May 14th, 2010
04:07 PM ET

Casting Chronicles: Mary J. is Nina Simone; J. Aniston a ‘Horrible Boss’

Mary J. Blige has been cast as High Priestess of Soul Nina Simone in Cynthia Mort’s “Nina.” The script, penned by Mort, will focus on Simone’s relationship with her assistant, Clifton Henderson, played by David Oyelowo, according to

The iconic jazz singer and civil rights activist is best known for songs like “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” and “My Baby Just Cares For Me.”

Because everything that is old is now new again, Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd will reprise their “Object of My Affection” chemistry in the comedy “WanderLust,” produced by Judd Apatow. Rudd and Aniston will portray a broke couple who take reprieve in a commune, according to Variety.

Aniston’s also been cast in “Horrible Bosses,” where she’ll play an “aggressive dentist” (whatever that means) in a movie about three friends who team up to kill off their overbearing bosses.

Meanwhile, Brad Pitt may soon tap into some inner ferocity for "The Tiger," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Pitt's reportedly in talks with "Babel" writer Guillermo Arriaga for an adaptation of an upcoming nonfiction book by John Vaillant about an animal activist who protects his Siberian town when a tiger starts to attack the inhabitants.

It looks like mission “TV to movie star” is just about complete for Katherine Heigl, who has just been cast in yet another film, “Age of Adaline,” wherein she finds a fountain of youth as the result of an accident and never ages a day past 30, according to ScreenCrave.

Last but not least, James Gandolfini is keeping his HBO relationship alive and well post-"Sopranos." The actor is signed on to HBO Films' "Cinema Verite," about the people documented in PBS's "American Family" in the 1970s, according to Variety. Last week Gandolfini was announced as the executive producer of HBO's take on the French Canadian series, "Taxi 22."

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    Sorry but Brad and the hole Angie are not married.

    May 17, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nina Simone?

    MJB as Nina Simone?

    I think she can pull off the lighter roles in the Tyler Perry flicks. But, she is going to need some serious acting lessons to pull off Nina Simone.

    It just seems like a deeper role. I don't think an amature should handle this role just because she can sing.

    Such as Beyonce as Etta James. Didn't think they should have casted her. She doesn't sound anything like her. When I looked at her on screen I was Destiny's Child, not Etta.

    But take Jamie Foxx. He made Ray Charles come alive. He exceeded all expections. So, we will have to see if MJB has that deep, inner talent.

    May 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sereion

    I love MJB as all, but her as Nina? Really? Maybe she'll surprise me.

    May 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    Please more bad movies. take a break for God's sake!

    May 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. darlene d

    Can't wait to see "Nina." They made a great choice when they selected Mary J Blige! She is one awesome lady and she will do Nina Simone proud! You go girl!!

    May 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Angela

    Saw mention Brad Pitt. I wonder how Angelina would feel if Pitt and Aniston casted together in a movie. She would have a Freakin Fit. Course, that is because she thinks that Aniston would be a husband stealer like she is, but Jen has More Class than that. And for anyone that says she isn't one, she admittedly freely on a TV Interview about how she could tell her children that mommie & daddy fell in love while making the movie... Go Jen!!

    May 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |

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