The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: A Taylor Lautner project falls apart, Shirley MacLaine heads to Downton, and Rooney Mara picks her next role.
Everyone knows who Taylor Lautner is, right? He's the pinch-faced, big-bodied third star of the Twilight films; he plays the noble savage Jacob, a werewolf of sorts who tries to love-lure Bella into his ethnic woods, but alas her heart belongs to her shimmering white bastion of gentlemanness, Edwardian Edward. But Jacob, or at least Taylor Lautner, looks good with his shirt-off, like bunch of glazed knot rolls all crammed in under some Saran Wrap, so he's still pretty popular. Though not that popular. As the Twilight films reached their end (one more is due out in the autumn), Lautner looked toward big movie success and seemed almost to get it. He booked a big thriller called Abduction with a good supporting cast (Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello) and a name director (John Singleton) and lined up a number of other projects as well. But then Abduction flopped bigtime and now one of his other big projects, a movie based on the Stretch Armstrong doll (yes that sounds unendingly awful, but it was supposed to be something), has fallen through. It's going ahead with a new production company, but Lautner's out. He dropped out of two other films to do this movie, so that's got to be a disappointment. All he has on the horizon right now is a movie version of Incarceron, a truly terrible young adult book series (well, there are two) about a prison world (sort of) that is going to be awful. So the skies are looking a little dim for old mister Lautner (he'll be turning 20 next month — ancient!). Looks like Bella made the right choice after all. [The Wrap]
The thing everyone's really excited about today is that Shirley MacLaine, aka Aurora Greenway and others, has been cast in season three — ahem, series three — of Downton Abbey, everyone's favorite British period soap about manners and longing looks. She will be playing the mother of Elizabeth McGovern's character, a wealthy American brought over to England to marry a house poor earl. So that will be very exciting, watching Shirley MacLaine contend with Maggie Smith and all. And it marks a real kind of big-star Americanization of the show, doesn't it? Not that they've cast Jessica Alba or anything, but you know. It seems like a bit of a tip of the hat to the show's many American fans. We are forever making that journey back and forth across the Atlantic, aren't we. [The Daily Beast]
Hm. Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson (the blonde one) is the latest to be cast in the new movie Spring Breakers, appearing alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez. So, OK, perfectly normal right? ABC Family princess in a movie about Spring Break with two Disney queens. Makes sense. Except! This movie is written and directed by Harmony Korine. Yeah, like Kids. Like Gummo. That Harmony Korine. And the film's star is James Franco, probably doing one of his weird art projects. So our question is, do these young ladies know what they're potentially getting themselves into? Not to suggest that they're dumb or anything, but they are young, so maybe they're just not familiar with who Harmony Korine is and what he does? Will one of you ladies please just go watch one of his movies so we can be sure you're aware of what this project might turn out to be? Because this movie is about four college-aged girls who rob a store to get money for spring break and then wind up involved with a drug dealer (Franco) who wants them to kill his enemy. So, like, it could get pretty dark pretty fast. Just one of you let us know that you're aware of that. Thanks. Appreciate it. [Deadline]
Speaking of weird movies directed by weirdos, Tilda Swinton and John Hurt have joined Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston in director Jim Jarmusch's upcoming vampire romance Only Loves Left Alive. Yes, all of those people, including Tilda Swinton, in a vampire love movie written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. That sounds pretty great. Pretty compelling. Unless he casts Dylan and Cole Sprouse next, and then we'll just be back to being worried again. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Rooney Mara is replacing Blake Lively in the Steven Soderbergh thriller Side Effects, the one about a pill addict waiting for her husband to come home from prison. No word on why Blake Lively dropped out, though we can only guess that she had a scheduling conflict with that snuff film she unwittingly agreed to do. Young actors! Do your homework! Research! Sigh. Anyway, this is Mara's first deal since Girl With the Dragon Tattoo came out and, while flooded with offers, she chose this of all things. So well done, Mr. Soderbergh. And please call your mother to let her know you're all right, Ms. Lively. [Deadline]
Twentieth Century Fox has just inked deals with the principal cast and director of X-Men: First Class for a sequel, either to be called X-Men: Second Class or, if they're sensitive, X-Men: Economy Class. It's unclear who exactly is included in the cast, though one hopes of course that January Jones will be back, as she was so convincing as someone who could instantly turn into cold, hard, unfeeling rock. Performance of the year, really. Such Method work. Inspiring. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Probably because rights were too hard to get for Harry Potter or anything else, the Game Show Network has inked a deal to turn another book of fantastical, magical adventure stories, The Bible, into a game show. The American Bible Challenge "will be rooted in personal stories of faith and community, and the teams will compete to win money to help support their faith communities." Terrific. The ghost of Christopher Hitchens will host. [Deadline]
Brilliant, ornery comedian Louis C.K. has had a show picked up by CBS. Not for him to be on, mind you, just to produce with some other guys. But yes, CBS has ordered a pilot of the show, which is about “young people trying to achieve their creative dreams in these tough financial times.” Sounds kind of interesting! Though "young people" is not something we typically associate with CBS. Har har. But, what's that you say? Several of CBS's popular sitcoms involve young people? Oh, well, hm. It still feels like a weird fit for C.K. So there. [Entertainment Weekly]
OMG you guyssss. Here is the first real trailer for season two of HBO's terrific fantasy series Game of Thrones, which is based on terrific fantasy books. There are all our old friends plus some new ones and new settings and most importantly Jon Snowwwww looking all snowy and beardy and pensive up there Beyond the Wall. You know nothing, Jon Snow! Though you could, if you wanted, know our phone number. Anywayyyy, this season is going to be pretty exciting guys. Not as exciting as the third season will be, because holy hell that book, but it will be good. Lots of big things. Get excited.