Casting Net: Liam Neeson to star in new action-comedy from Zombieland director

  • Liam Neeson is back with a vengeance — and jokes. The late-career action stud will lead The Revenger, directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). The script’s plot, written by Night at the Museum scribes and Reno 911! alums Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, is under wraps.  [Deadline]
  • The Chris Evans-led Gifted bolsters its cast. Comedian Jenny Slate is the newest to join Marc Webb’s (The Amazing Spider-Man) next feature. Gifted follows Frank (Evans) as he raises his precocious niece, Mary (McKenna Grace), who is labeled as “gifted” in school. Octavia Spencer signed on last week to play Frank’s landlord and friend, Roberta. [Variety]
  • Neighbors 2 adds two tenants. Nora Lum (aka rapper Awkwafina) and Clara Mamet are the latest pledges to the sorority next door in the Seth Rogen and Zac Efron comedy sequel. They’ll likely fall under the stewardship of Chloë Grace Moretz, alongside Selena Gomez. In addition to Rogen and Efron, actress Rose Byrne and director Nicholas Stoller are back. The film, penned by Rogen, Stoller, Evan Goldberg, Jay Cohen, and Brendan O’Brien, bows May 20, 2016. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Ato Essandoh heads to the clandestine Bourne 5. The Django Unchained actor joins a cast already boasting Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Tommy Lee Jones, and Julia Stiles in an unspecified role. Shooting, under director Paul Greengrass, is underway. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Jack Reacher 2 tabs Danika Yarosh to play Tom Cruise’s daughter. The 16-year-old Yarosh will appear in the upcoming limited series, Heroes Reborn, which might affect her joining. Director Ed Zwick looks to set off lensing next month that adapts Never Go Back, the 18th book in Lee Child’s book series. [Variety]
  • Furious 7 director James Wan nabbed Frances O’Connor for The Conjuring 2. O’Connor flanks Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, who starred in the original 2013 horror box-office success. Farmiga and Wilson play real-life paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren, while O’Connor takes on the mother of a haunted child. Filming begins later this month on Wan, Chad and Carey Hayes’ script. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • Speaking of ex-Reno 911! cops: Cedric Yarbrough enters the Amy PoehlerWill Ferrell two-hander The House. Written by Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien of Neighbors fame, and directed by Cohen, the comedy tracks a couple (Ferrell, Poehler) who waste their child’s college fund, then launch a casino to try to earn back the dough. Yarbrough will be a suburban, discontent father who frequents the establishment/basement. [Deadline]
  • The film version of YA novel Before I Fall finds its leading lady in Zoey Deutch. Ry Russo-Young helms the Maria Maggenti-written adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s 2010 book that follows teenager Samantha Kingston who repeats what might be her final day alive until she gets it right, a la Groundhog Day. The start of filming is scheduled for late October. [Deadline]

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