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Not that Sean Penn hasn't been writing his own ticket for years, but it's nice to see winning his second Best Actor Oscar hasn't made him lazy.
The Milk star is in talks to join the cast of Fair Game, about the government-orchestrated outing of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, per Variety. Penn would play Plame's husband, Ambassador James Wilson, who penned a series of op-eds discrediting the Bush Administration's argument that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass distruction.
Doug Liman is set to direct and Naomi Watts is attached to play Plame, one of two projects on tap for the mother of two.
Perhaps wanting in on the supporting-player Oscar possibilities, Watts and Slumdog Millionaire newcomer Freida Pinto have joined the cast of Woody Allen's next comedic effort, Whatever Works.
The international beauties join the already announced Josh Brolin and Anthony Hopkins in the film, which will have Watts playing an as yet unnamed ingenue, according to Variety.
In other casting news:
• Chiwetel Ejiofor is in negotiations to join Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber in the spy thriller Salt, starring Jolie as a CIA agent who has to prove her innocence when pegged as a Russian spy. Ejiofor would play Counterintelligence Officer Peabody.
• John Cusack and Rob Corddry have signed on for the promisingly titled comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, about a jacuzzi that takes a few midlife-crisis suffering buddies to 1987.
• It's not casting, but it's pedigree: Juno scribe Diablo Cody will be producing the big-screen adaptation of the upcoming romantic satire Breathers: A Zombie's Lament. Fox Searchlight recently acquired the rights to the S.G. Browne-penned tome, due out March 3, about the love that flourishes among members of Undead Anonymous.