Casting News: Movies, TV, and First Look Deals

I got off my schedule with my Casting News posts! The last few weekends have been too busy for comfort. So I have a lot of old posts to go through, but I’m going to do it. Let’s stop the chatter and get to the casting news.  (Since there are 20 items, I’m only spending a sentence or two on each.

Lila and Eve, a revenge film starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez, has been bought by Samuel Goldwyn Films and is expected to be released this year. Both women star as mothers who have lost children to street violence; the moms take the law in their own hands since the police are being frustratingly slow.
Carmen Egojo will star opposite Ethan Hawke in Born to be Blue, the biopic of legendary jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. Hawke will play Baker and Egojo will play Baker’s love who sets him back on the road towards jazz greatness.  I didn’t know Baker had a black girlfriend, but he always did seem “down” to me, so I’m not surprised.
Ethan Hawke will also star opposite Training Day castmate Denzel Washington in the remake of Magnificent Seven, directed by Training Day director Antoine Fuqua. Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett will join the two actors.
NBC is giving Marlon Wayans his own variety show! If you’re worried you’ll be seen more of the likes of Scary Movie on television, don’t worry; Wayans will be the host of the show, called I Can Do That!, in which six celebs have to figuratively jump through hoops. Wayans will also be a co-executive producer.
Netflix orders Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba. The movie is based on the novel by Uzodinma Iweala about child soldiers fighting in a civil war.
Elliot Knight, who became known to US audiences with How to Get Away with Murder and sci-fi fans with Sinbad, will be back at ABC as part of the cast of The Advocate. The drama centers around a businesswoman who gets a medical scare only to find she’s been diagnosed. She then becomes an advocate for others who get wound up in medical red tape.
Adhir Kalyan (who was always too good for Rules of Engagement, in my opinion), will star in Fox’s sci-fi pilot Frankenstein. The show takes cues from the Mary Shelley story, considered the first science-fiction book, but also does something odd: It places the Frankenstein idea in the world of procedural cop dramas.
Mike Epps has been tapped to play Uncle Buck in the ABC comedy Uncle Buck, based on the John Hughes movie that had John Candy in the title role. Like the film,  the immature Buck has to learn to take care of his brothers children with his intelligent and mature wife, played by Nia Long.
Octavia Spencer will play God in the film adaptation of The Shack, based on the novel by William P. Young. The film finds a man who’s led by God back to a shack he believed his daughter died in and the trip changes his life.
A currently-untitled comedy is coming to NBC and starring David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine, Jerrod Carmichael, and Amber Stevens West. The comedy is inspired by Carmichael’s real experiences and relationships, including his relationships with his father (Grier), mother (Devine), and his girlfriend (Stevens West).
CNN is bringing W. Kamau Bell back to television with a new series called United Shades of America. The series “will strive to show the United States is not built upon just one, but many diverse and colorful definitions of America.”
Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment has signed a first-look deal with CBS. The deal between the network and the production company (which is behind CBS’ Madam Secretary), will last for several years.
Rob Morgan will join the Netflix Daredevil cast! He will play Turk Barrett, a criminal in Hell’s Kitchen.
Jamie Foxx has said his Mike Tyson biopic is now up-and-running. The film is being made by Paramount with Martin Scorsese to direct. Foxx is currently still expected to play Tyson.
Kerry Washington will play Anita Hill in the HBO’s Confirmation, which will focus on the early ’90s scandal surrounding Hill and her boss, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas.
Nicholas Gonzales, who Sleepy Hollow fans love (and wish would come back), has joined NBC’s Lucifer. Gonzales will play a LAPD homicide detective who is uncomfortable with Lucifer being around his wife and daughter. Also: Lucifer is helping the LAPD solve crimes. Yes, the Prince of Darkness himself has joined the police procedural lane.
Gina Rodriguez is currently in talks to star opposite Mark Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon, a film about the 2010 BP oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and went down in history as the largest oil spill in American history. Rodriguez is vying for the lead female role, the lead communications officer for BP. Wahlberg is playing a rig electrician.
The Disney Channel is celebrating little leaguer phenom Mo’ne Davis with their upcoming film, Throw Like Mo. Davis made history at the Little League World Series, and has now gone on to author a book and a collection of shoes to benefit girls in need.
Ruth Negga, known for her role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has been tapped to play the female lead in AMC’s Preacher. The show, based on the cult comic book by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, features a small-town Texas preacher that merges with a creature from Heaven, giving him the ability to make people do whatever he wants. With his ex-girlfriend Tulip (Negga) and an Irish vampire, they go on a quest to find God. As in, to actually meet God.
There are plenty more pilots and casting I haven’t even listed, because diversity is in season and people are casting actors left and right. Thankfully, Indiewire has the complete (as of now) listing right here!