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Casting Couch: Cage Scares Up Thriller; Consuelos Gets Ugly

Nicolas Cage, Mark Consuelos, Colin Firth Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMAPress.com, Jim Spellman/WireImage.com, Jon Furniss/WireImage.com

Nicolas Cage is returning to the scene of the crime for his latest would-be blockbuster.

The Oscar winner and everyman action star is in final negotiations with director John Carpenter to star in the prison thriller Scared Straight, per the Hollywood Reporter, revolving around the same-named crime-prevention program which temporarily imprisons delinquent youths in hopes of scaring them out of a life of crime.

The flick follows one particular teen who gets locked up, only to have a prison riot break out during his tenure, with the fellow inmates taking him hostage.

Cage, already an vet at playing onscreen jailbirds thanks to The Rock, plays a lifer who reluctantly helps the young kid out.

Cameras are expected to roll in October.

In other big casting news:

  • E! News has confirmed that Kelly Ripa's other half Mark Consuelos will guest star on the third episode of the upcoming season of Ugly Betty. No word yet on his role, though it's said his character's arrival will play into a much bigger story arc. (His role, though, is for now a one-and-done stint.)
  • A new patient has washed up at Oceanside Wellness Clinic. Billy Dee Williams is currently filming a guest-starring role for the second season of Private Practice as a loving husband whose dementia-suffering wife is a patient of Taye Diggs' Dr. Sam Bennett.
  • Gretchen Mol and former Cosby Show kid Lisa Bonet have both joined ABC's new series Life on Mars. Bonet will play the present-day girlfriend of time-hopping star Jason O'Mara, while Mol will be his 1970s love interest.
  • Erstwhile thinking woman's heartthrob-turned-Mamma Mia! song-and-dance man Colin Firth has signed on to star in the big screen adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, to be dubbed simply Dorian Gray for its big-screen foray, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Firth will play Lord Henry "Harry" Wotton, an aristocrat who corrupts the young Dorian (played by Ben Barnes) with his hedonistic worldview. Filming began earlier this week.
  • Hung is getting a not so plain Jane. Thomas Jane is taking his first step toward small-screen seriesdom, signing on as the lead in HBO's hourlong pilot. Created by Sideways' Alexander Payne, the show follows a struggling middle-aged high school basketball coach who suddenly discovers he can get ahead by making the most of his already sizeable endowment. Yeah, that.
  • Just what the world needs: Another primetime crime procedural from the mind of Dick Wolf. This time around, per Variety, NBC has ordered the pilot Lost and Found from the Midas-touch producer, centering on an unconventional female detectives who is able to identify anonymous murder victims and then solve their crimes.
  • Freddie Prinze Jr.. is getting ready to rumble. The former teen star extraordinaire has taken a behind-the-scenes role with the World Wrestling Entertainment's creative team. Prinze's role has been left intentionally vague, though he's an avowed fan of the spectacle that is pro wrestling and is said to have designs on "increasing the level of entertainment" of the weekly show.
  • John Goodman is returning to the medieval drama Pope Joan after settling a legal dispute with the film's producer. 300's David Wenham joins him in the drama, which centers on the 9th century legend of a woman who disguises herself as a man and rises to the papacy.
  • The Devil is in the details for the Ivy Chronicles. Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna is on board to pen the adaptation of the novel centering on a single New York mother, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, who is forced to restart her life after concurrently getting divorced and fired.

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