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Judd Apatow Unexpectedly Casts Best Friends, Wife

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Judd Apatow Casting Shocker!: Just when we thought that Judd Apatow was turning complacent and predictable, he upsets the apple-cart with a paradigm-shifting stunner of an announcement that Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann will star in his next directorial effort. Is this career-threatening risk-taking … or so crazy it just might work? Adam Sandler, a previous colleague of Apatow’s, also stars. [Variety]

Blanchett’s Cap Yet Unfeathered: After playing an elf princess, Hedda Gabler, Queen Elizabeth, Katherine Hepburn, Bob Dylan, and an Indiana Jones villain, not to mention winning an Oscar and becoming the artistic director of a major theater company, Cate Blanchett is on track to complete the last possible accomplishment still available to a mortal actor when she takes the role of Blanche DuBois in the Sydney Theater Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire in August 2009. Following the conclusion of the run, Blanchett will offer her body for ritual sacrifice to the gods at the ruins of the Theater of Dionysus, in Athens, Greece. [Playbill]

Long Goes to Hell: Justin Long joins the cast of Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell. As onetime high-profile cast member Ellen Page bowed out last month and was replaced by Alison Lohman, so too do we expect Long to leave eventually, replaced by John Hodgman. [Variety]

Mafia Drama Cast Lazily: Joe Mantegna and Armand Assante join the cast of the independent crime drama The Fifth Mafia. Assante, who has phoned in his last dozen performances, will e-mail this one as an attachment. [HR]

Whitesnake’s Back: You can almost smell the hairspray and the smoke machines as front man David Coverdale announces the imminent return of Whitesnake with their first studio album in over a decade, Good to Be Bad, dropping on April 22. Now, we could make any number of lame Tawny Kitaen jokes here, but instead we’ll just bask in Coverdale’s bizarre use of extended metaphor in the following actual quote: “The responses I’ve been getting are that the album is a heady cocktail that embraces the whole history of Whitesnake within one album. Which was not planned, but fortunately, I’ll drink two of those cocktails!” [Billboard]

HBO to Start Driving Around: HBO green-lights Driving Around With Joni, a pilot from Will and Grace’s Jhoni Marchinko about a recently widowed woman who looks for the meaning of life by driving around Los Angeles with her bulldog. (Marchinko, in a detail we couldn’t make up if we tried, owns a bulldog herself and was the organizer of the “Bring Your Dog Day” during the writers’ strike.) Wants to be: Six Feet Under. Likely to be: John From Cincinnati. [HR]

Judd Apatow Unexpectedly Casts Best Friends, Wife