Casting Call – January 25

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Pharrell Williams has landed a guest star role on The Simpsons. He’ll appear in the 26th season of the show in an episode called Walking Big & Tall. Pharrell will appear as himself in a story which will see him offer to write an anthem for the city of Springfield.

Sherlock actress Lara Pulver and Peter Davison will join Imelda Staunton in the new West End production of Gypsy. The musical opens at the Savoy Theatre on March 28. Pulver will reprise the role of Louise in the show which is transferring to london after a successful run in Chichester. Davison takes over the role of Herbie from Kevin Whateley.

Do you remember BatKid? He was 5-year-old leukaemia patient Miles Scott who got his wish to be a superhero when thousands of people helped turn San Francisco into Gotham City for a day: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Gw3aWPxtpfE Now his story is going to be made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The deal has just gone through so we don’t know any more details yet.

A new drama series about the life of the Queen will begin filming in the summer. The Crown is a £100million biopic of Queen Elizabeth II which is being produced by Netflix. The series will tell the inside story of the Queen and her relationship with Downing Street. It’s based on the play The Audience and is being written by Peter Morgan who also wrote The Queen. Apparently the captive team, which includes director Stephen Daldry, hope the show will run for up to six years.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the next big superhero movie. Cumberbatch has already signed on to star in Doctor Strange and his 12 Years A Slave co-star is in talks to join him in a “lead role”. Doctor Strange is a former neurosurgeon who becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, the main protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. The film is due for release in November 2016.

Anne Hathaway is to star in a one-woman play which will have a very limited run off-Broadway in April. Grounded is about a fighter pilot who is forced out of the cockpit which she becomes pregnant. The play is being directed by double Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor. It opens at the Public Theater in New York on April 7 and runs until May 17.

Rob Lowe and Megan Mullally have joined the cast of new Sky comedy-drama series Apocalypse Slough. The show will also star Matthew Baynton, Jenna Fischer, Pauline Quirke and Paterson Joseph. It’s about the last days of mankind on Earth and follows a set of characters whose lives start to intersect in surprising ways. The series will be broadcast in the US by NBC.

Shaquille O’Neal is adding comedy actor to his already impressive CV. He’s signed a deal with US TV network TruTV to produce and star in comedy series Shaq Inc. The show is loosely based on Veep and follows Shaq and his team as they run his business empire, juggling existing deals and launching O’Neal’s latest ‘brilliant ideas’. The show is at the pilot stage at the moment so we’ll see if it gets picked up.

The Jetsons are heading back to the big screen.

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Work has begun on a new animated movie about the space-age family. No word yet on a release date.

Bruce Willis will begin filming his new movie, Extraction, on February 9. The thriller is Jeabout a CIA operative who has been left badly traumatised by the murder of his wife. His son also works for the Agency and when Dad is kidnapped junior goes rogue in order to get his father back.

Jesse Eisenberg is working with Netflix on developing his short stories into a comedy series. Eisenberg writes Bream Gives Me The Hiccups for US publishing house McSweeneys. The stories follow a precocious 9-year-old restaurant critic who visits different eateries with his alcoholic mother, reviewing everything, often with his friend Matthew.

Zac Efron looks set to show off his comedy acting chops once again with new movie Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates. The fm is about two brothers who post an ad looking for dates which then goes viral. Producers are now conducting their own search for Efron’s co-star.

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