Greenlit means a project is officially a go, so all you have to do is follow these leads to stay up to date. You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to land an audition!
Last week, the hit Netflix series “The Crown” announced two major cast members for its final seasons. Jonathan Pryce will join the drama playing Prince Philip, succeeding Tobias Menzies who followed Matt Smith. Additionally, in the most anticipated casting decision of the project, Elizabeth Debicki is set to play Princess Diana in Seasons 5 and 6. Said Debicki in the show’s Twitter announcement, “Princess Diana’s spirit, her words, and her actions live in the hearts of so many. It is my true privilege and honour to be joining this masterful series, which has had me absolutely hooked from episode one.” Pryce and Debicki join the cast that has been announced in recent months and includes Lesley Manville taking over for Helena Bonham-Carter as Princess Margaret and Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II. The fourth season is due later this year with the fifth and final season set to film in 2021. The series casting director is Nina Gold—find out what she is looking for in the audition room here at Backstage!
“Planes, Trains & Automobiles”
Will Smith and Kevin Hart have their bags packed and ready to go. Announced first thing Monday morning by Deadline, Paramount Pictures has set a remake of the classic John Hughes road trip comedy “Planes, Trains & Automobiles.” Originally starring John Candy and Steve Martin, the remake will star Smith and Hart as the mismatched duo forced to become bunkmates and traveling partners in a desperate attempt to get home to their loved ones for Thanksgiving. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” writer Aeysha Carr will write the script in her feature debut. No director has been announced.
“Between the World and Me”
The previously-announced HBO special “Between The World And Me” is starting to fill out its all-star cast. Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq Black Thought Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Oprah Winfrey are the first group of stars to be announced for the HBO adaptation of the critically acclaimed stage show based on Ta-Nehisi Coates bestseller. As previously reported, the special will serve to benefit the Apollo Theater and Howard University and will feature elements of the original stage production, as well as documentary and archival footage and animation. The special, which is currently in production under COVID-19 guidelines, will debut this fall. Additional casting will be announced.
“The Upper World”
Before it even hits the shelves, Femi Fadugba’s debut novel “The Upper World” already has a film version in progress, which has found its star. Netflix has acquired the rights to the first book in a planned series of YA novels and has put the feature into development with Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Queen & Slim”) attached to produce and star. The story, set in London, follows Esso, who realizes he has an unexpected gift—access to a world where he can see glimpses of both the past and future—and calls on a girl a generation away to help him avert a deadly feud. “The Upper World” will be released in the U.K. in 2021 and the U.S. in early 2022. The film’s creative team has not yet been announced.
“Rogue One” Series
Another actor has joined the Rebellion. First reported by Deadline, Adria Arjona (“Pacific Rim: Uprising”) is set to star opposite Diego Luna in the Disney+ “Rogue One”/”Star Wars.” Arjona will join the Cassian Andor-centered prequel spinoff, which, in recent months, has announced additional cast members including Denise Gough, Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgard, and Kyle Soller. Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote the 2016 film, is set to write the pilot, direct several episodes, and serve as series showrunner. Regular “Star Wars” CD Sarah Finn, who has been hard at work on “The Mandalorian,” will also likely be the CD for this series, but the film’s CD Jina Jay could also be involved in some way.
A “Clueless” series is closer than ever to reality! Reported last week, the planned adaptation has landed in development at the NBC streaming service Peacock. Though the project has been in development since last fall, no network or streamer had previously been attached. Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey (“Will & Grace”) will write the new “Clueless,” which is described as “a baby pink and bisexual blue-tinted, tiny sunglasses-wearing, oat milk latté and Adderall-fueled look at what happens when the high school queen bee Cher disappears and her lifelong No. 2 Dionne steps into Cher’s vacant Air Jordans.” CBS TV Studios, which has the TV rights to the original feature, will produce. No casting has been announced.
Also at Peacock, “MacGruber” has a new mission. The streamer has officially issued an eight-episode order for the series starring Will Forte as the eponymous character he created while on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” The project was first put into development eight months ago, when Forte and John Solomon told Vulture Festival’s video studio they were shopping the series to networks. Jorma Taccone, who directed the 2010 feature film of the same name, will direct the half-hour series adaptation, which will reportedly begin with MacGruber being released from prison and taking on a new mission to take down a mysterious villain from his past. Forte, Solomon, and Taccone will co-write, and though no casting other than Forte has been announced, original stars Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, and Val Kilmer are all expected to return. Sheila Jaffe was the casting director for the film.
HBO and Sky are expecting “The Baby,” a new dark comedy-horror series. Co-created by Siân Robins-Grace and Lucy Gaymer, the series will follow 38-year-old Natasha who is suddenly burdened with a controlling and manipulative baby with violent powers. SISTER and Proverbial Pictures will produce for the two cablers, marking the second collaboration between SISTER/HBO/Sky, after the award-winning “Chernobyl.” “The Baby” will be filmed in the U.K. in 2021.
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