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Friday August 22, 2008 6:46 pm

Casting Corner: James McAvoy, Ben Affleck, Nicolas Cage

James McAvoy

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

It seems as if there isn’t a woman can’t romance. In the past few years, he’s been paired with Gillian Anderson, Keira Knightley, Anne Hathway and, of course, Angelina Jolie. Now the rising actor will be taking on his biggest chemistry challenge yet.

In Gnomeo and Juliet, McAvoy and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) will voice characters in a CGI-animated version of the Shakespeare drama. But those looking for any Montagues or Capulets will be pleasantly surprised. In this version, the lovers will actually come from rivaling families of garden gnomes.

This film, co-produced by Elton John, will also feature music from the Lion King musician. The feature should be completed by 2010.

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Hollywood Reporter

Ben Affleck

For his next project, Ben Affleck will work on furthering himself from last year’s emotionally-exhausting . The actor is currently in talks to join a comedy written by Mike Judge (Office Space).

Affleck is close to playing the best friend of a flower extract factory owner (Jason Bateman) who has experienced a streak of professional and personal problems. Bateman previously worked with Ben’s wife, Jennifer Garner, on two projects in 2007 (Juno, The Kingdom). He’s also filmed State of Play, another movie starring Affleck.

Production on Extract - also starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Wiig - begins on Monday. Meanwhile, Ben can be seen next February in the romantic comedy . State of Play will be released a few months later on April 17.

Nicolas Cage

Ghost Rider will soon tackling another Marvel-based comic.

The actor has just recently signed on to star in Kick-Ass, an adaptation of a Mark Millar book. The movie, which will be directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake), focuses on a “high-school dweeb” who has aspirations to be a superhero despite his physical limitations. Cage will play a former cop who uses his trained daughter to take down a drug lord.

Shooting on Kick-Ass will reportedly begin this fall in London and Toronto. What that means for John Carpenter’s Scared Straight is unclear. Cage was once rumored to star in that film, which also had a fall start date.



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