Role Call: Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Last Friday, the new celebrity cast for a six week MasterChef competition was announced and included actress Sophie Thompson, who portrayed Hermione Granger as Ministry Official Mafalda Hopkirk in Deathly Hallows: Part 2. For those who don’t know, the actress is also related to another HP alum – her older sister is Emma Thompson, who portrayed Professor Trelawney! The siblings have shared the screen prior to their roles in the Potter series, in a film called Sense and Sensibilty, which hosts a bevy of other Potter alum, namely Alan Rickman (Snape), Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey), Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge), and Elizabeth Spriggs (the first Fat Lady). A picture of the actress and her costars in their MasterChef aprons can be seen below. No date has been released yet for the airing of the new season, but we promise to keep you updated!

Meanwhile, a screenplay co-written by Emma Thompson for an updated and revamped version of Annie has gotten a second trailer! Released yesterday, the trailer features Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. The film is slated for release this December and the trailer can be viewed here.

The ever-busy Bill Nighy has added another project to his roster – the actor has recorded recitations from the work of poet Philip Larkin to be played during a recreation of a train ride from Hull to London. The poem that has inspired a mobile performance, entitled The Whitsun Weddings, was written in 1964 as an observation of the various married couples joining the train ride to the capitol during a weekend trip. Nighy has already recorded a few poems from the author, including the main work for which the poet is famous.  Andy Pearson, the director of the performance that features a newlywed couple boarding the train at every one of the six stops spoke of Nighy’s involvement, stating that it only took a letter to his agent after finding out the actor was a fan of Larkin’s work to get him on board:

Because he liked the idea he agreed to do it pretty quickly and was really supportive giving his time. We were only supposed to do one poem but because he was so good and did it all perfectly in one take we ended up doing four. It was a bit weird really, say there thinking ‘that’s Bill Nighy, reading Larkin poetry for our show’ but he was a real gent and lovely to work with.”

To learn how you can purchase tickets for the event to be held on June 6, visit the Whitsun Weddings website here.

Nighy’s film, Pride, which was premiered in Cannes last week, has also released the first clip from the film. While the clip is just under 60 seconds long, it’s just long enough for viewers to catch site of Imelda Staunton, who also stars in the film about the role gay people played in the 1980s miner’s strike in the UK. You can watch the clip below:

Helena Bonham Carter‘s multi-award nominated performance in Burton and Taylor will help launch a new drama network for BBC this August. BBC First will launch on Foxtel for viewers in Australia on August 3 with an airing of the biopic starring the actress. Check your local listings for showtimes!

We previously reported that Carter had signed on for the Alice in Wonderland sequel starring Johnny Depp, but now another former Potter castmate has joined the project. Rhys Ifans, who played Quibbler owner and operator Xenophilius Lovegood, will play Zanick Hightopp, the father to Depp’s Mad Hatter character, according to New York Daily News. The film is slated to premiere on May 27, 2016.

A pilot project for studio Lenfilm has added actor/director Ralph Fiennes to the list for its new project, Petersburg: Category of Feelings. The project will be part of the Cities of Love series and will include ten short films, each with a different director and theme that focuses on one particular emotion. While no word on which emotion Fiennes’ project will portray, the series is set to begin filming this fall.

Finally, a new film shooting in the UK this summer, Trespass Against Us, will star Brendan Gleeson as one of three generations of a crime family. Here’s the synopsis of the film, which doesn’t tell us much about Gleeson’s role:

Set across three generations of the rowdy Cutler family, who live as outlaws — hunting hares, ram-raiding stately homes and taunting the police. The family have always lived this way but, defying the expectations of his father, Chad Cutler is looking for a way out of the criminal life.”

Gleeson will reportedly play the father to Michael Fassbender’s character, Chad. We will continue to watch the project as it develops to keep you updated!

Which projects are you excited to see? It should be interesting to see what kind of crazy outfit Rhys Ifans will end up with for the Alice in Wonderland sequel considering the costuming history of the previous film. Let us know what you think about this week’s Casting News, and don’t forget to check our Cast Pages to find out what your favorite Harry Potter stars are up to!

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  • Elizabeth

    Oh I can’t wait to see some of these, especially the Alice in Wonderland one!