• Shia LaBeouf is not retiring, it seems. The Nymphomaniac star, thrust into the spotlight recently by an ever-escalating plagiarism controversy, has signed on to Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah alongside a host of high-profile names including Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, and Kate Hudson. The film follows a past-his-prime rock manager who takes his sole client on a USO tour in Afghanistan. While in Kabul, the manager discovers a young talent and enters her into the Afghan Star contest – Afghanistan’s version of American Idol. [The Wrap]
• Bill Hader, who showed his dramatic chops in the Sundance pic The Skeleton Twins, is in negotiations to join Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer. The plot of Universal’s comedy is being kept under wraps. [Variety]
• Rebecca Hall, who recently appeared in Iron Man 3, has signed on for the romantic comedy Tumbledown. She’ll play a young widow, struggling to write a bio of her late musician husband who teams up with a “brash New York academic” (Jason Sudeikis) to finish the book. Joe Manganiello and Blythe Danner also star in the Sean Mewshaw-directed pic. [THR]
• (500) Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars screenwriting team Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter confirmed The Wrap’s report that Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) would star as Rosaline in their comedic, revisionist telling of Romeo & Juliet – told from Rosaline’s point of view. Rosaline is based on Rebecca Serle’s 2012 novel When You Were Mine. Tony-nominated theater director Alex Timbers is set to helm.
Felicity Jones is our ROSALINE - @iamthepuma & I promise you a version of Romeo & Juliet you have *never* seen before!
— Michael H. Weber (@thisisweber) January 30, 2014
• Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) is in talks to direct and star in The Shack, an adaptation of William Paul Young’s novel about odd spiritual happenings in the aftermath of a devastating personal tragedy. Whitaker directed First Daughter, Hope Floats, and Waiting to Exhale. [Deadline]
• Mad Men’s January Jones will play Ethan Hawke’s wife in Andrew Niccol’s (Gattaca) Good Kill about a discontented fighter pilot-turned-drone operator and his fraught home life. [Deadline]
• Community’s Gillian Jacobs and Anson Mount (Hell On Wheels) have signed on to the micro-budget Blumhouse horror pic Visions. Isla Fisher stars as a pregnant woman plagued by terrifying visions. Mount plays her husband, and Jacobs will play the role of her friend. [Deadline]
• Perrey Reeves has agreed to reprise her role as Melissa Gold, Ari’s wife, in the Entourage movie. [Deadline]
• Constance Zimmer will also return as series regular Dana Gordon in the Entourage film. [THR]
• Nikki Reed (Twilight) has boarded the horror film Email to play the part of a journalist who travels to Singapore to investigate her sister’s death. It all leads to a cursed email. Kelvin Tong (The Maid) is directing the movie, which is said to be “in the vein of The Ring and The Grudge.” [THR]
• 42’s Chadwick Boseman will join Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt. Boseman will play Thoth, the God of Wisdom. [Deadline]
• Topher Grace is set to star in Home, another Blumhouse thriller about a man who is released from a mental institution and inherits a probably haunted mansion from his dead parents. Patricia Clarkson is in negotiations to co-star in the Dennis Iliadis-directed pic. [THR]
• Katherine McNamara (Little Savages) has boarded the high school debate drama A Sort of Homecoming. [THR]