Sean Penn

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Sean Penn already knows how difficult he makes it to appreciate him. Luckily, it's not nearly as difficult to cast him.

Continuing his post-Oscar, postseparation acting windfall, Penn is in talks to star in This Must Be the Place, according to Variety.

Not one to fall prey to typecasting, this time around Penn plays a wealthy and increasingly bored, retired rock star who decides to set out to find the Nazi war criminal responsible for executing his father.

The not-so-feel-good film marks the English-language debut of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, who also penned the script.

Liam Neeson, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Kennedy, Tilda Swinton, Ricky Gervais, Camilla Belle, Tom Wilkinson, Rita Wilson, Milla Jovovich, Alfred Molina, William Hurt, Peter Berg and Chris Hemsworth round out today's star-studded castings...

• Liam Neeson and Jennifer Connelly are teaming up for What's Wrong With Virginia, the directing debut of Milk's Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. According to Variety, the film, produced by Gus Van Sant, centers on the psychologically disturbed mother of a teenage boy whose secret affair with the town sheriff becomes strained when her son begins a relationship with the sheriff's daughter.

• Camilla Belle is getting her Wedding day, but rest assured there's nary a Jonas Brother in sight. Per Variety, Belle is teaming with Tom Wilkinson for After the Wedding, a drama centering on a social worker in a Mumbai orphanage who receives a large and mysterious donation from a western businessman.

• Ricky Gervais is continuing his reign as the Podfather, signing a deal with HBO to produce a 13-episode animated series based on his record-setting Ricky Gervais Show podcasts. Per Variety, Gervais will produce the series with longtime collaborator Stephen Merchant, and the show will revolve mostly around the pair's real-life dimwitted pal and podcast regular Karl Pilkington.

• Tilda Swinton needs to Talk. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar winner has joined the cast of We Need to Talk About Kevin, an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's best-seller. The story follows a New York mother who does her best to raise the son she never wanted, only to see him embark on a crossbow-enabled killing spree at his high school.

• Real-life couple Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy are taking their Ghost Whisperer chemistry to the big screen, signing on to costar in the indie drama Café. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the ensemble film follows a group of young Philadelphians who all frequent the same coffee shop.

• Color Rita Wilson pleased. Mrs. Tom Hanks is writing the comedy Terms of Embarrassment, ostensibly a starring vehicle for herself. Per Variety, the film will center on a middle-aged couple who enroll in the same college as their son.

• Milla Jovovich is a model costar for Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. According to Variety, she joins the duo in Stone, a psychological thriller following an inmate who uses his wife to seduce his parole officer in hopes of getting freed.

Ralph Fiennes continues to wrangle in top talent for his directorial debut, with William Hurt and Jessica Chastain the latest stars to join Coriolanus. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film, already starring Vanessa Redgrave, will be a modern retelling of Shakespeare's tragedy, this time billed as a political thriller.

• Alfred Molina is set to star in The Good War, per the Hollywood Reporter, joining the indie U.K. production chronicling a British major who leads a platoon in Malta against Hitler's air force.

• Chris Hemsworth is doubling his pleasure, signing on to star as the titular hammer-wielder in Thor, as well as taking on the lead role originated by Patrick Swayze in the remake of Red Dawn. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the Cabin in the Woods star will begin production on both would-be blockbusters later this year.

• Peter Berg isn't sinking this Battleship. The actor and filmmaker is in talks to direct a big-screen version of the classic Hasbro board game, per the Hollywood Reporter. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though the film will be an epic naval action-adventure.


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