Casting Net: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts get in the ring for The Bleeder

  • Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts have been cast, respectively, as heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner and his wife Linda in The Bleeder. Philippe Falardeau is directing the film from a script by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl, and Michael Cristofer. The film tells the story of the boxing match between underdog Wepner and superstar fighter Muhammad Ali, as well as the fame and partying that followed, and Wepner’s imprisonment for cocaine possession. Schreiber is producing the film alongside Mike Tollin, Carl Hampe, Christa Campbell, and Lati Grobman, with Jeff Rice executive producing. The film kicks off production this month. [Deadline]
  • Edie Falco has signed on for Megan Leavey. Gabriela Cowperthwaite is directing the film, which stars Kate Mara in the title role and centers on the strong bond between real-life military hero Leavey and her combat dog Rex. The pair served two tours in Iraq together, but were separated after a 2006 explosion that resulted in Leavey being discharged from the Marines with a purple heart and Rex being put back on active duty. Leavey then waited to adopt Rex for the next five years. When he was scheduled to be euthanized, she fought to save him and won. Falco will appear as Megan’s mother, Jackie Leavey. [Deadline]
  • Katie Aselton is in final talks to play the female lead in Bastards, which has already enlisted Ed Helms, Owen Wilson, J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames, Katt Williams, and Terry Bradshaw. The film is about two brothers whose mother lied and told them that their father had died when they were young. The brothers search for their father — and learn more about their mother in the process. The film marks the directorial debut for long-time cinematographer Larry Sher. Justin Malen wrote the script. [The Wrap]