Vince Vaughn

There have been quite a few interesting casting deals announced this week. For starters, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Keener will join Emile Hirsch ('The Girl Next Door') in Sean Penn's big-screen adaptation of 'Into the Wild.' Based on John Krakauer's thought-provoking non-fiction book, the flick will tell the story of Christopher McCandless (Hirsch), a young man who donated his $25K life savings to charity, abandoned his possessions, torched all the cash in his wallet and hitchhiked to Alaska. Vaughn is set to play Jim Gallien, the man who picked up McCandless, drove him to Denali National Park, and watched him walk into the wilderness never again to be seen alive. Yeah, so not so much the feel-good comedy of the year.

In some very intriguing casting, 'Poseidon' star Josh Lucas will take on the role of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002, in an as-yet-untitled movie. And 'Arrested Development' funnyman Jason Bateman will get serious for 'The Kingdom,'Peter Berg's terrorism drama also starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner.

On the lighter side of things, three more actors will join Shia LaBeouf, Bernie Mac, Josh Duhamel, Megan Fox and Jon Voight in Michael Bay's upcoming live-action 'Transformers' flick: Tyrese Gibson, Australian newbie Rachel Taylor and Amaury Nolasco, aka Wentworth Miller's cellmate Sucre on 'Prison Break.' While I'm psyched to see Sucre getting some big-screen love, I can't say that I'm 100 percet sold on the idea of a live-action 'Transformers.' For those of you who don't know, 'Transformers' is based on the popular '80s animated TV show which spawned a highly lucrative toy line and gloriously cheesy 1986 movie. In it, the Autobots (good guys) and the Decepticons (baddies), change from useful everyday objects -- such as MACK trucks and handguns -- into ginormous ass-kicking robots whose favorite pastime is beating the crap out of each other. Don't get me wrong, I loved the cartoon as a kid. Optimus Prime was my hero. But the unintentional comedy potential for this flick is off the charts. That said, I will hold out hope that there is more to this movie than meets the eye -- that is, unless Bay taps Corey Haim to star as Optimus Prime. Then, I'm afraid, there is no hope.

What do you think of these casting moves?

Tags:Vince Vaughn, Josh Lucas, Catherine Keener, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx
categories Features, Cinematical