Casting News: The Lone Ranger Cast Returns; Ben Kingsley Joins Ender's Game; Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman Join 42 Lineup
12.11.11 by Ryan
Disney's adaptation of The Lone Ranger is finally back in the saddle after the studio shut down production in August over the movie's reported $250+ million budget. After director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer worked to bring down the budget, which Bruckheimer said took "four to six weeks" to get the budget down to an more acceptable $215 million (which still seems like a lot, but we digress) and were rewarded with a May 2013 release date in October.
With production rescheduled for February, it was reported that the movie's leads were intact, with Armie Hammer (The Social Network) remaining in the title role, Johnny Depp set to play Tonto — a role he's been attached to since 2008 — but what wasn't clear was whether the movie would retain its supporting cast, but Deadline reports that the rest of the cast will also be retained.
Tom Wilkinson (The Kennedys), originally cast in June, will still play railroad tycoon Latham Cole, a character who is, as we expected, the movie's main villain. Ruth Wilson (BBC's Luther), originally cast in July, will be back as Rebecca, The Lone Ranger's female lead.
Deals are being made for the rest of the cast, which means Barry Pepper will be back as Captain J. Fuller, the leader of the seventh cavalry, and Helena Bonham Carter will return as the madam of a brothel who deals with gentlemen and scoundrels. Dwight Yoakam will also be back as Butch Cavendish, the villainous leader of the Cavendish gang that attacks the Texas Rangers, James Badge Dale will be back as Dan Reid, the Lone Ranger's older brother and leader of the Texas Rangers. Reportedly, it's the Cavendish attack that ultimately leads Hammer to become the Lone Ranger.
Written by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road), The Lone Ranger will open on May 31, 2013
Now that Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Son of Rambow) and Hailee Steinfeld have been respectively cast as Ender Wiggin and Petra Arkanian in the upcoming adaptation of Ender's Game, the first adult member of the cast has been revealed. THR reports that Ben Kingsley (Hugo, Ghandi) is in talks for the role of "a legendary war hero presumed to be long dead."
Based on the 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game is set in a future where an insect-like alien race has devastated Earth. The government recruits and trains gifted children at the Battle School, where Ender is taught under the supervision of Colonel Hyrum Graff, the Commander of Training for the International Fleet. Harrison Ford is reportedly being courted for the role of Hyrum, but no further developments have been reported. Those familiar with the novel will likely already realize that Kingley's role would seem to be that of Mazer Rackham, who eventually becomes Ender's mentor.
Adapted by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), who will also direct, Ender's Game is looking at a February production start for an eventual March 15, 2013, release date. Star Trek and Transformers screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will produce.
Speaking of Ford, while the actor's participation in Ender's Game isn't a done deal, the actor has been confirmed for a role in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, which was first announced earlier this summer.
ComingSoon reports that Chadwick Boseman (The Express, The Kill Hole) has been cast as the Hall-of-Fame baseball star, while Ford will play Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Robinson to a minor-league contract in 1945 and a Major League contract two years later, making Robinson the first African American to play major league baseball. Jack Nicholson was offered an unspecified role in October, a role thought to be Rickey. Nicholson is not mentioned in the report.
Writer-director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight's Tale) is attached to write and direct the biopic, with Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, working on the movie early on to ensure historical accuracy. No word yet on when production will begin.