Casting News: Don Johnson Joins Tarantino's Django Unchained, Carrey Joins Carrell for Burt Wonderstone, Michael Fassender Goes Indie
10.12.11 by Ryan
Writer-director Quentin Tarantino has been slowly putting together a solid cast for his upcoming "Southern" Django Unchained, which follows Jamie Foxx as a freed slave determined to rescue his wife from a sadistic slave owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Tarantino recently added his Deathproof actor Kurt Russell to the cast as evil slave trainer Ace Woody, replacing Kevin Costner who recently dropped out, as well as Kill Bill, Vol. 2's Laura Cayouette as DiCaprio's widowed sister.
Deadline reports that the latest addition to the cast is Don Johnson, who will play a wealthy plantation owner named Spencer Bennett. Casting a veteran actor who hasn't been in many recent high-profile projects is typical of Tarantino, who rejuvenated the careers of actors like John Travolta (Pulp Fiction) and Robert Forster (Jackie Brown). Johnson recently appeared as the villainous Von Stillman in last year's Machete, directed by Tarantino's friend and frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez.
Johnson joins a cast filled with Tarantino alumni, including Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. Django is set to start shooting in November, and has been given a release date of December 25, 2012.
Speaking of Tarantino alums, Inglourious Basterds' Michael Fassbender is adding another indie project to his slate, after working on high-profile movies like X-Men: First Class and the upcoming Prometheus.
Variety reports that Fassbender will reunite with his Shame director Steve McQueen for his next project, Twelve Years a Slave. The pair first worked together on the McQueen's 2008 debut Hunger, and have recently been taking Shame around to various festivals.
Also starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012), Twelve Years a Slave tells the true story of Solomon Northup, the son of a slave who was kidnapped in 1841 and rescued from a cotton plantation in Louisiana in 1853.
McQueen co-wrote the script with John Ridley (Red Tails) and is set to start directing the production early next year.
After teaming with a group of flightless birds for Mr. Popper's Penguins
, Jim Carrey
will have a more human partner in his next comedy when he teams with funnyman Steve Carell
Deadline reports that Carrey in in negotiations to join Burt Wonderstone. Carrel is the title character, a traditional magician who breaks with his longtime partner and finds that he is upstaged by a hip, street-magician rival — likely the role Carrey will play.
Carell has been attached to the comedy for a while, with writer-director Jason Reitman (Up In the Air) doing a rewrite of the script initially penned by Horrible Bosses screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. TV director Charles McDougall, who worked with Carell on The Office, was hired to direct in February.
Burt Wonderstone is likely to start production this fall. Carrey and Carell last worked together on 2003's Bruce Almighty, right before Carell was cast in The Office.