Last Week in Casting: ‘Babylon’, ‘Heart of Stone’, ‘Don’t Look Up’, ‘Young Woman and the Sea’ & More

There’s a lot of breaking news in Hollywood happening every minute. In the age of the blockbuster, it’s easy for some smaller movie and television news to slip through the crack. Last Week in Hollywood is our new weekly series highlighting all the interesting news from the last week that we thought didn’t warrant its own post, but was still worth mentioning. It’s less personal opinions and more a hearty roundup of what you might have missed.

Netflix Announces Back to the Outback Cast

Netflix has announced the cast for Back to the Outback, about a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures who plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback.

Isla Fisher leads the pack “as Maddie, a poisonous snake with a heart of gold who teams up with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard named Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn, hairy spider named Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpioncalled Nigel (Angus Imrie). But they won’t have an easy time making an escape, because a cute but obnoxious koala named Pretty Boy (musical comedian Tim Minchin, who will also be providing original songs) joins the escape, and he also happens to be their nemesis. In pursuit is Eric Bana as the zookeeper Chaz, accompanied by his adventure-seeking mini-me Chazzie (Diesel Cash La Torraca).”

The cast also includes Rachel House, country singer Karl Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Aislinn Derbez, YouTube star Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver.

Armie Hammer Accepts The Offer

Armie Hammer has been cast to play producer Al Ruddy in The Offer, an upcoming television series about the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic classic The Godfather. The show is in development for streaming service Paramount+. It will be a 10-episode limited event series.

Margot Robbie May Replace Emma Stone in Babylon

Margot Robbie may end up replacing Emma Stone in Babylon, the latest project from Damien Chazelle. Stone may have to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. If Robbie joins, it will be a Once Upon a Time in Hollywood reunion with co-star Brad Pitt.

The film is set in the “late 1920s, during the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies.” Robbie would portray Clara Bow, “the early sex symbol and box office star who was Hollywood’s first “It” girl.”

Aubrey Plaza Joins Guy Ritchie Movie

Aubrey Plaza and Christopher Abbott appear in <i>Black Bear</i> by Lawrence Michael Levine, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Rob Leitzell.<br /> All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited

Aubrey Plaza has joined the cast of the currently untitled, Guy Ritchie movie. Jason Statham is already part of the cast. We previously reported on his casting when the film was called Five Eyes. Statham will play “an MI6 agent trying to stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology.” There’s no word on what character Plaza is playing.

Gal Gadot to Star in Spy Thriller Heart of Stone

Gal Gadot is set to star in Heart of Stone, an original spy thriller that’s being billed as a “female spin on action franchises like Mission: Impossible and 007.” The project is from Skydance Media and will be directed by Tom Harper (Wild Rose, The Aeronauts). Gadot reportedly netted an eight-figure deal in signing onto the film. The script was written by Greg Rucka (The Old Guard) and Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures).

Jason Statham Boards Small Dark Look

Focus Features is developing a new crime thriller called Small Dark Look. The project was originally being developed as a sequel to Eastern Promises. Jason Statham is set to star in the lead role. Small Dark Look will be directed by Martin Zandvliet (Land of Mine), from a script by Steven Knight.

Jeremy Irons Joins Gucci

Jeremy Irons has joined the cast of Gucci in the role of Rodolfo Gucci, Italian fashion house boss Maurizio Gucci’s father. Adam Driver will play Maurizio. Robert De Niro was previously in talks for Rodolfo Gucci. The movie is based on the book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed. Irons joins a cast that also includes Lady Gaga, Jared Leto, and Al Pacino.

Chris Evans Joins Don’t Look Up

Adam McKay’s upcoming Netflix movie Don’t Look Up has added another A-lister to its growing cast. Chris Evans joined the cast that already includes Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Himesh Patel, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Matthew Perry, and Tomer Sisley. The film follows “two low-level astronomers who embark on a media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy Earth.”

Daisy Ridley Set to Star in Young Woman and the Sea

Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) is set to star in Young Woman and the Sea. It is a true-story drama about the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Ridley will star as Gertrude “Trudy” Ederle, who made the 21-mile swim in 1926 and set a record that stood for 81 years. The film will be developed as a Disney+ exclusive film. Joachim Rønning (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) will direct a script written by Jeff Nathanson (2019’s The Lion King). The film is set to start production in the second half of 2021.

Jaimie Alexander Returning for Thor: Love and Thunder

Lady Sif is back! Jaimie Alexander will reprise the role in Thor: Love and Thunder. Additionally, some sources state Alexander might have a guest spot in the Loki Disney+ series. The sequel will begin production in early 2021. It will hit theaters on May 6, 2022.

The Gray Man Cast Expands

The cast for The Gray Man continues to grow. Ana de Armas, Wagner Moura, Jessica Henwick, Dhanaush, and Julia Butters have all boarded the upcoming action-thriller for Netflix. They join previously announced cast members Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.

Joe and Anthony Russo will direct from a script by themselves and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Mark Greaney. It follows “Gentry (Gosling) as he’s hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Evans), a former cohort at the CIA.”

Peacemaker Adds Supporting Cast

The cast for Peacemaker continues to grow. The upcoming HBO Max series is a spin-off of James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad film. John Cena is set to reprise the titular role. He will be joined by new cast members Chukwudi IwujiLochlyn MunroAnnie Chang, and Christopher Heyerdahl. Iwuji will be playing Clemson Murn. Munro will be guest starring as Larry Fitzgibbon. Chang is playing Detective Sophie Song. Finally, Heyerdahl is playing Captain Locke. All of these characters look to be new creations and are not based on DC Comics characters.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza Gonzalez Join Ambulance

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Eiza González have boarded the cast of Ambulance alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. The action-thriller, a remake of the 2005 Danish film Ambulancen, follows “thieves who steal an ambulance as their getaway vehicle, only to then realize there’s a sick patient still in the back.” Abdul-Mateen will play Gyllenhaal’s partner in crime. González will play the paramedic.

Adrien Brody Joins Searchlight Pictures’ Murder Mystery

Adrien Brody has officially signed on to join the ensemble cast of Searchlight Pictures’ untitled murder mystery film. He will play the role of blacklisted Hollywood film director, Leo Köpernick. Brody joins previously announced Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, and David Oyelowo. The film is set in 1950s London and begins “when a desperate Hollywood film producer sets out to turn a popular West End play into a film. However, when members of the production are murdered, world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and overzealous rookie Constable Stalker (Ronan) find themselves in the midst of a puzzling whodunit within London’s glamorous Theatreland and sordid underground.”

Rachael Leigh Cook Joins He’s All That

Rachael Leigh Cook has officially boarded He’s All That, the upcoming gender-swapped remake of She’s All That. Cook will play Padgett’s wise and caring mother. Cook originally played the lead female role in the original film.

Chris Pine to Star in Dungeons & Dragons

Chris Pine is negotiating a deal to star in Dungeons & Dragons, the live action film based on Hasbro’s massively popular role-playing game from Wizards of the Coast. Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley will direct a script they’ve written, based on a draft by Michael Gilio. The film will feature an “ensemble cast and take a subversive approach to the game.”

Naomi Ackie Cast as Whitney Houston

I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, has cast Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) in the lead role. Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody) is writing the script. Stella Meghie (The Photograph) will direct. The project is set up at Sony Pictures and its TriStar division. The film will “explore the life and music of the legendary singer” and will not “shy away from the circumstances surrounding Houston’s death.” I Wanna Dance With Somebody is slated for release over Thanksgiving weekend 2022.

Florence Pugh to Star in Murder Mystery The Maid

Florence Pugh has been cast in Universal’s Agatha Christie-style murder mystery The Maid. Pugh will play the maid. The film is based on Nita Prose’s debut novel, The Maid. The plot follows “a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel who discovers the body of a wealthy guest.”

No director or writer has yet been set on the project. The Maid (the novel) will be published in 2022.

Quintessa Swindell Cast as Cyclone in Black Adam

Quintessa Swindell has joined the cast of Black Adam in the role of JSA member Cyclone. Swindell joins Dwayne Johnson as titular anti-hero Black Adam, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, and Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher. In the comics, Cyclone is “Maxine Hunkel, who has the power to mentally summon cyclones and whirlwinds, project powerful bursts of air, and glide through the air on wind currents. She can also create massive tornadoes, huge cyclones that react to the environment by themselves or bend to her will.” In the film, she will be part of the Justice Society of America alongside Hawkman, Atom Smasher, and the yet-to-be-cast Doctor Fate.

That’s it for last couple weeks. What castings mentioned are you interested in seeing the most onscreen? Tell us down in the comments!

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"