What’s in a name? Well, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are about find out, as they’re in talks to lend their voices to the title roles of Gnomeo and Juliet, a ‘tooned-up version of the Bard’s tragedy from Miramax and Elton John‘s Rocket Pictures.
Even with its comic, computer-generated spin, Gnomeo is a garden-variety adaptation of Shakespeare…sort of.
McAvoy and Blunt will play two star-crossed gnomes, whose love for each other is complicated by the fact that they’re from opposite sides of the veggie patch.
Kate Winslet was tapped two years ago to voice Juliet, but she was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
Producers originally hoped to secure Oscar-winning lyricist Tim Rice, who teamed with Sir Elton on the score for The Lion King, to write original tunes for Gnomeo. But now, per the Hollywood Reporter, it looks like the film will mainly feature a number of John’s classic tunes (“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “Sad Songs” or “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” perhaps?). John might still write a couple of new tracks for the flick.
The Rocket Man will also coproduce the film, which his company originally pitched to Walt Disney Feature Animation and later Pixar, both of which passed. Disney chairman Dick Cook saved the day, however, resurrecting Gnomeo for the studio’s Miramax specialty division last year. It’s now slated for a 2010 release.
Speaking of voice roles, the cast of MGM’s latest James Bond thriller, Quantum of Solace, are reprising their roles for Activision’s upcoming video game based on both the new installment and the superspy’s last big-screen adventure, Casino Royale.
Daniel Craig will tip back martinis and topple baddies as 007; Judi Dench will pull duty as M; French thesp Mathieu Amalric plays Bond’s newest nemesis, Dominic Greene; and Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko is the latest Bond babe, Camille. Additionally, key players from 2006’s Casino Royale are piping up for the game, including Eva Green as Vesper Lynd and Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre.
The video game is scheduled to ship concurrently with the film’s early November release.
Meanwhile, the folks at Electronic Arts also unveiled an all-star ensemble cast for the new real-time strategy video game Command & Conquer Red Alert 3, which will include a host of live-action sequences.
Among the top talent are Jenny McCarthy, George Takei, Tim Curry, Jonathan Pryce, J.K. Simmons, Peter Stormare, Ivana Milicevic, Gemma Atkinson and mixed martial arts stars Randy “The Natural” Couture and Gina “Conviction” Carano.
Command & Conquer will hit stores this fall.
In other casting news:
- According to Variety, Sideways star Thomas Haden Church will costar with Elisabeth Shue, Melissa Leo, M. Emmet Walsh and Keith David in Animus Films’ indie drama, Don McKay. The film chronicles focuses on a man who flees his hometown following a tragedy and returns 25 years later only to find himself ensnared in a murder plot. McKay began shooting last week outside of Boston.
- Fast-rising German thesp Michael Fassbender is in final talks to take a part in Quentin Tarantino‘s ambitious World War II epic, Inglorious Bastards, about a group of Jewish-American soldiers sent behind enemy lines. He’s expected to replace Simon Pegg in the role of Lt. Archie Hicox after the latter had to exit due to “scheduling difficulties.” Separately, Fassbender is also set to play Heathcliff in a new take on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights opposite Abbie Cornish.
- Valerie Bertinelli is returning to the tube in a yet-to-be-titled TBS pilot from Sony Pictures Television. She’ll play a single mother who must raise her two children and manage a lumber business after her husband walks out on her.
- ABC has ordered a male-based Supernanny spinoff that will feature Chicago child therapist Mike Ruggles helping parents deal with their rugrats. Supermanny is expected to debut in the fall.
Source: E Online