There have been some pretty big announcements as far as casting in the last couple weeks, so I thought I'd share them here.
1. Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in biopic -
I think a Freddie Mercury biopic sounds like a very good idea. The guy lived quite a whirlwind life. And Cohen is probably the best guy for the job. His "Ali G Show" characters have run their course and this would be a chance for him to move on in a big way.
2, Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty in SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 -
I know Holmes lore really doesn't hold the popularity it used to, but Professor Moriarty is still one of the most well-known rogues in the world of fiction (remember when he came to life on the Holodeck and tried to take over the Enterprise?!). Anyway, there were a lot of high-profile actors up for this role. There were rumors of Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Daniel Day-Lewis potentially taking the role before the announcement came about Harris. For those who don't know, Jared is the son of the late, great Richard Harris and currently featured on "Mad Men" as Lane Pryce. He also played the primary antagonist in "Fringe"s first season, David Robert Jones. From what I've seen, Harris is a tremendous actor with a lot of villainous charisma. This is a huge break for him and I'm pretty sure he'll make the most of it. The whole first HOLMES film was a build up to this storied encounter between rivals. Harris and Downey Jr. should put on a good show.
3. Noomi Rapace might take the lead in the much anticipated ALIEN prequels.
Ridley Scott's ALIEN prequels have hit a bit of a roadblock recently. Rumor has it, Scott wants an enormous budget for what he's planning to be two films. The studio might be willing to give in on this matter except for one thing: Scott wants his films to have hard "R" ratings. I'm really hoping the director can sway the studio over to his way of thinking, but I doubt it will actually happen. These films might not actually get made at all, which would be a huge bummer. However, I do think the studio is risking the artistic integrity and narrative potential of the films by watering them down to PG-13, so I'd understand if Scott can't move forward.
Back to my initial news: Rapace, of DRAGON TATTOO fame, has apparently made quite an impression on Scott and has now become the front-runner for the films' lead. I've never been Rapace's biggest supporter. I think she's a fine actress, but a bit of a horse-face and not the burgeoning starlet everyone seems to think she is. However, I do believe this would be the perfect place for her. I would be very happy to see her in the ALIEN universe because, to me, she has a very sci-fi look about her (not the Lisbeth character, but the actress herself).
4. Emma Stone to play Spider-Man's love interest in the reboot -
It wasn't long ago that I was trashing this film a bit, but I've come around in a big way. Mostly, I just realized that I don't really care for the Raimi films, so something different might be a lot of fun. Andrew Garfield will make for an amazing Peter Parker. Emma Stone might have made for a pretty good Mary Jane, but that would be a little on-the-nose. Instead, she'll be playing the chronologically accurate Gwen Stacey. I like Stone. I'm pleased with this announcement. Whether her and Garfield will have any on-screen chemistry is a question that will have to wait.
5. Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp might work together for the first time in Kathryn Bigelow's next feature -
Ever since THE HURT LOCKER, there's been buzz about Bigelow's next project. She's likely to do SLEEPING DOGS (formerly TRIPLE FRONTIER), which has been described as a South American crime drama. Reportedly, the film calls for an ensemble cast of five actors and many A-listers are lining up to work with the director, including Will Smith, Christian Bale, Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Hanks and Depp are the first to be seriously entertained for the film.