Industry Roundup: Russell Brand to Play a ‘Gifted Swordsman,’ Galifianakis Makes an E–Faux Pas


Branded: Russell Brand has been cast in Hawkwood, an action comedy written by Jared Stern that follows the “adventures of a real-life swashbuckling figure” named John Hawkwood. Hawkwood was apparently a “morally challenged but gifted swordsman” who was paid to lead various European armies during the Renaissance wars. Yes, that's right, Russell Brand (not Russell Crowe) portraying a real-life leader of European armies. [Deadline]

Galifianakis Replies: DreamWorks has picked up Reply All, a comedy pitch that will be written as a starring vehicle for Zach Galifianakis. Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids) will write the script, which tells the story of a guy (Galifianakis) who accidentally clicks "reply all" when sending an important e-mail and has to face the repercussions. Perhaps the sequel could be called "Inadvertent Facebook Poke." [Deadline]

Worst Vacation Ever: Cillian Murphy and Thandie Netwon will star in The Retreat, a British thriller about a husband and wife who rent a remote island cottage while working to fix their marriage. One day they find ... “a biohazard-suited soldier washed up on the beach, who warns them that everybody on the mainland has been killed by an airborne virus.” How lovely. [Deadline]

Giamatti's Tour: Paul Giamatti is attached to play Nikita Khrushchev in a telepic for HBO. The project is based on Peter Carlson’s book K Blows Top about Khrushchev’s thirteen-day tour of the U.S. in Cold War–era 1959, during which "Khrushchev famously blew up when he was informed that a planned trip to Disneyland had to be tabled because of security concerns." [Variety]

Bunker Shot: Robert Duvall and Lucas Black are starring in the indie golfing drama Seven Days in Utopia, about a young golfer working to make the pro tour. When he fails, he runs away ... only to eventually find himself stranded in Utopia, Texas, where he meets an “eccentric rancher.” Fun trivia fact: Duvall and Black have worked together twice before, on Sling Blade and Get Low. [Variety]

Destination: Vegas: "Chillwave champions" Neon Indian will be heading out on a tour of the U.S. this fall with Prefuse 73 and Miniature Tigers. The engagements begin September 19 in Santa Barbara, and wrap up on October 14 in Vegas. [Pitchfork]

Oh Brother: Steve Coogan has joined the cast of My Idiot Brother, the indie comedy that stars this totally awful group of not-at-all-cool-seeming people: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, and Adam Scott. [Deadline]