Casting: Grimes, Whitaker, Rhys, Kendrick

The Magnificent Seven
Luke Grimes (“American Sniper,” “Fifty Shades of Grey”) is in negotiations to join the cast of Antoine Fuqua’s remake of “The Magnificent Seven” at MGM and Sony Pictures. The story centers on seven gunslingers who protect an oppressed Mexican village from a group of outlaws.

Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett and Vincent D’Onofrio star. John Lee Hancock and Nic Pizzolatto penned the script and production is expected to start within the next month. [Source: Variety]

Story of Your Life
Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to join Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama “Story of Your Life” at Paramount Pictures, FilmNation and Lava Bear Films. Eric Heisserer is penning the script.

In the story, alien craft land around the world and an expert linguist (Adams) is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit. [Source: Variety]

Jungle Book: Origins
Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”) is in talks to star in Andy Serkis’ “Jungle Book: Origins” project at Warner Bros. Pictures. Callie Kloves wrote the adaptation of the classic Rudyard Kipling novel about an orphaned boy raised by animals in the wild.

Rhys is set to play the human character of John Lockwood as opposed to voicing an animal like the other cast announced thus far. Serkis, Steve Kloves and Jonathan Cavendish will produce. [Source: Deadline]

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Anna Kendrick has closed a deal to star opposite Zac Efron in Jake Szymanski’s upcoming comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” at 20th Century Fox. Efron and Adam DeVine are starring as the title characters, brothers who place an online ad to find plus-ones for a wedding.

The hard-partying and immature brothers meet a pair of ladies who out-party and out-immature our heroes. Kendrick will play a wild child with a romantic heart who is paired with Efron’s character. [Source: THR]

Billy Lynn’s Halftime Walk
Kristen Stewart is in negotiations to join Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s bestseller “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”. Joe Alywn, Ben Platt, Steve Martin and Garrett Hedlund also star in the film in which Stewart would play the older sister of the character.

Alywn plays a 19-year-old Texas-born infantryman and his fellow U.S. servicemen who survive a firefight in Iraq in 2005. The Bush administration brings the veterans home for a victory lap that leads them to the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium where they’re honored during the team’s Thanksgiving halftime show before they return to war. Shooting begins later this month. [Source: The Wrap]