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John Cusack and Gong Li Get Shanghaied

Photo: Getty Images

Cusack, Li Eye Shanghai: Gong Li joins the Weinstein Co. historical thriller Shanghai, with John Cusack also in negotiations to star. Let's hope that’s a sexy enough pairing to overcome the fact that the pic — about a World War II–era American falling in love while trying to solve a murder mystery — shares a plot with last year’s flop The Good German. [Variety]

Q Woos Wolverine: Speaking of sexy pairings, IESB hears that Maggie Q is the front-runner to play the Silver Fox, the love interest to Hugh Jackman in the X-Men spinoff Wolverine. [IESB]

Linney, Daniels Plan Liaisons: Olivier Award winner Ben Daniels will join Laura Linney in the cast of the Roundabout’s revival of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses at the American Airlines Theater. That’s the kind of casting worth resolving a stagehands' strike for! [Playbill]

Ruffalo Washes Up on Island: Mark Ruffalo will co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island as DiCaprio’s cop’s partner. Readers of Lehane’s twisty novel know this is a uniquely challenging role, and we can’t wait to see what Ruffalo does with it. [HR]

Crowe May Play: Eager to save their star-studded movie from a possibly production-killing delay, Universal execs are in talks with Russell Crowe to take the lead in the political drama State of Play in the wake of Brad Pitt’s acrimonious departure. Because what every turmoil-ridden production needs, naturally, is a dose of Russell Crowe. [Variety]

Ambrose in, Williams Out: Lauren Ambrose will replace Michelle Williams as the voice of one of the monsters in Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Thing Are. Probably no one will ever care about this. [Reuters]