Last Week in Casting: ‘Garfield’, ‘The Expendables 4’, ‘Hocus Pocus 2’, ‘Freelance’ & 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.

Chris Pratt is Garfield the Cat

THR has reported that Chris Pratt will voice Garfield in a new animated movie. Garfield was created by Jim Davis and first appeared in comics sections in 1978. He’s an orange tabby cat who loves lasagna and being lazy. (I think we can all relate.)

Sony will release the movie. Mark Dindal (Chicken Little) will direct from a script by David Reynolds (Finding Nemo). The duo previously worked together on Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. Garfield was previously adapted to the big screen in the 2000s with two live-action/animation hybrid films.

Iko Uwais to Play Expendables 4 Villain

Iko Uwais, best known for starring in The Raid and its sequel, has been cast in The Expendables 4. He will play the lead villain, “a former military officer-turned-arms dealer with his own private army.” He joins returning stars Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture. New additions to the franchise include Megan Fox, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jacob Scipio, and Andy Garcia.

Scott Waugh is set to direct. Spenser Cohen wrote the script, with revisions by Max Adams and John Joseph Connolly. It will be the last instalment to feature Stallone as Barney Ross, the leader of the Expendables.

More Actors Join Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2 has added a number of stars to its production. Doug Jones, who played William “Billy” Butcherson, the undead lover of Winifred Sanderson, in the first movie will be back for the sequel. It wasn’t confirmed if he’ll be returning as Butcherson, but c’mon, he has to be, right?

Also joining the sequel are Whitney Peak (Molly’s Game), Lilia Buckingham (Crown Lake), Belissa Escobedo (American Horror Stories), Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), and Tony Hale (Arrested Development). Previously announced cast members include Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, reprising their roles as the Sanderson sisters, and Sam Richardson.

Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses) is set to direct. The official synopsis for the sequel reads: “Three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.” Hocus Pocus 2 will begin streaming on Disney+ in the Fall of 2022.

John Cena Circling Lead in Freelance

Deadline reports that John Cena is currently in negotiations to star in Freelance, an action-comedy from director Pierre Morel (Taken) and writer Jacob Lentz (Jimmy Kimmel Live!). It will begin production in Colombia in 2022 with an estimated budget of $40 million.

Freelance will follow “a special forces operator (Cena) who decides to retire from the Army and start a family back in the states. After several years of mortgage payments, school drop-offs, backyard barbecues and trying to conform to life in suburbia, he decides to come out of retirement to take a gig providing security for a female journalist as she interviews a cruel dictator who may or may not have ordered the attack on him and his men. When a military coup breaks out in the middle of the interview, the three are forced to escape into the jungle where they must survive the elements, the military and one another.”

National Treasure Series Finds Its New Lead

Lisette Alexis (We Need to Do Something) has been cast in the National Treasure series for Disney+. Alexis will play Jess, who is described as “brilliant, resourceful and a lover of a good mystery with a natural aptitude for solving puzzles.”

The show is an expansion of the National Treasure franchise and will follow “Jess, who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about her past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.” Production for the series will begin in early 2022.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fiona Shaw Join Fantasy-Comedy

Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) are the latest actors to join John Krasinski‘s upcoming fantasy comedy film, which also stars Ryan Reynolds. Krasinski will both direct and star in the film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will be “based on an original idea of Krasinski’s about a child’s journey to rediscover their imagination.” The film will shoot in Summer 2022 for a possible Thanksgiving 2023 release.

Sofia Boutella to Lead Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon

Deadline reports that Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is set to star in Rebel Moon. Zack Snyder is directing the film for Netflix. He also co-wrote the script with Shay Hatten and Kurt Johnstad, based on a story by Snyder and Johnstad.

The film is set in “a peaceful colony on the edge of the galaxy that finds itself threatened by the armies of the tyrannical Regent Balisarius. They dispatch a young woman with a mysterious past to seek out warriors from neighboring planets to help them take a stand the Tyrant.”

Other Casting Additions

  • Chinaza Uche (Dickinson) has joined the Zach Braff-directed film A Good Person, which already has Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman, Zoe Lister-Jones, Molly Shannon and Celeste O’Connor on board. The film is currently in production for MGM.
  • Isaiah Mustafa (It: Chapter Two) has joined Boy Kills World, an action film set in a dystopian fever dream reality. Bill Skarsgard, Samara Weaving, and Yayan Ruhian are also part of the cast, which is getting ready to begin shooting.
  • Bill Murray casually revealed that he has a small role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. According to an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, via The Cosmic Circus, Murray said that he had recently “made a Marvel movie” with the director of Bring It On (Ant-Man director Peyton Reed directed the first film in the cheerleader franchise).

That’s it for last week. What projects mentioned are you interested in seeing once completed? 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?"