There are a lot of huge film projects on the horizon, especially for 2012, that are just starting to cast some major roles. Recently, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway were confirmed for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as Bane and Selina Kyle. This was just the start of what has become a steady stream of casting news. Here is some of the higher profile casting news out of the past week:
1. Michael Fassbender will star in Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS alongside Noomi Rapace:
Fassbender's star has been on the rise recently, especially since appearing in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS in 2009. That year, he also put on impressive performances in FISH TANK and HUNGER. His connection to this film, formerly conceived as an ALIEN prequel, but now taking on a much more ambitious sci-fi premise, has been long rumored. However, it had been reported that negotiations had stalled and that he would not be appearing in the film. Something must have changed in the past week because he is now the second actor officially confirmed for the film, after DRAGON TATTOO's Noomi Rapace. Fox, where PROMETHEUS is being produced, is said to be very high on Fassbender after getting glimpses of his performance as a young Magneto in Matthew Vaughn's X-MEN: FIRST CLASS film due out later this year.
When this film was still an ALIEN prequel, it was said that Fassbender would be playing a more primitive version of the Bishop Android (which I took to mean he'd be like Ash from ALIEN). I'm not sure if the ALIEN connection will remain, but he's still supposed to be playing an android character.
PROMETHEUS has a scheduled release date of June 12, 2012.
2. Walker is Abraham Lincoln...Vampire Hunter:
A lot of high-profile actors were vying for the role of Lincoln including Josh Lucas, Adrien Brody, Eric Bana and Matthew Goode, but the powers that be decided to go with relative unknown Benjamin Walker. The 28-year old actor has appeared in KINSEY and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, but received a lot more attention recently for his turn as another American president in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a popular Broadway musical that closed last month. Walker also made headlines in 2010 when he was cast, albeit briefly, as Beast in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. That part eventually went to Nicholas Hoult.
Not being familiar with Walker, I have no idea how he will fare in this role, but having an unknown in the part seems like a good bet. Everything I've heard about Walker has been fairly positive and the filmmakers must be pretty high on him to have cast him in such a hefty role.
It is also rumored that Joaquin Phoenix might join the production in the role of Abe's vampire-hunting mentor, which would essentially serve as his return to Hollywood features after his long and somewhat-failed experiment with the mockumentary I'M STILL HERE.
This casting news comes on the heels of the announcement that Daniel Day-Lewis will play Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's long-rumored biopic.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is based off the novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith and will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED, NIGHT WATCH) and produced by Tim Burton.
3. Javier Bardem fielding various offers - BOND 23 and DARK TOWER franchise:
Bardem has been quite busy as of late. Last week, he received an Oscar nomination for his role in BIUTIFUL, had a baby with his wife Penelope Cruz, wrapped up work on Terrence Malick's next untitled project, and received some very enticing film offers. Bardem has long been in the running to play Roland Deschain, the main character in Ron Howard's DARK TOWER franchise (based off the Stephen King series). There has been no word on whether he's accepted the role, but it has been offered to him. Howard plans to make a trilogy of films and a couple television series off the property, so there's no doubt that accepting the part would require a large time commitment from Bardem.
Bardem was also reportedly offered a role in the next Bond film, which recently lifted its "indefinitely postponed" status. There is no word on what the role is, but the actor himself has called the part "intriguing". Many have already jumped to the conclusion that he'd play Bond's antagonist. To me, this sounds like a great idea. However, he has not officially accepted this offer either. It is not clear yet whether DARK TOWER and BOND have conflicting shooting schedules.
THE DARK TOWER is set for a May, 2013 release day and BOND 23 should be in theaters around November of next year.
4. Henry Cavill is The Man of Steel:
Having never watched "The Tudors" I'm not very familiar with Cavill, but he's better than some of the people who were being considered for the part, so I'm alright with his casting. This news is exciting not for what it is, but for what it signifies; We are now going to be getting more and more info on the Nolan/Goyer/Snyder Superman film.
Already, just a couple says after the Cavill announcement, we are hearing which actresses are in the running for the female lead (who apparently isn't Lois Lane!). Alice Eve, Diane Kruger and Rosamund Pike are rumored for the role. I'm actually a fan of all these women and think it would be really cool to see Kruger (Inglorious Basterds) in a Superman film.
The production, due out in late 2012, is also said to be on the hunt for an actor to play an unspecified villain.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt to appear in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES:
It was recently announced that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who appeared in Nolan's INCEPTION last summer, will also have a part in the director's next Batman film. What that part will be has yet to be announced, so speculation will run rampant until we actually learn for sure. These non-specific casting announcements are not uncommon for Nolan (we heard that Tom Hardy was in the film months before learning he'd play Bane), so it doesn't necessarily say anything about his part that it hasn't been revealed. However, one could suppose that revealing his character might give away more about the film than the secretive Nolan would like at this juncture. Or Levitt might just be playing someone we haven't heard of, such as a new DA character to replace Harvey Dent.
Who he likely won't be appearing as - The Riddler or Robin. There were rumors over the summer that JGL was campaigning for a part in the film. Fans were just so sure that he'd be donning the question-mark suit, but Nolan has since said that Riddler would not be in the film. Despite his 30 years, Levitt is boyish enough to make a run at Robin, but again, Nolan has said that he has no interest in including that character in his version of the Batman story.
So who will he play? My fingers are crossed for the character Jean-Paul Valley from "Knightfall", who takes up the mantle of Batman for a short period of time, but doesn't adhere to Batman's strict code of conduct. However, I doubt he'll make it into the film.