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Wednesday October 14, 2009 1:21 pm

Casting Corner: Kristen Bell, Justin Long and More

Justin LongKristen Bell

Here’s a quick look at some of the casting announcements made recently:

Kristen Bell: Who knew Veronica Mars was a dancer? Kristen Bell has just been added to the cast of Burlesque, a film that will see Christina Aguilera playing a small-town girl working at a cabaret-esque club in Los Angeles. The film, which stars Cher as the establishment’s owner, will feature Bell as the soon-to-be former lead dancer. Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough will also do what she does best.

Justin Long: The Drag Me to Hell star will be dragged into battle in The Conspirator, a Robert Redford-directed drama. The film features Robin Wright Penn as a woman is accused of being part of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. James McAvoy has been cast as Col. Frederick Aiken, the man who will defend her at the tribunal, while Long is set to play a Civil War amputee. Filming will begin this month.

John Malkovich: The Burn After Reading actor is saddling up for Secretariat, a story about the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Malkovich will take on the role of Lucien Laurin, the trainer of the horse owned by Penny Tweedy (Diane Lane). Dylan Walsh, Fred Thompson and Scott Glenn all costar.

Angelina Jolie: The Oscar nominee may climbing aboard The Tourist, a remake of a French thriller. At one point, Charlize Theron and Tom Cruise were both attached to the film about an American tourist working undercover for Interpol. Now Sam Worthington (Avatar) is the lead in need of a costar…and a new director. Filming may start in early 2010.

Mia Wasikowska: The Alice in Wonderland actress has nabbed a part in Restless, a film from Gus Van Sant. The Jason Lew-penned movie focuses on a teenage boy and girl—the former is obsessed with death and the latter has a terminal illness. Bryce Dallas Howard and her father, Ron Howard, will co-produce.

Robert Downey Jr.: Hugh Hefner wants him as the Playboy founder, so why shouldn’t Downey talk to large bunnies? According to a report, Iron Man is closing on a deal to join Harvey, Steven Spielberg’s remake of the 1950 film. In the original, the title character was a six-foot-tall invisible rabbit that served as Jimmy Stewart’s best friend.

Josh Brolin: Sean Penn’s career break has given Brolin a chance to appear in Cartel, a film produced by Brian Grazer. In the drama, Brolin is forced to protect his son after Mexican cartels murder his wife. Shooting in Mexico City starts in the new year.

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