The Casting Couch: February News

Written by Bill Bodkin and Daniel Cohen

casting.jpg

Evangeline Lilly as unknown female lead (Ant-Man) (not officially confirmed):

Thumbs Up: I’ve always been a fan of Evangeline Lilly, and she was the one aspect I liked about last year’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I don’t really care who she’s playing though. I’ll let the Marvel fans speculate and fret about that.

Thumbs Up: Really loving the Ant-Man cast. Lilly reminds me of Kate Beckinsdale — very pretty and capable in action sequences. Yet, Lilly has a little bit more acting talent than KB, so this choice will definitely work out. Also, Edgar Wright has a way of writing for and directing talented women, so this is definitely a coup.

vision

Paul Bettany as The Vision (Avengers: Age of Ultron):

Thumbs Down: Can’t say I know much about the Vision, but I know I’m not a Paul Bettany fan. When people claim Bettany is a “charismatic actor,” I don’t get it…I just don’t get it.

Thumbs Up: Great choice! Bettany is the man who voiced JARVIS in the Iron Man films and casting him as the robotic “synthezoid” makes perfect sense from at least a vocal standpoint. Bettany also has the perfect look for Vision too.

Black Mass Round-Up:

Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger
Tom Hardy as F.B.I. Agent John Connolly (not officially confirmed)

On Hardy (Thumbs Up)/On Depp (Thumbs Down): I’d watch Tom Hardy play a dish washer, so I’m all for him. The director on this is now Scott Cooper, who helmed last year’s extremely underrated Out of the Furnace, so I’m definitely into this project. But Johnny Depp really needs to show me something in Transcendence this April for me to believe he can play a human being again. Also, last time Depp played a crime boss, it was Public Enemies…talk about watching paint dry.

black-mass-book-cover

Thumbs Up to Both: Let’s not forget the days of Johnny Depp acting in serious, gritty movies. The dude can act his ass off and he’s due for a great performance after making boatloads of money in big budget and mostly meaningless epics. Hardy as the lead good guy will actually be an interesting choice because he’s been a second banana forever.

Will Smith NOT in ID Forever (Independence Day sequel):

Thumbs Down: As far as the film goes, they’ll be fine. They don’t need him. This “Thumbs Down” is more about Will Smith. Nothing I say here is fact, it’s just my speculation, and what I’ve read and heard from other websites and publications. But supposedly, Smith turned down Django Unchained because he was only a co-lead. He also seems more interested in getting his kids into movies. With him turning down this sequel, I just get the feeling that it’s more of an attitude/pride thing. I don’t know what delusional world Will Smith is living in right now, but he needs to understand that super stars don’t open movies anymore. This isn’t 1997, Will. There is no more “Big Willie Weekend” on July 4th. It seems like returning to the franchise that made you a star would be a good move right now, but whatever. The guy is a brilliant actor, but I’m just not sure his ego can allow him to make smart career decisions at the moment.

Thumbs Up: First off, why are we making another Independence Day? It was made in 1997 — why has it taken this long to start? Does anyone care? And that’s why it was a smart move for him to avoid this sequel. Men in Black 3 tanked, After Earth was a massive bomb, he needs a hit movie bad and making an unnecessary sequel will not help his cause.

Independence_day_movieposter

Ed Skrein as Frank Martin (Transporter 4/Prequel):

Thumbs I Don’t Care: I’ve seen maybe five minutes of a Transporter movie and thought it was lame. I have no idea who Ed Skrein is. I guess he did some Game of Thrones. Whatever, I don’t really care about this franchise.

Thumbs in the Middle: This is the official sign that the Transporter series will be headed right to DVD. Skrein was solid in GoT and he’ll be solid here.

Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese (Terminator: Genesis):

Thumbs Down: I only remember Courtney from Jack Reacher. Granted he was pretty solid in his role, but with Terminator being such a struggling franchise right now, I wish they would have gone with someone that had a little more gravitas. I used to love the Terminator films, but I just don’t care about this movie at all. The director (Alan Taylor) and the rest of the cast don’t exactly light my world on fire. Is this a reboot? A continuation? I’ve read a bunch of Arnold rumors. Seriously, what is this thing? Whatever.

Thumbs Up: Courtney will work as Reese for sure. He’s a believable tough guy and I think he can pull off that soldierly passion/utter psychosis that Biehn perfected in the original.

The Fantastic Four Round-Up:

Miles Teller as Reid Richards/Mr. Fantastic
Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch
Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman
Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing

Thumbs Up On Everybody Except Teller: I do not understand for the life of me why people are going bat shit crazy for Miles Teller. Footloose. Project X. 21 & Over. Can someone explain this to me…please! What has this guy done that’s been so amazing!? I guess I need to see The Spectacular Now, but seriously, let’s calm down with Miles Teller. Reid Richards? I don’t see it.

fantastic4logo-nobg

Now as far as everybody else is concerned, I LOVE this casting. Yeah, they’re going young. Get over it. Michael B. Jordan in anything is always a good thing. Kate Mara is very talented. And as far as Jamie Bell is concerned, anytime you cast somebody where the actor feels so far off from the character, those are always the best types of superhero casting. Heath Ledger anyone? With Josh Trank (Chronicle) already involved, I’m very intrigued about this film…

Thumbs Up: I’m not 100% on Miles Teller as he’s more a comedic actor and you need more of a serious actor for Mr. Fantastic. I do love the rest of the casting. I think Kate Mara’s going to be awesome and sassy as The Invisible Woman. Jordan’s going to kill it as the hot-headed Storm. Bell is the wild card and I think he’ll give a unique twist to Thing.

Amanda Seyfried as unknown female lead (Ted 2):

Thumbs Up: I actually like Amanda Seyfriend, I just think she’s been saddled with some bad roles. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in this summer’s A Million Ways to Die in the West, also directed by Seth MacFarlane. I guess the bigger news is Mila Kunis’ diminished role, and possible exclusion from the film. I’m a big Mila Kunis fan, so it’s unfortunate the story doesn’t demand her presence, but I’m sure Seth knows what he’s doing.

Thumbs Down: Amanda Seyfried kinda bores me to tears. As an actress she’s fine, but there’s nothing dynamic about her. As member of Ted 2 she’s not going to detract from the movie, but the fact she’ll be trying to fill Mila Kunis’ shoes makes this casting choice a disappointing one.

pointbreak3

Luke Bracey as Johnny Utah (Point Break Remake):

Thumbs Down: At least with Bodhi, you got a charismatic actor in Gerard Butler. This casting on the other hand makes no sense to me. Yeah, he was Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation…whoop de-coo.

Thumbs in the Middle: I know nothing Luke Bracey and maybe that’s a good thing. When Keanu was cast he was fresh of Bill & Ted, so at the time that decision must’ve seemed terrible, but now, brilliant. Maybe Bracey will be good?

Adam Driver as unknown villain (Star Wars: Episode VII)

Thumbs Down: Are you kidding me? We’ve been waiting for OFFICIAL Star Wars casting announcements for over a year, and this is the first one? Adam Driver…as the villain?! Huh? Okay, look…I trust J.J. Abrams. The Star Trek casting was flawless, but I’m just really struggling with this one. Granted he had a nice little role in Inside Llewyn Davis, but the Coen Brothers could make Pauly Shore into an Oscar nominated actor. If you look at Driver’s IMDB, he’s actually worked with some pretty big directors, so clearly better people than me are seeing a lot more. Maybe I just can’t get Girls out of my head, but Adam Driver as the next Star Wars villain doesn’t feel right. –DC

Thumbs Way Down: Listen, he’s fine on Girls, but this guy, known for mostly comedic roles is going to be the villain in what’s probably the biggest sequels ever? Seriously? Maybe JJ Abrams knows something we don’t. In fact, I’d love to be proven wrong.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.