Three bits of casting news today.
The first has former princess of Persia Gemma Arterton joining Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake in the cast of director Brad Furman’s gambling thriller “Runner Runner”.
The film would find Timberlake playing “a Princeton student cheated out of his tuition money playing online poker who ends up the right-hand man of the site’s corrupt boss”. Affleck will play the “corrupt boss” while Arterton plays Timberlake’s love interest. Lucky him.
Furman (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) is directing the film, which is currently shooting down in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Richie Mehta’s “I’ll Follow You Down” has added former “X-Files” star and current British TV mainstay Gillian Anderson to its cast. For those who haven’t been keeping up with Anderson’s career since “The X-Files” went off the air, they’ll be surprised how much work she’s done Across the Pond. She was most recently seen in the Rowan Atkinson comedy “Johnny English Reborn”, but that’s on the big screen.
Anyways, Anderson joins Haley Joel Osment, Rufus Sewell and Victor Garber on the film, described as a “sci-fi mystery”.
“I’ll Follow You Down” will focus on a scientist name Gabriel (Sewell), who “mysteriously disappears during a business trip, devastating his wife Marika (to be played by Gillian Anderson) and son Erol (Osment). Erol and his grandfather (Garber) years later make a shocking discovery about Gabriel’s whereabouts.”
Mehta wrote and is directing the film, which is currently shooting up in Toronto.
And finally, Michelle Pfeiffer, fresh off the “Dark Shadows” debacle, is hoping for better tidings when she joins the cast of Luc Besson’s “darkly comedic” action movie “Malavita,” which already has Robert De Niro set to star.
In the film, De Niro and Pfeiffer would play members of “a notorious mafia family relocated to France under the witness protection program. While they do their best to fit in, old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the ‘family’ way.”
De Niro would play the patriarch of the family, with Pfeiffer as his wife. Her character is amusingly described as having “a penchant for arson when crossed”. Hey, beats a frying pan over the head, right? Or maybe not…
Basically, you couldn’t have written/read this book or cast the film without De Niro going right up to the top of the list. Because of that, the film’s casting reeks of laziness — and inspiration. It can be both, right?
Besson is adapting from a book by Tonino Benacquista called “Badfellas”, and will also direct and produce.