Lots of major casting news today as we see new films by Steven Spielberg and Terry Gilliam providing new roles for Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, Stellan Skarsgard and Bruce Dern.
Let’s start with comedy, shall we? Amy Schumer is arguably the greatest comedic talent working today. Her television show just finished a strong fourth season, and her film was a smash hit (whether you liked the film as a whole or not, most people agree that Schumer’s performance was remarkable). Schumer has a busy schedule lined up over the next few years, what with her show still running, a role in the upcoming war drama Thank You For Your Service, and a comedy she wrote with best friend Jennifer Lawrence, but before any of that, she will team up with Goldie Hawn in a mother-daughter adventure comedy. Directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and written by Katie Dippold (Parks and Recreation, The Heat, Ghostbusters), the film will feature Hawn, in her first film since 2002, and Schumer as a mother and daughter who go on vacation. Hawn’s character used to be wild and free in her youth before settling down as a mother. Wanting to rekindle that energy, her daughter takes her off the reservation and adventure ensues. This seems like an incredibly fun project, and I’m hoping to see the final result. Expect this to come out sometime in 2017.
Next let’s jump over to a Sacred Wall favorite, Oscar Isaac. Isaac has been cast in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming historical drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Montara. Based on a true story, the film will take place during the Inquisition, specifically surrounding the kidnapping of a six-year-old Jewish boy named Edgardo, in order to baptize him as Catholic. The historical thriller follows the quest to rescue the boy. The film is written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Lincoln, Fences), and will star Mark Rylance, who seems to be Spielberg’s newest muse, not unlike Hanks was during the 90s. Expect the film to make an Oscar play in late 2017.
In terms of previously announced projects, I’ve previously reported on Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder, an upcoming film starring Jacob Tremblay as a boy with a facial deformity with Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts as his parents. That cast is growing, as the film adds Broadway legends old and new with Mandy Patinkin and Daveed Diggs. Patinkin is best known for his role in The Princess Bride as Inigo Montoya (“You killed my father. Prepare to die”), and has recently been seen on the small screen as Saul in Homeland. His role is not yet disclosed. Diggs, meanwhile, will be playing the role of the kindly English teacher who uses literature to teach the kids what it means to be human. Diggs got his start in the cult rap group clipping. before receiving his breakout role in the smash musical Hamilton as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor. Diggs recently left the show, and will next be seen in Season 3 of ABC’s hit family sitcom black-ish, where he will play Tracee Ellis Ross’ character’s brother, who clashes with Anthony Anderson’s Dre.
Speaking of previously announced projects, Ted Kennedy slam piece Chappaquiddick continues to flesh out its cast, as Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern (Nebraska) will take on the key role of Joe Kennedy, the patriarch of the Kennedy family. Joe was a controversial figure, known for doing whatever it took to uphold the family’s name, including (allegedly) buying votes in Chicago from the mob to make John president and having rebellious daughter lobotomized (a story that will also be turned into a film in the near future starring Emma Stone. It’s not a good time to be a Kennedy on film). Dern will bring a level of prestige to the film, and this is shaping up to be the next indie darling.
And finally, it seems that Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is finally in production. The former Monty Python member has been hoping to make his dream project for years now, coming close several times with actors including Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor and Jack O’Connell all circling the lead role before the project would fall apart. However, he may have finally managed to crack the behemoth, and with backing from Netflix, he’s starting to put this project together. Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Girls) previously signed onto the lead role, followed soon after by Michael Palin and Olga Kurylenko. And yesterday, we received news that Willem Dafoe (Platoon, Spider Man) and Stellan Skarsgård (Dancer in the Dark, Pirates of the Caribbean series) line up roles in the production. Assuming that the film actually manages to get off the ground this time, expect a release sometime in 2017.