Greenlit: The ‘Knives Out’ Sequel Is on, ‘First Ladies’ Will Take the Spotlight at Showtime + More

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Photo Source: Lionsgate

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!

“Knives Out”
Rian Johnson’s knives are back out! After rumors started floating around that there were talks of a “Knives Out” sequel, the follow-up to the hit whodunnit is officially a go. Lionsgate executives confirmed the news that it is one of two projects currently on the table (along with “John Wick 4”) for planned production starts. Director Johnson has already indicated in previous interviews he wants to do a sequel with Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc investigating a new case, and Lionsgate seems to want to follow that path, as well, happy to see what was supposed to be a standalone turn into an unexpected hit franchise. The first also starred Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, and Ana de Armas. Johnson will return to direct, so expect casting director Mary Vernieu to return to build the cast of a new mystery. Find out how she built the original cast here.

“First Ladies”
Women are running the world (at least in one time slot) at Showtime, where the premium cabler has given a straight-to-series order for the hour-long drama “First Ladies.” Written by Aaron Cooley, the anthology peels back the curtain on the personal and political lives of America’s first ladies. The first season centers on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama, the latter of whom will be played by Viola Davis, who has also signed on as an executive producer. The series order comes after a fast track for development with a three-script commitment. No further casting has been announced at this time, including for co-leads Roosevelt or Ford.

“Pieces of Her”
Toni Collette is heading back to the world of thrillers after her Golden Globe– and SAG-nominated role in “Unbelievable,” Collette will headline another Netflix series: the dramatic thriller “Pieces of Her,” based on the 2018 book by Karin Slaughter. Minkie Spiro will direct the eight-episode series from a script by showrunner Charlotte Stoudt. The series centers on “a sleepy Georgia town where a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver and her mother Laura (Collette). Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her towards the dark, hidden heart of her family.” The role of Andy has yet to be cast, as well as the rest of the roles in the series aside from Collette’s Laura. David Rubin leads the casting team.

First reported by Variety, Maggie Gyllenhaal will play matriarch to the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming Elvis biopic. The star will take on the role of Gladys Presley opposite Austin Butler’s Elvis in the Warner Bros. film. Tom Hanks will also star as Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. As previously reported, Luhrmann co-wrote the script with Craig Pearce, which follows Presley’s come-up from his dirt-poor origins to music icon. Production is scheduled to begin this spring. This will be Luhrmann’s first film since 2013’s “The Great Gatsby.” Like that film, Nikki Barrett will serve as casting director. Learn what she looks for in the audition room here.

“13” Musical Adaptation
Hello, 12; hello, Netflix’s “13.” According to Deadline, veteran movie musical producer Neil Meron has boarded the Netflix adaptation of the Broadway musical. Jason Robert Brown (“The Bridges of Madison County”) will compose new music for the movie, with Robert Horn (“Tootsie”) adapting the script based on the book he co-wrote with Dan Elish. Production is scheduled to begin in August after a worldwide casting search for preteen triple threats with Broadway experience, so be sure to keep your eye out for casting information soon. The original Broadway production is known to have created at least one pretty big star, after all: Ariana Grande. 

“White Stork”
Finally, Netflix has poached another big name for an upcoming political thriller. Tom Hiddleston will star as the male lead in “White Stork,” a British drama series from Eleven, the company behind the streamer’s hit “Sex Education.” Just given a 10-episode order, the series is created, written, and executive produced by Christopher Dunlop and directed by Kristoffer Nyholm. Hiddleston will star as James Cooper, who is selected to run for a seat in parliament but whose potentially damaging series are uncovered by the woman sent to vet him. Asher Millan, the female lead opposite Hiddleston, has not yet been cast, but expect that news to come soon. Gary Davy is casting the project.

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