Clark Gregg may well be one of the most recognised actors in the world who most people can't name. As U.S. government operative Phil Coulson, Gregg's dry humour and crisp diction have featured in both Iron Man movies, Thor, and The Avengers. The blockbuster success of the quartet, especially the latter, may have given a boost to Gregg's nascent directing career, which to date consists of 2008's Choke, an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's blackly comic novel about sex addiction and various scams.
Gregg will write and direct Trust Me, the story of a washed-up former child actor-turned-manager who discovers a 13-year-old prodigy that he has to deliver to success despite industry rivals and his new client's unsuitable family. The ever unpredictable Sam Rockwell, who starred in Choke and Iron Man 2, has the lead role, and the ensemble supporting cast includes Amanda Peet (Changing Lanes), Felicity Huffman (Transamerica), her husband William H. Macy (Fargo) and Alison Janney (Juno). All it needs is a child actor with a comic skill set and Gregg to cast himself as a Hollywood studio boss.
Johnny sidesteps Wes
Brief, but unfortunate, news: Despite reports to the contrary, Johnny Depp is not in the next Wes Anderson production, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Bill Murray, Anderson's former writing partner Owen Wilson and Jude Law – who admitted he pursued Anderson until he gave in and cast him – are. Depp's dance card currently has just The Lone Ranger, a blockbuster in post-production and out next year, and a vague (and no doubt extremely well paid) return to Captain Jack Sparrow's baggy pants in Pirates of the Caribbean 5 on it. Perhaps it's time he tried something different.
Binoche handy in new roles
Perhaps the only fault you could divine from Leos Carax's Holy Motors is that it didn't feature his former collaborator, Juliette Binoche. The French film star, whose credits include Krzysztof Kieslowski's Blue, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient, Michael Haneke's Hidden and another film about long white limousines, David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, does feature in An Open Heart, a romantic drama about the idiosyncratic relationship between two surgeons. Binoche co-stars with Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) for director Marion Laine. Her next role is sculptor Camille Claudel (famously played by Isabella Adjani in 1988's Camille Claudel), who spent her final days in an asylum. Camille Claudel, 1915 will be directed by Bruno Dumont (Flanders).
Cage a hit with Kelly
When you hit bottom, who better to turn to than someone already there? Nicolas Cage, whose run of bad movies made him something of a punchline, will star in Amicus, the next film from writer/director Richard Kelly, who blew the acclaim and goodwill generated by 2001's Donnie Darko on the ambitious and little seen Southland Tales in 2005 and the spooky and little seen The Box in 2009. The collaboration will have Cage playing an American lawyer who has to defend a book publisher whose guide to being a hitman has proven to be too well written. Insert your own joke here about writing a hit.