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Casting Roundup: Fassbender, Wood and Bell Get the Gigs

Michael Fassbender
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Michael Fassbender's riding into the sunset, Evan Rachel Wood is hitting the road and Jamie Bell is gettin' busy in this week's casting news.

Fassbender may soon be studying to be a quick draw as he's in talks to join the western, "Jane Got a Gun," according to Vulture. Natalie Portman is currently attached to the film about a woman who hires an ex-lover (Fassbender) to protect her ranch after her outlaw husband returns home bullet-ridden and with former criminal colleagues hot on his heels. Lynne Ramsay ("We Need to Talk About Kevin") is attached to direct.

Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman? Together? In a western? Please. We'll be there, guns a'blazin'.

Evan Rachel Wood is also embracing the outlaw life as Deadline reports that she's signed on to the old-school chase movie, "18 Wheel Butterfly." The film follows a female trucker who's accused of a crime she didn't commit, prompting her to hit the road and outrun the law, brother truckers, feds and bounty hunters in the "Texas bubble gum, redneck chic summer of 1977." Michael Polish ("Twin Falls Idaho") is set to direct this throwback to the likes of "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Sugarland Express."

Wood's real-life beau, Jamie Bell, has signed on for a different kind of thrill as he's jumping into bed with Lars Von Trier's "The Nymphomaniac," according to The Hollywood Reporter. In true von Trier style, it's hard to tell what's real and what's hype as reports of stars having "real sex" are flying high, but even if it's all a bunch of hooey, it's almost guaranteed that the film (which will have two versions) will be more interesting than most anything else out there. Bell joins a cast that includes Shia LaBeouf, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Connie Nielsen and maybe even Nicole Kidman.

Someone who's not gettin' busy is Mark Ruffalo, as the "Avengers" star has dropped out of "Red Light Winter," Adam Rapp's screen adaptation of his own stage play about two thirtysomething New Yorkers who travel to Amsterdam to rekindle their friendship and end up in a love triangle with a wily prostitute (Kirsten Dunst). Variety reports that Ben Foster will be taking Ruffalo's place, though Billy Crudup has also left the project and is currently without a replacement. We're sure Rapp will find someone who wants to be in a love triangle involving Dunst sooner rather than later.

Got problems? Brie Larson might have some good advice, as Deadline brings word that the "21 Jump Street" star has signed on to star in the new drama, "Short Term 12." Larson will play a counselor for troubled kids at a foster home who struggles to come to terms with her own troubled past, with Sundance regular Destin Cretton ("I'm Not a Hipster") set to adapt (and expand) his own short film.

Old Detroit's loss is our gain (or something) as Deadline reports that none other than Michael Keaton has stepped in to replace Hugh Laurie in the "RoboCop" remake in the role of Raymond Sellars, the CEO of the company that builds the crime-fighting cyborg. Whether this company happens to be OCP, the corrupt conglomerate of the original "RoboCop," or whether Sellars will resemble Daniel O'Herlihy's ruthless yet passably charming Old Man remains to be seen. Keaton joins a cast that includes Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Abbie Cornish.

Speaking of Abbie Cornish, the "Sucker Punch" star has signed on to headline the showbiz drama, "Fellini Black and White," according to Deadline. She'll be playing the role of Betty, the veterinarian that filmmaker Federico Fellini falls in love with when he comes to Los Angeles for the Oscars in 1957 and wins Best Picture for "Nights of Cabiria." Cornish joins a cast that includes Wagner Moura, William H. Macy, Terrence Howard, Peter Dinklage and Nina Arianda.

Speaking of show business, Michael Douglas has signed on to play a former movie star: Ronald Reagan. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the "Wall Street" star is set to be sworn in as the 40th President of the United States in "Reykjavik." Mike Newell ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") is in talks to direct the indie drama that covers the few days in 1986 when Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for talks in Iceland's capital to iron out peace against the backdrop of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Join us next Friday as we once again gather all of the week's juicy casting tidbits in one fell swoop.

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