Casting News: Brad Pitt to Play The Gray Man; Jason Bateman Suffers ID Theft; Spider-Man to Play Jeff Buckley
08.17.11 by Ryan
Brad Pitt is currently shooting Paramount's adaptation of World War Z, but that hasn't stopped a new role going his way.
THR reports that Pitt is in negotiations to join The Gray Man with similarly named director James Gray (Little Odessa, Two Lovers). The movie won't be a biopic for Gray, but will follow Pitt as a CIA operative-turned-assassin who is targeted for assassination and must evade death while trying to save the lives of two daughters who are unaware he exists. Adam Cozad wrote the script for the movie, which made the 2010 Black List of unproduced screenplays. The "Gray Man" is a nickname that Pitt's character is known by.
No word on when the production will start, as Pitt's deal for the movie is not official yet. Pitt and Gray have wanted to work together since 2009, when both the actor and director attached themselves to an adaptation of The Lost City of Z, based on the novel of the same name by David Grann. No movie version has surfaced so far, so perhaps The Gray Man will be more successful.
Jason Bateman has had two R-rated comedies released this summer — July's Horrible Bosses, which has earned $145 million worldwide so far, and The Change-Up, which, let's just say, is still in theaters and would really benefit from you buying a ticket.
Bateman is continuing to work in comedy for one of his next projects, the Universal comedy ID Theft, which Deadline reports will team Bateman with Melissa McCarthy (CBS' Mike & Molly). The original script, written by Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness), originally saw Bateman have his identity stolen by another guy, but after Bateman saw McCarthy's scene-stealing turn in Bridesmaids this summer, the actor, who is also producing, pushed for McCarthy to be the thief instead. Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) is rewriting the script.
Production is set to start next April, when McCarthy goes on hiatus from Mike & Molly. No director has been announced so far. McCarthy is also set to appear in writer-director Judd Apatow's spin-off to his 2007 hit, Knocked Up, currently going under the title This is Forty. McCarthy also sold a comedy pitch to Universal earlier this year that the actress will work on with Bridesmaids co-screenwriter Annie Mumolo.
and Andrew Garfield
have played Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man on the big screen, but only musician-actor Reeve Carney
risks his life (quite literally) as the character in the troubled Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Carney will have a whole new musical challenge in his next role, that of the late musician Jeff Buckley in an upcoming biopic to be directed by Jake Scott (Welcome to the Rileys). The Playlist reports that Carney, who has previously opened for the likes of Arcade Fire and U2 with his own band, Carney, will play the singer-songwriter from his rise from New York clubs to releasing his first and only record "Grace" before a drowning accident claimed his life in 1997.
Ryan Jaffe (The Rocker) wrote the screenplay for the untitled biopic, which was based on David Browne's biography Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley. In the announcement, Scott expressed his excitement over Carney's casting. "We are excited to have found in Reeve the perfect combination of musical prodigy, impish charm, innate intelligence & sensitivity to play Jeff," said Scott.
Production on the biopic will begin in November, and won't be the only Buckley biopic, with Greetings From Tim Buckley also in production starring Imogen Poots (the upcoming Fright Night remake) and Penn Badgley, presumably in the role of Jeff Buckley. Greetings will concern Buckley's life prior to becoming a star and will not use much of his work, where as Scott's biopic has full access to Buckley's archives.