having also added Joan Cusack, Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele), and Ed Westwick (Romeo and Juliet, J. Edgar). The action, as scripted by Oren Uziel, takes place in Dilford, a small town organized like so: vampires occupy the top of the social ladder, humans rest in the middle, and zombies rest on the lower rung. When an alien attacks, however, a human girl (Vanessa Hudgens), a vampire, and a zombie fend off the attack and restore social order or some other nonsense. Perhaps it’s all more coherent in movement than via description.

But Kitchen Sink has a decent-enough cast, really, when considering the input of Denis Leary, Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider-Man‘s Flash), Mackenzie Davis (Drake DoremusBreathe In), Josh Fadem, and Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Robbie Pickering is currently shooting the title.

Finally, Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine, Boardwalk Empire) is the newest addition to the ensemble of Annie. As the tough-headed adviser to a mayoral candidate (Jamie Foxx), he’s been added to a cast which already consists of Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, and Rose Byrne, with Will Gluck helming a screenplay by Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna. Will Smith and Jay Z are to produce for Sony, the latter pulling extra duties on a soundtrack.

Do you hope to see any of the performances noted here? Which project could stand to benefit most significantly from these additions?


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