Daily Casting Report – 11/3/2004

Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Pi) has bowed out as director for “Watchmen”.

Scott Rudin (Team America: World Police, The Village, The Hours) and Paramount Pictures has obtained the rights to the biographic story of Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb. You’ll remember them as the trio that spent years filming Raiders of the Lost Ark scene-by-scene with a home video camera and their imaginations. The movie, “Backyard Resistance,” will be scripted by Daniel Clowes (Ghost World).

A third Dungeons and Dragons sequel has been announced, even before the second one has hit theaters. It will follow the in-production sequel, “Dungeons & Dragons 2: The Elemental Might.” Elemental is being directed by Gerry Lively (Shattered Lies, Darkness Falls), with Bruce Payne (Brothel, Dungeons & Dragons) in the staring role.

Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Stretford Wives) is set to direct the as-of-yet-unwritten Hannibal prequel, “Behind the Mask.” Writter Thomas Harris (Red Dragon, Hannibal, The Silence of the Lambs) is set to pen the script, with Dino DeLaurentiis (Hannibal, U-571, Army of Darkness) producing.

Christian Bale (Reign of Fire, American Psycho) has joined “Harsh Times,” with David Ayer (Training Day, SWAT) set to write and direct.

Cuba Gooding Jr. (What Dreams May Come, As Good as it Gets, Jerry McGuire), Burt Reynolds (Driven, Boogie Nights, Cannonball Run), James Woods (The Virgin Suicides, Contact), and Angie Harmon (Agent Cody Banks, Lawn Dogs) have joined the cast of “End Game,” with Andy Cheng (Scary Movie3) directing a script by J.C. Pollock.

Brian Clement (Meat Market, Binge & Purge) has begun casting for horror film, “Dead Inside.”

John Rogers (The Core, Rush Hour 2), of Transformers comic book fame, has agreed to pen the script for the Transformers on-screen debut.

Meryl Streep (The Manchurian Candidate, Adaptation), Greg Kinnear (As Good as it Gets, Dear God), and Liu Ye have joined “Dark Matter,” scripted by Billy Shebar with Chen Shi-Zheng at the helm.

Trio Jessica Lange (Big Fish, Hush, Cape Fear), Neve Campbell (The Scream Series, Wild Things, The Craft) and Evan Rachel Wood (The Missing, Thirteen) have signed to “The Mermaids Singing,” with Robin Swicord (Practical Magic – writer, Matilda – writer) making her directorial debut.

Lion’s Gate has announced plans for a “Saw” sequel, to be released next Halloween.

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