New Projects: Bradley Cooper, LBJ, Reese Witherspoon, and Meg the Shark

American Sniper

After American Sniper was the biggest box office draw of 2014, it seems anyone will pay to see Bradley Cooper in uniform again. Deadline reports Cooper is set to produce Ghost Army, a World War II story about an agency tasked with feeding the Nazis fake intelligence about the actual number of American troops, with the hope that Cooper will star. Cooper, Todd Phillips, and Andrew Lazar are producing a script by Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo), working from a non-fiction book entitled The Ghost Army of World War II and a 2013 documentary also titled Ghost Army.

Not even a year after Tom Wilkinson portrayed Lyndon B. Johnson in Selma, Woody Harrelson will now portray our former president in Rob Reiner’s political drama simply titled LBJ. Via Variety, production will begin in the fall on a film about the life of Johnson up through his childhood and how he was thrust into the presidency after the death of President Kennedy.

Rooney Mara just won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for her work in Todd Haynes’s Carol, and her next project should give her yet another acting challenge. Mara will star alongside Ben Mendelsohn in Blackbird, a story of a woman who had an illicit affair with a man 15 years prior and is now looking for answers after the man has successfully put his life back together. Blackbird is being adapted playwright David Harrow off of his own award winning play. Collider has the full press release and details.

Eli Roth‘s next movie won’t have Keanu Reeves getting terrorized by beautiful home invaders but maybe by a giant shark? Reeves isn’t attached to star, but Roth is attached to direct Meg, a film about two men’s hunt for the ancient Megalodon shark terrorizing the Chinese coastline. Variety reports that Meg is based on a book of the same name and has been stuck in development for nearly 20 years.

After producing the disappointing dud that was Hot Pursuit, Reese Witherspoon is taking her next project to Wall Street. Opening Belle is based on an upcoming book by Maureen Sherry Klinsky and will star Witherspoon as a working mom on Wall Street during 2007 and the impending financial crisis. As a comedy, Witherspoon could be perfect for the role and sounds almost like a Legally Blonde spinoff. The novel Opening Belle will be released later this year, according to Variety.

Oscar Isaac is about to become a major star, and acting alongside already bona-fide A-lister Christian Bale certainly won’t hurt. The Wrap reports Isaac and Bale are to star in The Promise, a love triangle between two men and the woman they each love during the early 1920s and the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) will direct a script he co-wrote with Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha).

Kenneth Branagh earned enough money with Cinderella that he can start taking any film project he wants. And yet rather than return to his Shakespearean adaptation roots, The Wrap reports he’s currently in talks to direct an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic detective novel Murder on the Orient Express. The script comes from Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) and is to be produced by Ridley Scott. Previously, Murder on the Orient Express was adapted by Sidney Lumet in 1974 and starred Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Michael York. If Branagh can pull together a cast as strong as that, we might have something here.

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