James Franco Keeps Getting Hit on by New York City

Lots of casting news, yet again. James Franco keeps rolling along, as does Liam Neeson. Little Bryce Dallas Howard might be teaming up with her papa, while a bunch of grizzled old thespians are teaming up to teach architecture.

Move over, street urchins. James Franco is the new king of New York. I mean, he just keeps getting work here. He's most recently been cast in a film by the head of NYU's graduate directing program, Jay Anania. He'll star as an Orpheus or Dante type figure who journeys into the heart of a crime syndicate to rescue his beloved. Anania is quoted as saying of Franco, "I was immediately struck by his inventiveness and talent." He then quietly added "Plus he looks like a butterscotch sundae. I mean, just look at him." And we all nodded. [Variety]

Since Joe Carnahan is directing the new A-Team reboot, one would guess it'll be intense. Further proof of that comes from the potential casting of area badass Liam Neeson, who might play Hannibal. The Mr. T role has yet to be cast. Let's change it up! Regina King! [Variety]

Oh that's cute. Bryce Dallas Howard has cowritten a movie called The Originals that might be directed by her daddy, Richie Cunningham. The movie is about a bunch of quarterlifing twentysomethings who all reunite when a beloved old teacher falls into a coma. Sounds like Opie ought to apply some of the ol' Beautiful Mind soft-focus. [THR]

Donald Sutherland, Rufus Sewell, and Ian McShane (among others) have all signed on to the big, sweeping "maxi-series" Pillars of the Earth, based on the Ken Follett novel about... medieval English architecture. Oh, but it'll be more exciting than that! Don't worry. Sadly, no US distributor has picked up the TV rights yet. [THR]

John Malkovich has to schlep over to Kalovy Vary in the Czech Republic, where some nice townsfolk are honoring him at a little film festival they've cobbled together out of small stones and withered root vegetables. Maybe he'll make friends with a goat. (Just kidding. It's a lovely town.) [Variety]

Heyyyyy nerds. Your beloved/behated (depending on where you fall) Katee Sackhoff (Lieutenant Peet's Coffee & Tea on Battlestar) will be joining the cast of 24 next season. She'll play a smartie pants data analyst who has a secret past with another new character, played by the behated Freddie Prinze Jr. [THR]

Canceled series My Name Is Earl might be getting resurrected, albeit in lower budget format. TBS is considering picking up the Pilot Inspektor Sr. series for 13 episodes. Guys, Jamie Pressly is an Emmy winner. I do not think she does basic cable. Oh wait. That doesn't mean anything anymore. I just mean... I don't think she does TBS. [THR]

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