Last Week(s) in Casting: ‘Vanquish’ Casts Morgan Freeman; Gyllenhaal-Villeneuve Mystery Project; Aldis Hodge is Hawkman in ‘Black Adam’; Zac Efron Joins ‘Firestarter’ & 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.

Vanquish Casts Morgan Freeman & Ruby Rose

Actor Morgan Freeman participates in the “The Story of God” panel at the National Geographic Channel 2016 Winter TCA on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose are set to star in the upcoming action-thriller titled Vanquish. The movie comes from writer and director George Gallo and is currently shooting on location in Biloxi, Mississippi. In the movie, “Freeman plays a retired police commissioner who blackmails his caretaker (Ruby Rose) by kidnapping her daughter, forcing her into helping him double-cross his team of dirty detectives in an attempt to clean up the city.”

In addition to Freeman and Rose, the rest of the cast includes Nick Vallelonga, Miles Doleac, Patrick Muldoon, Juju Journey Brener and Julie Lott.

The Tiger’s Apprentice Adds Sandra Oh & Michelle Yeoh

Paramount Animation’s adaptation of The Tiger’s Apprentice has added Sandra Oh and Michelle Yeoh to the voice cast. They will be joined by Henry Golding, who is voicing the lead character in the picture. The rest of the cast includes Brandon Soo Hoo, Bowen Yang, Sherry Cola, and Kheng Hua Tan. The film will be the feature directorial debut of Pixar animator Carlos Baena.

The Tiger’s Apprentice follows “a boy in San Francisco who meets a shape-shifting talking tiger named Mr. Hu and under his tutelage and protection is introduced into a magical world that includes an ancient phoenix, a dragon and a clan of evil-doers.” Oh is set to play Mistral, a friend of the tiger (voiced by Golding), who is an exiled dragon living in San Francisco. Yeoh’s character has not been revealed.

Jake Gyllenhaal Working on a New Film with Villeneuve

In an interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins on the Team Deakins podcast, Jake Gyllenhaal revealed he is working on a new project with director Denis Villeneuve. He stated that “there is something we are working on now.” Gyllenhaal and Villeneuve previously worked together on Prisoners and Enemy. Villeneuve previously mentioned he wants to return to a smaller film after Dune, so maybe this will be that smaller film.

Andrew Koji Joins Bullet Train

Andrew Koji (Warrior) has boarded the Bullet Train. He joins previously cast Brad Pitt and Joey King in the action-thriller based on the Japanese novel Maria Beetle by best-selling author Kotaro Isaka. Koji will play one of the four assassins in the movie alongside Pitt and King. Sony plans to shoot Bullet Train this fall.

Harry Styles to Star in My Policeman Adaptation

Harry Styles is in final negotiations to star in My Policeman, an adaptation of Bethan Roberts‘ acclaimed LGBTQ-themed novel of the same name. The project is set up over at Amazon with producer Greg Berlanti. Lily James is also in negotiations to play the female lead. Michael Grandage (Genius) is set to direct from a script by Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia).

My Policeman is set in the 1950s in Brighton, England, “where schoolteacher Marion first catches sight of Tom and becomes instantly smitten with the handsome policeman. Then Tom meets Patrick, a museum curator who opens his eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world. Though Tom is drawn to Patrick, it is safer for him, in that day and age, to marry Marion. Thus, the two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and all three lives are forever changed.”

Chris Pine & Thandie Newton to Play Ex-Lovers and Spies

Chris Pine and Thandie Newton are set to star in All the Old Knives, an action-thriller based on the novel of the same name by Olen Steinhauer. Amazon Studios is producing the adaptation which will see Pine and Newton play “two former lovers and spies who meet in Vienna to reminisce about old times.” Steinhauer also adapted the screenplay. Janus Metz (Borg/McEnroe) will direct.

Tiffany Haddish Joins Meta Nic Cage Movie

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brent N Clarke/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9878146at)<br /> Tiffany Haddish attends the BoF 500 Gala held at One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge during New York Fashion Week, in New York<br /> NYFW Spring/Summer 2019-BoF 500 Gala, New York, USA - 09 Sep 2018

Tiffany Haddish has joined The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the meta action-comedy in development where Nicolas Cage will play “a heightened version of himself who ends up being forced to channel his most famous characters in order to save the day.” Haddish will play an “eccentric rogue government agent [named] Vivian, who, in a long-standing battle against one of the largest criminal organizations in Europe, forces Cage to go undercover in a crazy, off-book, last-ditch effort to bring them down for good.” Haddish joins a cast that also includes Pedro Pascal and Sharon Horgan.

Aldis Hodge Cast as Hawkman

Aldis Hodge is your new Hawkman. Hodge has been cast as the DC Comics superhero in Black Adam. He joins Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher. Hodge was absolutely great earlier this year in The Invisible Man and is set to appear next in Regina King’s One Night in Miami.

Yara Shahidi is Tinkerbell in Peter Pan & Wendy

Disney has cast Yara Shahidi (Grown-ish) as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan & Wendy, the latest film in the studio’s ongoing quest to update all their classic animated films. David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon) is set to direct a cast that also includes Jude Law as Captain Hook.

No Sudden Move Assembles Its Cast

No Sudden Move, a new heist film from Steven Soderbergh, is rounding out its cast. David Harbour, Noah Jupe, Brendan Fraser, and Kieran Culkin have joined Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Amy Seimetz, Ray Liotta, Bill Duke, Julia Fox, Frankie Shaw, and Jon Hamm as part of the cast. The film was previously titled Kill Switch, and will follow a group of small-time criminals in 1950s Detroit.

When the film was titled Kill Switch, George Clooney, John Cena, and Sebastian Stan were also part of the cast, but they had to drop out after filming got delayed due to the pandemic.

Zac Efron Attached to Firestarter

Collider announced the other day on the 40th anniversary of Stephen King’s Firestarter that a new development is in the works from Universal, Blumhouse, and Weed Road. For the uninformed, Firestarter follows a “young girl who develops pyrokinetic abilities and is abducted by a secret government agency that wants to harness her powerful gift as a weapon.”

Zac Efron will play the girl’s father, Andy McGee. Keith Thomas will direct from a script by Scott Teems (Halloween Kills).

Lockdown Adds Stiller, James, Merchant

Ben Stiller, Lily James, and Stephen Merchant have joined Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Lockdown, a pandemic-themed heist film from director Doug Liman. Lockdown is “set against the backdrop of COVID-19 and stars Hathaway and Ejiofor as a sparring married couple who call a truce to attempt a high-risk, high-stakes jewelry heist at Harrod’s, the world’s most exclusive department store.”

 Steven Knight wrote the screenplay. The Hollywood Reporter states that Dulé Hill (Psych), Jazmyn Simon (Ballers), and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) are also in talks. Production on Lockdown has begun in London and shooting will continue throughout the month.

Zendaya to Play Singer Ronnie Spector

Zendaya is set to star as famed singer Ronnie Spector, the lead singer of the doo-wop girl group The Ronettes, in a biopic about her life in the recording industry and her troubled marriage to record producer Phil Spector. The project is set up at A24 under the title Be My Baby, named after the hit 1963 Ronettes song.

No director is attached to the project yet, but playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury is in early talks to write the script. Spector herself chose Zendaya to play the younger version of herself in the biopic, and is also attached to executive produce.

Making of The Godfather Movie Casts Oscar Isaac

There is a movie in the works centered on the making of The Godfather from Barry Levinson, and now there are a couple actors attached. Oscar Isaac is set to play Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, while Jake Gyllenhaal will play legendary producer Rober Evans.

The film is based on a Black List script by Andrew Farotte that Levinson rewrote, and will chronicle the turbulent behind-the-scenes drama in the making of the movie classic that features numerous clashes between Coppola and Evans.

The real Coppola has given his blessing to the project, saying: “Any movie that Barry Levinson makes about anything, will be interesting and worthwhile!”

Dwayne Johnson Announces Cast of Young Rock

Yesterday on his Instagram account, Dwayne Johnson announced the main cast for Young Rock. The upcoming comedy series is in development at NBC and will focus on Johnson’s childhood. Three actors have been cast to play “young Rock”: Adrian Groulx as 10-year-old Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. “Little Dewey,” and the anchor of the series; Bradley Constant as a 15-year-old Johnson; and Uli Latukefu as 18 to 20-year-old Johnson.

Young Rock charts Johnson’s childhood “from growing up in a strong and resilient family, to being surrounded by the wild characters of his professional wrestling family, to playing football at the University of Miami. It will explore the rollercoaster that has shaped Johnson into the man he is today and the larger-than-life characters he’s met along the way.”

The rest of the main cast includes Stacey Leilua as Dwayne’s mother, Joseph Lee Anderson as Dwayne’s father, and Ana Tuisila as Dwayne’s sweet grandmother. The series is set to premiere sometime in 2021.

Daniel Bernhardt Returning for The Matrix 4

Daniel Bernhardt will reprise his role as Agent Johnson for The Matrix 4. He previously played the role in The Matrix Revolutions. He joins returning cast members Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Production on The Matrix 4 recetntly resumed after the pandemic shut down filming. The film is set to hit theaters April 1, 2021.

Spiderhead Webs Together Its Cast

Director Joseph Kosinski has a sci-fi film in development at Netflix titled Spiderhead. The story is an adaptation of the George Saunders short story Escape from Spiderhead, and will be adapted by screenwriters Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. The film is “set in the near future, when convicts are offered the chance to volunteer as medical subjects in hopes of shortening their sentences. The focus is on two prisoners who become the test patients for emotion-altering drugs that force the prisoners to grapple with their pasts in a facility run by a brilliant visionary who supervises the program.”

Netflix and Kosinski recently announced that Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett have been cast in the film. No word on who they are playing, but I’d wager they will be playing convicts.

That’s it for last three 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?"