- Christina Hendricks is getting into the perverse holiday spirit. The former Mad Men star has signed up for Bad Santa 2. She plays Diane, the head of a charity organization, which sounds polar opposite to Billy Bob Thornton’s Willy Soke. The sequel to the 2003 dark comedy sees the return of Tony Cox and Brett Kelly and the addition of Oscar-winner Kathy Bates as Soke’s mom. Mark Waters (Mean Girls) directs from Johnny Rosenthal’s script, and production is pegged to begin January in Montreal.
- Producer Steven Spielberg is looking at Ben Mendelsohn to be Ready Player One’s bad. The Bloodline star is in early negotiations to star with Olivia Cook in the adaptation of Ernie Cline’s sci-fi novel. The film pits a teenage boy in a virtual world competing in a treasure hunt for the late game founder’s fortune. The male lead has yet to be cast. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Alison Pill has linked up with Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane. The thriller is a drama centered around a lobbyist pushing for stricter laws around gun control. John Madden (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) directs from green writer Jonathan Perea’s screenplay. [Variety]
- Bradley Whitford is going horror. The West Wing and Transparent alum joins writer-director Jordan Peele’s (Key & Peele) thriller Get Out. The movie details a black man visiting his white girlfriend’s family estate. Catherine Keener, Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Caleb Landry Jones, and Lil Rel Howery round out the cast. [Deadline]
- Kevin Zegers (Gracepoint) joins Arnold Schwarzenegger in 478, a thriller that follows a man named Viktor (Schwarzenegger) who seeks revenge on an air traffic controller after his wife and child die in a plane crash. Scoot McNairy and Hannah Ware also star in the film, directed by Elliott Lester with a script from Javier Gullon. Production is under way in Ohio. [Variety]
- John Rhys-Davies is set to star in and executive produce Aux, Evolutionary Films’ horror about two boys who sneak into a World War II military bunker and find something “terrifying and deadly.” The Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings actor will play a veteran named Jack, who gets involved after several police officers are killed in the investigation. Evolutionary CEO John Adams will direct as well as write alongside Peter Adams. Filming begins Jan. 13. [Deadline]
- Halston Sage, Nick Thune, and Kaily Westbrook lead up People You Know. The dramedy from director Sherwin Shilati (Neil & John In: The Key) details Thune as an Internet-prone introvert. When he delves into social media, he realizes he can craft whatever persona he wants. Filming on Shilati and Michael Mohan’s (Save the Date) screenplay recently finished. People You Know also stars Nick Rutherford (The Kings of Summer), Gillian Alexy (McLeod’s Daughters), Carly Chaikin (Mr. Robot), and Ian Harding (Pretty Little Liars). [Variety]
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