Big studio projects and small indie films alike rounded out their casts this week as show business continues to be booming in Hollywood.
Reese Witherspoon returns to — surprise, surprise — romantic comedy territory as she signs on to headline "The Beard," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The "beard" of the title is a slang reference to a someone who goes out in public with a gay person to give the illusion that he or she is, well, not gay. Secrets, lies and shenanigans will no doubt ensue — and all of them cute, due to the fact that the movie stars Reese Witherspoon.
"Footloose" star Julianne Hough is also getting romantic as Variety reports that she's joining the Diablo Cody-scripted dramedy, "Time and a Half." Hough will play a recent college grad who takes a temp job at a trophy store where she runs into her sister's high school boyfriend with whom she had a one-night stand. Hough recently wrapped the lead role in Cody's still-untitled directorial debut.
Hough's "Rock of Ages" co-star Malin Akerman's got no time for romance as she joins Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington in "Breacher," director David Ayer's riff on "Ten Little Indians" in which the members of an elite DEA task force start getting picked off one by one after they steal from a powerful drug cartel. Akerman has been more or less absent from the action genre since her awesome turn as Silk Spectre in "Watchmen" — it will most certainly be nice to have her back fighting the good (or bad) fight.
Speaking of being absent, Heather Graham was definitely missed in "The Hangover Part II." Director Todd Phillips must feel the same way, as he's brought her back to reprise her role as Jade in "The Hangover Part III." The plot of the threequel is still being kept under wraps, but apparently we're in for the Las Vegas stripper somehow once again being involved in the night-before and morning-after mayhem.
It wasn't all about the ladies this week. Ryan Reynolds is following up his intense turn in this year's "Safe House" with another thriller as he joins the cast of "Queen of the Night," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Set to be directed by Atom Egoyan, who's currently shooting "Devil's Knot," "Queen" will star Reynolds as the father of a kidnapped child. Production is set to commence in February.
"Kick-Ass" fans will be happy to hear that the sequel has found its Doctor Gravity. Deadline reports that Donald Faison will be joining Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in "Kick-Ass 2" as a masked vigilante who fights alongside Kick-Ass. Mickey Rourke keeps the comic book movie vibe going as he officially signs on to reprise the role of Marv in "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For."
Meanwhile, Hollywood's favorite practical jokester, Sacha Baron Cohen, has his satirical sights on the spy genre with a project being set up at Paramount, and Kevin Costner seems truly poised for a comeback as the "Hatfields & McCoys" star circles both Kenneth Branagh's upcoming "Jack Ryan" reboot and the "Taken"-esque thriller, "Three Days to Kill."
So many movies, so many parts — and so much catering that's gonna have to be ordered! Join us next week as we look at the latest casting all in one fell swoop.