Casting Notices: Odd Thomas, The Dark Knight Rises, Life of Pi

Actor Josh Pence (left), previously seen in “The Social Network”, has signed on to co-star in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”. Pence’s character in the movie all but assures us that rumors of the League of Shadows returning is true — THR says Pence will play a younger version of Ra’s Al Ghul, the role originally played by Liam Neeson in “Batman Begins”.

This would also seem to support some theories that Marion Cotillard will be playing Talia, Al Ghul’s daughter. And no, this doesn’t mean we’ll see ol Ra’s in flashbacks since he’ll be played by a young man. In the comic books, besides being bastardly evil, ol Ra’s also had access to the Lazarus pits, which kept him young and, essentially, immortal.

Pence joins Christian Bale, returning as Batman, along with Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and of course, Cotillard.

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Over at Stephen Sommers’ oddball “Odd Thomas” land, Willem Dafoe is in negotiations to join the cast as the police chief of a small town, one of a few people who knows the secrets of the film’s titular hero: that he can communicate with the dead.

Anton Yelchin will play the title hero, whose strange powers also allow him to “spot malevolent forces called bodachs, who feats on pain and portent imminent death. When Odd sees them in spades surrounding a stranger, he finds himself in a race against time to avert a catastrophe.”

Sommers is set to write and direct “Odd Thomas” from the series of popular novels by Dean Koontz, with “Californication’s” Addison Timlin now cast as Stormy Llewellyn, Odd’s love interest.

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Meanwhile, Tobey Maguire has signed on to re-team with his “The Ice Storm” and “Ride with the Devil” director Ang Lee on the director’s big-screen adaptation of Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi”.

Maguire will play a journalist who interviews the lead character Pi (to be played by “Slumdog Millionaire’s” Irrfan Khan as an adult and Suraj Sharma as a teenager). The film chronicles the adventures of Pi, a boy who is cast adrift in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. What happens next, you don’t wanna know. Well, you’ll find out when the movie comes out, I guess.

Gerard Depardieu, Adil Hussain and Bollywood actress Tabu, who will play Pi’s mother, are also in the cast.

Lee will shoot the film in 3D from a script by David Magee.