The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: An up-and-coming English actor up and comes, Jessica Chastain takes to the stage, and Seacrest may soon be a pauper.
The most humbly named actor in all of England, Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch, has been making many waves in the acting world lately, appearing in prestige film fare like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse, and starring on the buzzed-about, vaguely homoerotic television series Sherlock. And now he's landed perhaps his highest profile, in America anyway, role to date: He'll be playing a lead role in the next Star Trek film, possibly the villain. Yes, old Cumberbumber is headed to space! There's probably no formal tea service or stiff sherries up there, but there is Kirk and Spock and the gang to knock around with, so he ought to have fun. Now if he could only get out of the rich person ghetto he's been so cruelly forced into, he might really be able to make something of himself. [Deadline, MTV]
Another rising star, Jessica Chastain, is also headed somewhere new, though it's a little lower-to-the-ground than outerspace. She's actually headed to the filth- and gypsy-ridden slums of old Broadway, where she will make her White Way debut in a revival of The Heiress, a play about Benedict Cumberbatch's life. Or, y'know, it's about a rich New York family who's trying to marry off their daughter. The play will open sometime next fall, by which time Chastain will have made forty more movies, if her past output is any indication. [Playbill]
Yuh yoh. Warner Bros. has closed the productions offices of their big live-action Akira movie, amidst a plague of problems, from casting to writing to budgeting. Those are three important things for a movie to have in place, so we guess it makes sense. Apparently the studio felt that the combined star power of the cast — which includes Tron boombalottie Garrett Hedlund and Twilight mumbler Kristen Stewart — wasn't enough to merit the big budget. (Ha! Burn.) So they're looking to scale back from $90 million to about $60 million. Though there's some other rumor that it's not a budget problem, it's a script problem, which is strange considering there's already a script from the classic anime version, and anyway big event movies starring Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart don't need good scripts! They just need electric light scooters and vampyr moans. C'mon, WB! Get it together. [THR]
Someone who does have it together is Emma Stone, who's next project Little White Corvette has just been bought by GK Films. She apparently had some free time to film this summer, so production is a go. The movie is about a brother/sister duo driving to Miami to sell some old cocaine they found, so we're assuming it must be some sort of biopic about the Arquette family. [Deadline]
Oh no. Poor Ryan Seacrest has been hit by the recession. The humble man, who will now be forced to wander Los Angeles in tattered rags and sing sad tunes for nickels down on the pier, might have to take a pay cut at his American Idol gig. Yup. There's speculation that if he renews his contract on the show, which expires at the end of this upcoming season, he will not get the plum $15 million a year package he got back in '09. What??? That is crazy. The man stands and says things and introduces people! You were already low-balling him, Fox. Now you're gonna make the man beg?? Just despicable. Said a source, "There's no way Fremantle and CKx will continue to pay Ryan that kind of money when he can be replaced for $2 million to $3 million." Who? Who are we even talking about? Dunkleman?? Has Dunkleman been sneaking around the production offices, whispering things to people about how he could be gotten on the cheap? Somebody call security, there's a Dunkleman infestation again. (But seriously, what? Who would they pay that kind of money to? Who could take that job? Can just any old schmo just show up and make that kinda scratch? Consider our hat thrown in the ring if so.) Anyway, pray for Ryan guys. If he loses this gig all he'll have left is his $60 million radio contract, and a man's gotta eat. [THR]