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Film Casting: SOUTHPAW, BRIAN BANKS STORY, Matthew Rhys in CHEF

Matthew Rhys

Southpaw, The Brian Banks Story, Chef, and other films have all made recent film casting, screenwriting, and director news. These films come from movie studios primarily based in the United States. The castings, screenwriters, and directors are subject to change.

The Siege Of Jadotville

Jamie Dornan…got a supporting part in The Weinstein Co’s Untitled John Wells project (aka Adam Jones), and now he’s set as the lead in Parallel Films’ The Siege Of Jadotville. The actor…will… play Irish Commandant Pat Quinlan in the geo-political thriller. The story is based on the 1961 siege of 150 UN Irish troops led by Quinlan in the Congo after pro-western leader Moise Tshombe took control of the Katanga region and killed the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. In a show of extraordinary bravery, Quinlan and his battallion held out against a force of 3,000 local troops led by French and Belgian Mercenaries working for the mining companies.

Video and commercials director Richie Smyth will make his feature debut with Jadotville.

Big Little Lies

Nicole Kidman and her Blossom Films production banner, along with Reese Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard, have optioned screen rights to The New York Times bestseller Big Little Lies. The Oscar-winning actresses will shape the novel by Liane Moriarty as a star vehicle for themselves. Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea and Blossom partner Per Saari will produce with Kidman and Witherspoon.

The novel tells the comic tale of three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.

The Black Phantom

Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to play the title role in the Screen Gems action comedy The Black Phantom, alongside Kevin Hart. Tim Story is directing the script by Dave Lease & Megan Hinds…Jackson replaces Jamie Foxx, who was going to play the role but exited over scheduling conflicts. The film is an outrageously inappropriate comedy where no topic is off limits in an odd partnership formed between a clever double-crossed mob hitman (Hart) and the notorious hit man The Black Phantom, who has been hired to kill him.

Prisoner Of War

Lee Pace has lined up sci-fi thriller Prisoner Of War as his next leading role…Pace joins Skyfall‘s Bérénice Marlohe in the story of an American soldier and a French foreign aid worker who team up in Africa amid humankind’s last stand against a cataclysmic alien invasion.

Music video and TV vet Joe Miale is directing Prisoner Of War


Ian McShane (Hercules, Deadwood) and Nelsan Ellis (Get On Up, True Blood) have joined Dan Pritzker’s biopic Bolden. Gary Carr (Downton Abbey) stars as legendary musician Buddy Bolden, whom many consider the father of jazz. Pic is set in 1931 New Orleans, when Buddy Bolden, a long-time asylum inmate, hears the strains of a Louis Armstrong concert drift into his room from the radio in a nearby nurse’s station. The sound evokes memories of his long-forgotten youth as a ground-breaking cornetist, when he played and improvised his way to the forefront of a new musical style, ultimately creating what would evolve decades later into jazz. Multiple Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis composed the score.

McShane will portray Bolden’s nemesis Judge Perry, while Ellis will play the role of Bartley, the wily entrepreneur who manages the Bolden Band.

The Brian Banks Story

[D]irector Lee Daniels has signed on to The Brian Banks Story for Amy Baer‘s Gidden Media.

Profiled in a 60 Minutes piece, Banks was an high school All-America football player who had committed to USC’s prestigious program in 2002, but his life was turned upside down when a classmate falsely accused him of rape. He maintained his innocence, but a hasty plea bargain resulted in a five-year-plus prison sentence. With the help of the California Innocence Project, his conviction was overturned in 2012. He returned to the gridiron after a 10-year hiatus, playing in the UFL and going through six NFL tryouts before finally making the Atlanta Falcons’ 75-man roster in April 2013. Although he only played in four preseason games, Banks fulfilled his lifelong dream and is now a motivational speaker and an activist and spokesman for the California Innocence Project.


Beau Knapp has joined The Weinstein Company’s Southpaw from writer Kurt Sutter and director Antoine Fuqua. Jake Gyllenhaal star as a welterweight boxing champion who rises in his profession while his personal life falls apart. Knapp will play Jon Jon, the fighter’s lifelong best friend who came up with him through foster care and is on the payroll.

Wrong Side Of Right

Cullen Douglas has been cast in indie feature Wrong Side Of Right, directed by Alex Ranarivelo. He will play Vincent Bogel in the story of a woman who goes undercover to expose an inhumane dog breeder.


Matthew Rhys has been cast in Chef.

Rhys will play a rival chef who stands in the way [of Bradley Cooper obtaining the Michelin three-star rating].

Cast includes Uma Thurman, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Emma Thompson, Lily James, Omar Sy, Jamie Dornan, Sam Keeley, Sarah Greene and Alicia Vikander.

John Wells is directing with a screenplay by Steven Knight.

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Source: Variety, Deadline

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Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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