Casting Notices: Russell in Apes, Chastain in Tarzan, and Neeson and Ribisi in West

Keri Russell in THE AMERICANS

A foursome of casting notices for ya today, starting with Keri Russell (currently kicking all kinds of ass in the FX Channel’s awesome new show “The Americans”) joining the cast of Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”.

No word on Russell’s character, but she joins a cast that already includes Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Kodi-Smit McPhee and Gary Oldman. Russell was also recently in the sci-fi/horror movie “Dark Skies”.

Matt Reeves (“Let Me In”) is directing the sequel, which is currently set for May 23, 2014.

The plot, set 15 years after the events of the first movie, finds a small band of humans trying to find a cure to the ape rebellion.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty (2012) Movie Image

Meanwhile, in less concrete casting news, the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain may or may not be continuing her tear by starring as the female lead in Warner Bros.’s “Tarzan” reboot. That would be the role of Jane, in case you don’t know your Tarzan lore.

Chastain, coming off her Award nominated turn in “Zero Dark Thirty”, is said to be the studio’s “first choice” for the role. So chances of her signing on? Considering that Chastain does 50 movies a year, I’d say is pretty high.

Alexander Skarsgard is said to be in the running for Tarzan, with Samuel L. Jackson “rumored” to be playing “an ex-mercenary who helps Tarzan save the Congo from a vicious warlord”.

What is certain is that “Harry Potter’s” David Yates is directing.

Liam NeesonGiovanni Ribisi

Back in more solid casting news, Seth MacFarlane’s Western comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” has added two more names to its casting.

“Taken’s” Liam Neeson has joined the film as the previously cast Charlize Theron’s outlaw husband. MacFarlane will play the lead, while Theron is his love interest. Neeson is the outlaw who complicates their blossoming romance.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Ribisi signs up for his second straight Seth MacFarlane movie after playing the villain in “Ted”. Ribisi joins “West” as Edward, “a simple shoe repairman who bears up with a girlfriend who won’t have sex with him, but as a working prostitute she’s doing it with everybody else.”

MacFarlane will star as Alfred, “a not very good sheep farmer who chickens out of a duel and gets dumped by his girlfriend.” Fortunately for him Charlize Theron shows up.