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Tuesday May 12, 2009 6:26 pm

Casting Corner: Simon Baker, James McAvoy, Christina Aguilera and More

Simon BakerChristina Aguilera

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

Simon Baker: The Mentalist hunk has been added to an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel. The Killer Inside Me, a tale about a sheriff turned murderer, will feature Baker as a attorney on the hunt for the killer (Casey Affleck). Jessica Alba will star as a prostitute while Kate Hudson will play Affleck’s girlfriend.

Julia Roberts: If there’s anything that February holiday loves, its intertwining tales of romantic woe. The newest entry into this genre will be directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) and involve an all-star cast. Roberts - along with Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Shirley MacLaine, Bradley Cooper and Ashton Kutcher - is currently in talks to join Valentine’s Day. No start date has been announced.

James McAvoy: The Wanted actor will be setting his sights on new targets in The Details. McAvoy and Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri) will play a married couple whose yard has been overrun by…raccoons. The black comedy, which will begin filming later this summer, will also star Laura Linney and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies).

Keanu Reeves: The Matrix star will be testing out dual personalities (does he have more than one?) in Jekyll, the newest rendition of the classic Jekyll and Hyde tale. Universal’s modern-day update will be penned by Justin Haythe, Revolutionary Road‘s screenwriter. Nicolas Winding Refn (Fear X) may take the directing reins.

Katie Holmes: The Disturbing Behavior actress will be returning to darker fare in Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a Guillermo del Toro production. The film, which will be directed by Troy Nixey, is based on a 1973 television movie. In the original, a young girl discovers creatures inhabiting the home where her father and his girlfriend live.

Edward Norton: The Oscar nominee will be teaming up with Robert De Niro for Stone, a psychological thriller. Edward will play a convicted arsonist up for parole. Meanwhile, Robert will star as a corrections officer who is seduced by Norton’s wife. John Curran, Ed’s director on The Painted Veil, will be helming the project.

Christina Aguilera: The Grammy winner is going to be doing what many singers before her have attempted: the acting career. In Burlesque, Aguilera will play - drum roll please - a smalltown girl with a “big voice.” The former Mickey Mouse Club performer’s story will take place in a LA neo-burlesque club. Filming will start later this year.

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