Casting Catch-Up: Tom Felton, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Hiddleston, Emma Thompson, Dominic Cooper & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

There has been a lot of casting news over the past couple of weeks, so we thought we’d narrow it down a little for you with a short list of the most exciting stories involving which British actors have been recently attached to what. With upcoming films and TV series that we’ve heard a lot from, to a film that has been off the radar for nearly three years, take a look below to see the ongoings of Tom Felton, Nonso Anozie, Matt Milne, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Hiddleston, Leslie Manville, Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, and Dominic Cooper.

With Harry Potter doing exceedingly well in Hammer Horror’s The Woman In Black over the past few weeks, classmate Draco Malfoy, or Tom Felton to the rest of us, is in negotiations to star opposite Elizabeth Olsen and Glenn Close in Therese Raquin, which is set to be written and directed by acclaimed theater director Charlie Stratton. The main role of Therese is played by Olsen, who, forced to marry Felton’s character by Madame Raquin (Close), murders her husband with her new lover Laurent but, haunted by the ghost of Therese’s now ex-husband, the couple’s new romance is soon poisoned into hate.

Recently seen alongside Liam Neeson in The Grey, Nonso Anozie is the latest to join the cast for the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s best-selling science-fiction novel, Ender’s Game. The futuristic adventure, which is being directed by Gavin Hood (Academy Award winner Totsi) from a script he adapted, begins production in New Orleans this month. Following a young strategist, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), who is drafted by the International Fleet to save the human race, the film is set to be released on 29th March, 2013.

You might not have seen much of Matt Milne before, aside from in Steven Spielberg‘s recent war-time drama War Horse that is, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy to hear that he has this month signed up to star in the third series of the British period drama, Downton Abbey. Milne will be joining the cast as a footman called Alfred, who will also be the nephew of O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran). The series is expected to return with a new series in the UK later this year, but before then Milne will next be seen playing Agathon in the upcoming Greek-mythology movie, Wrath of the Titans, which is set to be released on 30th March.

In one of the latest fairytale re-tellings, Saoirse Ronan is set to lead Walt Disney’s The Order of the Seven, which, loosely based on Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, is set in 19th Century China and deals with an English woman who is protected by a band of international warriors. Set to be directed by Michael Gracey, the direct reference to Snow White is no longer part of the film’s plan but it is still very much a reference. With no release date yet announced for the film, we will next see Ronan in the vampire tale Byzantium which looks set for a late 2012 release and also in an adaptation of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s novel The Host which is set to be released on 29th March, 2013.

Whilst this film has been off the radar for quite a while, with Elijah Wood signing up to the film a few years ago now, the latest news for Black Wings Has My Angel is that Brit Tom Hiddleston has joined the cast alongside Canadian-born New Zealand actress Anna Paquin this month. Based on the novel by Elliot Chaze, the story centers on the ex-con anti-hero of the film, Tim Sunblade (Hiddleston), who teams up with Virginia (Paquin), a call girl he meets in a backwoods Mississippi motel for a daring armored car robbery in Colorado. With screenplay by Barry Gifford, Christopher Peditto and Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, the film is set to begin shooting in September.

Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson is in final negotiations to star in supernatural love story Beautiful Creatures, which, directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) from his own adaptation, is based on the New York Times best-selling young adult novel of the same name, written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The story follows the character of Lena Duchannes, who will be played by Alice Englert, as she attempts to hide her powers from the Southern town of Gatlin. Thompson, joining Viola Davis, Jack O’Connell and Alice Englert, will play the dual roles of Mrs. Lincoln, a small town religious zealot, and Sarafine who is the dark witch who possesses her. Filming for the adaptation will begin in April in and around New Orleans, and until then we will next see Thompson in the return of the popular franchise Men In Black 3, which is set to be released on 25th May.

And here’s something a little extra with two British actresses joining the Stone Roses Movie, Spike Island, this month, with Mike Leigh’s favourite British actress Lesley Manville and HBO’s Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke joining the comedy-drama which is set to be directed by Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll). The film, which will coincidently celebrate the Manchester band’s reunion, follows a group of 16-year-old band mates traveling to the Roses’ seminal May 1990 gig, with Shameless star Elliot Tittensor to play in the lead role. The actresses will also be joining Nico Marallegro (Upstairs Downstairs), Jordon Murphy, Adam Long and Oliver Heald, with the project set to start filming on 5th March, so expect to see this sometime in 2013.

And finally, Brian De Palma‘s Passion is going full steam ahead, with British actor Dominic Cooper joining the cast this month. A loose remake of Alain Corneau‘s Love Crime, the film already has Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace attached to the dueling leads, with German actress Karoline Herfurth also landed a role in the film this month as well. De Palma’s take on the film will focus on a woman who turns to murder when a boss steals her idea, though it’s unsure which of the three actresses above will be playing this role yet. Until we know more, Cooper has recently wrapped up filming for Summer In February, a role in the upcoming ensemble drama Cities, and is working on My Dinner With Herve and Half A Yellow Sun as well. He will also feature in the upcoming vampire thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is set to be released on 22nd June, whilst Passion will kick off filming in Berlin next month.

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