5 Rumors: Jeff Daniels to ‘Divergent,’ Spider-Man Found?

Each week, we bring you a roundup of the rumors that have been reported in the entertainment world as various sources get wind of casting rumors and top-secret talks about new projects in film, TV, and music. Here’s a look at the rumors that have been buzzing in Hollywood over the past week.

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1. Jeff Daniels to Divergent franchise

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Newsroom star is in final negotiations to take a key role in the final two films of the Shailene Woodley-starring young adult franchise. The final two films in the series, Allegiant Part 1 and Allegiant Part 2, will continue the story told in Veronica Roth’s popular novels. Woodley plays a character named Tris who leads an uprising in her dystopic society. Both the books and the films have been unfavorably compared to The Hunger Games, but that hasn’t stopped them from selling. The most recent movie, Insurgent, grossed more than $271 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Daniels is looking to play the part of David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare in the post-apocalyptic society created by Roth. That organization created the stratified groups of society that Woodley’s character exists outside of. Slowly, it will be revealed that the bureau created those groups for evil purposes.

Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller co-star in the films. Allegiant Part 1 will begin shooting in May and is due to be released March 18, 2016. Daniels recently wrapped up the Aaron Sorkin HBO series The Newsroom, but he’s staying busy. He will appear in Ridley Scott’s The Martian with Matt Damon, which opens at Thanksgiving, and he has teamed back up with Sorkin for his anticipated Steve Jobs biopic, which sees Daniels playing former Apple CEO John Sculley.

2. Aubrey Plaza reteams with Zac Efron

After working with Efron in the upcoming spring break-themed comedy Dirty Grandpa, Parks and Recreation alum Aubrey Plaza is teaming back up with the High School Musical star-turned comedic actor for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Variety broke the news that Plaza is joining the production. Work on Dirty Grandpa, which co-stars Robert de Niro and Julianne Hough, recently wrapped up.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is about a couple of party animals, played by Efron and Adam Devine, who place an ad online in an attempt to find wedding dates that can party harder than they can. Anna Kendrick, a personal friend of Plaza’s and former co-star from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, also co-stars in the movie. Plaza completed the seventh and final season of the popular sitcom Parks and Rec this spring and can currently be seen in the third installment of the Henry Fool trilogy Ned Rifle.

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3. Asa Butterfield the frontrunner for Spider-Man

Each week, there’s more news to report on the actor to be cast in the role of the new Sony-Marvel Spider-Man. We know the character will be a high-school-age version of Peter Parker and that the studios are looking to cast a younger actor than has been in the role in the past. Last week the rumors were saying that Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Timothee Chalamet (Homeland), and Liam James (The Killing) composed the shortlist of actors being considered for the part.

Now, Latino Review says that Butterfield, probably the best-known of the bunch, has risen to the top of the contenders. The role needs to be cast soon, because the new Spider-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War in a cameo before making his standalone movie due to come out in the summer of 2017. Civil War begins shooting next month, so the studios need to get a move on with casting the part. Latino Review’s source said of Butterfield, “Marvel has liked him since day one.”

4. 21 Jump Street gets a girl spinoff

Since the Paul Feig Ghostbusters spinoff featuring female ghost hunters has been announced and cast some of Hollywood’s top female comedians, Sony seems to be embracing the idea of redoing its franchises with female leads. The Hollywood Reporter reported this week that Sony is pursuing a version of 21 Jump Street with female leads from the writers of the popular TV comedy Broad City.

The 21 Jump Street franchise stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as inept buddy cops and is based on the ‘90s TV series where Johnny Depp famously got his start. Broad City has gotten a huge amount of buzz over the past year for its feminist-driven comedy and has made celebrities out of stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Getting Broad City’s writers on board for a girl version of the buddy-cop satire will likely yield hilarious results.

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5. Will Ryan Phillippe be Iron Fist?

Phillippe caused Marvel fanboys to start chattering when he revealed in an interview on The Howard Stern Show that he’s in discussions with Marvel for a role on one of the company’s Netflix series. According to Latino Review, Phillippe could be up for the starring role on the upcoming series Iron Fist. If it’s not a starring part the actor is looking at, then he could be auditioning for the role of the Daredevil villain Bullseye or The Punisher, the character rumored to be next in line to receive a standalone series.

Phillippe took to Twitter to clear up the rumors after the Internet started speculating about which character he might be in line to portray, saying, “I have no real marvel news other than an upcoming meeting. sorry to disappoint fans thought there was more to it. there is no story there.” This could be the actor telling the truth, but it could just as easily be him sticking to Marvel’s typical levels of high secrecy about the company’s projects.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

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