Morning 5

Brolin and Meloni Join 'Sin City 2', Bay Finds His 'Transformers 4' Lead, and Fey Joins 'Muppets 2'

Plus a 'Magic Mike' star tests with Shailene Woodley for 'Divergent'

Josh Brolin / Christopher Meloni1.) I mentioned yesterday Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was close to adding a few "tough guy" actors. Well, those announcements came through yesterday afternoon as Josh Brolin has officially joined the picture. He'll take over the role of Dwight, who was played by Clive Owen in the first Sin City. Dwight's storyline in A Dame to Kill For actually takes place prior to his story from the first film, and it sounds like we're going to learn why his face looks so different.

Christopher Meloni also joined the film yesterday, though all we know is that he's playing a cop. His character is also considered one of the leads. [Deadline]

2.) Tina Fey appears close to securing the female lead in Disney's sequel to The Muppets. The film takes the action overseas in a European-set caper picture, with Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell already announced as the other two human leads. Fey's potential character is a Russian gulag prison guard. Another source is also reporting the film is going by the title The Muppets... Again, for now anyway. [THR, /Film]

3.) We've been hearing about Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice, with Robert Downey Jr. in place as a stoner P.I. for a while, but at no point have I expected to see it within the next 4 years or so. Well, the project appears to be picking up some steam as a source reports PTA wants a moneymaker after the disappointing box office performance of The Master. Charlize Theron is also rumored to be joining the cast. As with most risky and/or interesting projects coming out of Hollywood these days, Megan Ellison is again going to produce through her Annapurna banner. [Showbiz 411]

Jack Reynor4.) Michael Bay has named a new actor for Transformers 4, announcing Irish newcomer Jack Reynor will star alongside Mark Wahlberg. Bay apparently saw him in a movie called What Richard Did and fell in love with him, calling him "the real deal." Jack "the real deal" Reynor certainly has a ring to it, and I'm going to be tempted to refer to him with that very WWE-like moniker from this point forward. Reynor's casting seems to dispel previous reports of Brenton Thwaites and Nicola Peltz landing the lead roles in the film as Bay never officially announced them like he did with Reynor, but I suppose it's possible all three of them are in the film in some sort of love triangle storyline. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Though Transformers 4 is the start of a new trilogy, Bay is adamant about not calling the film a reboot. "The movie takes place exactly 4 years after the war in Chicago," he explains. "The story makes a very natural transition, and reason as to why we have a whole new cast."

5.) When I saw "real deal" Reynor's name announced for Transformers 4, I immediately knew I recognized him from somewhere and a little looking around reminded me he was one of the actors testing for the Divergent lead opposite Shailene Woodley a few months ago. Take Reynor out of the running and add in a few new names, and boom!, we've got a new shortlist for Divergent. Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class), who was on the original list with Reynor in November, is still in the running alongside new contenders Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike). Summit is hoping the film will yield similar returns to The Hunger Games as it also features teen-on-teen violence in a dystopian society that divides people into five factions based on virtue. [Variety]

BONUS: Woody Allen's next film has a title (Blue Jasmine) and a distributer in Sony Pictures Classics (no surprise there). The film stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg and will be his first U.S.-shot production since 2009's Whatever Works.

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  • The Jackal

    Louis C.K. in a Woody Allen flick? Where do I line up. Can't wait to see that.

    Thems the facts

  • Dale

    I look forward to a genuine breakthrough role for Christopher Meloni in films, after having made his mark indelibly on television with "Oz" and "Law and Order SVU." This intense and riveting actor is ready to carry a movie.

  • Dim McRemnant

    In the first Sin City movie, Dwight mentions he has a new face. And in the comics, I believe the "A Dame To Kill For" storyline has both faces in there, so if Clive Owen wanted a part in the film, it's there. That being said, I think Josh Brolin is perfect for the role.