Casting News: Downton, Noah, Quiet

Downton Abbey
Dame Maggie Smith has told creator/writer Julian Fellowes she wants the currently shooting third season of ITV drama “Downton Abbey” to be her last. The actress will continue filming her role until August.

Fellowes has yet to complete the plot-line but sources say he is preparing to write out Smith’s Dowager Countess character whose final appearance looks set to be in this year’s Christmas special. [Source: The Daily Mail]

Jennifer Connelly is rumoured to be re-teaming with her “Requiem for a Dream” director Darren Aronofsky and “A Beautiful Mind” co-star Russell Crowe in Aronofsky’s upcoming biblical epic “Noah”.

Connelly is alleged to be playing Noah’s wife Naameh in the film which recently announced a March 28th 2014 U.S. release date. [Source: Tracking Board]

The Quiet Ones
Jared Harris (“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Fringe,” “Mad Men”) will star in Hammer Films’ new supernatural thriller “The Quiet Ones”. Filming kicks off in June in the United Kingdom.

John Pogue helms the story which has Harris playing a charismatic but controversial professor whose methods lead his students off the grid for a dangerous experiment to create a poltergeist. [Source: Deadline]