Casting News: Paul Walker in Katrina Thriller Hours; One More Recruit for World War Z; Octavia Spencer to Help Russell Brand
10.08.11 by Ryan
Paul Walker is adding to his post-Fast Five resume with another thriller. For those not closely following Walker's career, the actor starred in the 2010 crime thriller Takers after 2009's Fast and Furious.
THR reports Walker has signed on for Hours, a thriller set post-Hurricane Katrina that will follow Walker as a father trying to keep his newborn daughter alive in an abandoned hospital. From the sounds of the plot, it doesn't look like Walker will be getting into any car chases or stealing anything, which was likely a deliberate choice.
The movie will be the directorial debut for screenwriter Eric Heisserer (The Thing prequel, Nightmare on Elm Street remake). Buried producer Peter Safran is reuniting with Walker for Hours; the actor just finished working with Safran on another thriller titled Vehicle 19.
Hours will start production in New Orleans starting in March 2012, after which Walker will likely start work on Fast Six, which already has a release date of May 24, 2013.
While set photos have made it clear that Paramount's adaptation of World War Z
is still in production (and lighting London on fire in the process), they are still adding new cast members.
Deadline reports David Morse (Disturbia) has been cast as "a prisoner living in an abandoned jail." While there's no mention of it in the report, Morse could taking over for Bryan Cranston, who reportedly was cast in a "small but flashy" role in movie but had to drop out last month.
Based on the best-selling novel by Max Brooks, World War Z was adapted by screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan (The Kingdom). Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) is directing the movie, which co-stars Matthew Fox (Lost), James Badge Dale (The Departed), and Elyes Gabel (HBO's Game of Thrones). World War Z is scheduled for a December 21, 2012 release.
Last month, Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) and Julianne Hough (Burlesque) were cast in the upcoming Untitled Diablo Cody Project (formerly Lamb of God), the directorial debut of, appropriately, Diablo Cody (Juno). Variety reports that Octavia Spencer (The Help) is in negotiations to join the cast as well.
The movie stars Hough as a sheltered woman who loses her faith after surviving a plane crash and heads to Las Vegas where she meets an unlikely companion (Brand). Spencer will play a card dealer who works at the same casino as Brand.
Production is set to start in the spring.