Update 9:00 p.m. PST: Both Freida Pinto and Olivia Wilde refuted today’s reports that they were approached to star in the 23rd James Bond film. Wilde tweeted “Despite the rumors, I have no plans to do Bond,” though she is working with Daniel Craig on "Cowboys & Aliens." Meanwhile, Pinto’s publicist issued this statement: ““I would like to confirm that as of today, Freida Pinto has not been approached to be part of the next Bond film.”
In today’s Callbacks — your daily roundup of casting news from Deal Central — Kellan Lutz enlists in "War of the Gods," Freida Pinto and Olivia Wilde become Bond babes and Ewan McGregor hears Madonna calling his name.
• "Twilight" star Kellan Lutz will play Poseidon in Tarsem Singh’s "War of the Gods," reports Variety.
He joins Henry Cavill ("The Tudors"), Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto in the Greek mythology movie.
I couldn’t pick Lutz out of a line-up but he’s certainly got the right look for the part. What has me excited is the involvement of Tarsem, whose 2008 film "The Fall" was something of a visual masterpiece, and I don’t use that word lightly.
The story follows a young warrior (Cavill) who joins forces with the immortal Greek gods to save mankind from a group of evil, elder gods. (I wonder how they keep track of birthdays on Mt. Olympus…)
Relativity’s main mensch Ryan Kavanaugh will produce alongside the "300" team of Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, with Universal distributing. Tucker Tooley and Craig Flores will exec produce.
Producers began developing the story in 2008 after buying a spec script from Charley and Vlas Parlapanides. Since then, Christian Gudegast penned a version of the script, with the most recent draft written by Jason Keller.
I can’t wait to see the first production stills from this movie, which starts production in April in Montreal. Different sources have the project budgeted between $85 million and $115 million. There was a brief pre-production delay so the producers could look into the possibility of shooting the epic adventure in 3D.
A Relativity spokesperson told TheWrap that producers are "still exploring several options and that no final decision has been made yet, but they are leaning toward a 3D conversion," which is a $15 million process that WB’s similarly-themed "Clash of the Titans" also underwent.
Lutz next appears in Platinum Dunes and Samuel Bayer’s remake of "A Nightmare on Elm St."
• In other Frieda Pinto news, the "Slumdog Millionaire" beauty is rumored to be in the running to play Daniel Craig’s love interest in the next James Bond movie, reports the U.K.’s Daily Mirror.
Sam Mendes is directing the 23rd film in the franchise, which is reportedly set in Afghanistan.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Peter Morgan has written the first draft of the script, following the footsteps of fellow Oscar-winning Bond writer Paul Haggis.
The Daily Mirror also mentions that rising star Olivia Wilde ("Tron Legacy," Fox’s "House") has been rumored for a role as a double-crossing UN worker based in Afghanistan.
Both actresses appear to meet the requirements of being a female character in a Bond film, which is to say, each looks dangerously gorgeous.
Mendes recently split from his Oscar-winning wife Kate Winslet, while Pinto is dating her "Slumdog" co-star Dev Patel.
• Ewan McGregor will play Edward VIII in Madonna’s "W.E." reports Screen Daily.
"The Ghost Writer" star joins Vera Farmiga and Abbie Cornish in the cast.
Farmiga will play Edward’s American wife Wallis Simpson, who married Edward when he abdicated the throne in 1936. Cornish will play a contemporary character in a parallel time line, whatever that means.
Madonna is writing the screenplay with Alek Keshishian. David Parfitt is producing with Colin Vaines.
I had no idea the Material Girl was such a history buff. I thought she’d go for something a little more risque, but that’s Madonna for you. Always full of surprises.
Also reported on Deal Central today:
• Disney reportedly banned breast implants from the 4th "Pirates of the Caribbean" film
• Michael Bay recruited John Malkovich and Frances McDormand to co-star in "Transformers 3"
• Chris Evans accepted Marvel’s offer to play Steve Rogers in "The First Avenger: Captain America"