In today’s Callbacks — your daily roundup of casting news from Deal Central — James Gandolfini turns the camera on Tim Robbins and Diane Lane, Kurt Russell gets back in action, Charlize Theron lightens up, Dave Annable asks Anna Faris for her number and IMAX gets sucker punched by Zack Snyder.
• James Gandolfini and Tim Robbins are joining Diane Lane in HBO Films’ "Cinema Verite," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The project is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Alan and Susan Raymond‘s 1973 PBS documentary series "An American Family," which followed a family dealing with problems including divorce and sexual identity.
Robbins and Lane will play the parents, Bill and Pat Loud, while Gandolfini will play documentary producer Craig Gilbert.
The "American Splendor" team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini will direct from a script by David Seltzer.
Gavin Polone and Zanne Devine will exec produce the film, which is scheduled to begin production this summer in Los Angeles.
Gandolfini recently signed a deal to exec produce and possibly star in HBO’s adaptation of the French-Canadian comedy series "Taxi-22."
• Kurt Russell will star in Media 8’s supernatural thriller "Undying," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The story follows a private investigator named Virgil Lone (really?) who gets pulled into a surreal underworld when he’s hired by a mysterious woman.
Media 8 president Stewart Hall said Russell "is truly one of the few actors who audiences continually embrace as a real hero." I don’t usually run quotes like this in Callbacks, but this one rings especially true. Seriously, who doesn’t like Kurt Russell? I know he’s almost 60 years old, but he’s a terrific hero and while the "Undying" logline sounds suspect, I’m definitely excited by the idea of Russell as a hard-boiled private eye.
Gary Whitta ("The Book of Eli") wrote the script, and Hall will produce with Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert and Lawrence Mattis and Queen Nefertari‘s Cynthia Stafford, Lanre Idewu and Jeff Kalligheri. E-Motion’s Karl Richards and Peter Bevan will exec produce.
• Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron has finally agreed to lighten up and do a comedy. She’ll star in and produce an untitled comedy based on a pitch by David Caspe, reports Variety.
Since winning an Oscar for "Monster," Theron has starred in some pretty heavy movies including "North Country," "In the Valley of Elah," "Battle in Seattle," "The Burning Plain" and "The Road." Even "Hancock" was about an alcoholic superhero. It’s good to see that she’ll be showcasing another side of her personality onscreen.
Caspe previously sold the pitch "I Hate You Dad" to Columbia for Happy Madison to produce, and is the creator and exec produce of the Jamie Tarses-produced ABC pilot "Happy Endings."
David Ellison‘s Skydance Productions will finance and produce with Theron’s Denver and Delilah Films partners J.J. Harris and Beth Kono.
Skydance is also behind the upcoming Paramount films "Mission: Impossible 4" and "True Grit."
• Brothers and Sisters star Dave Annable is in negotiations to join Anna Faris in New Regency’s romantic comedy "What’s Your Number?" according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Annable would be replacing "White Collar" star Matt Bomer as Faris’ dream guy. Bomer was forced to drop out due to a scheduling conflict with his hit USA series.
Mark Mylod directs the film, which is being produced by Tripp Vinson and Beau Flynn of Contrafilm.
• Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder‘s "Sucker Punch 3D" will be released into IMAX theaters on March 25, 2011, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The arrangement is part of WB and IMAX’s recent 20-picture distribution deal that runs through 2013.
Snyder’s "Watchmen" was also released onto IMAX’s super-sized screens last year.