Casting: Claflin, Coogan, Patric, Law, Knightley

Sam Claflin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson and Miranda Richardson have all joined the cast of “Belle”, British filmmaker Amma Asante’s new biopic of Dido Elizabeth Belle.

Dido (Mbatha-Raw) was the half-black illegitimate daughter of renowned Admiral Sir John Lindsay, eventually taken in and raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th Century England by Lindsay’s uncle William Murray, the Earl of Mansfield. Gadon and Claflin will play Belle’s cousin and love interest respectively. [Source: Screen Daily]

Northern Soul
Steve Coogan has signed on to star in Elaine Constantine’s “Northern Soul” which deals with the 1970s underground nightclub-based music movement that took bleak industrial North-West England by storm.

Elliot James Langridge, Josh Whitehouse, Lisa Stansfield, James Lance, Christian McKay and Roisin Murphy all star in the project which begins shooting early June in Northern England. [Source: THR]

Jason Patric and Angus MacFadyen are top-lining Ron Maxwell’s Civil War-era drama “Copperhead” for Swordspoint Production

Based on a novel by Harold Frederic, the story follows a family ripped apart by feuds during the Civil War. Filming is currently underway in King’s Landing, New Brunswick. [Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Dom Hemingway
Jude Law and Richard E. Grant are set to star in Richard Shepard’s London-set black comedy “Dom Hemingway” Recorded Picture Company and BBC Films.

Law will play Dom Hemingway, a safecracker with a loose fuse who after 12 years in prison travels with his best friend (Grant) to collect what he’s owed for not ratting on crime bosses. Shooting kicks off this Fall. [Source: Screen Daily]

Can A Song Save Your Life?
Keira Knightley has replaced Scarlett Johansson on “Once” filmmaker John Carney’s new project “Can A Song Save Your Life?” at Exclusive Media.

Knightley will play a singer who moves to New York with her boyfriend only to be dumped by him and subsequently discovered by a producer. Hailee Steinfeld also stars. Johansson left due to personal reasons. [Source: Screen Daily]