Role Call: A time for trailers

This week in Role Call, we experience a number of trailers and clips from some of the most anticipated projects on the slate. From the upcoming series Dig to Alan Rickman’s return to directing, we have a lot to show you. Dig on in!

Stephen Fry has been announced as the return host for the BAFTA’s! This will be his tenth time to host the awards show, due to take place February 8. Nominees are slated to be revealed on January 9 at BAFTA’s London office with a live stream on Facebook to coincide with the announcement beginning around 7:35 a.m. GMT. Fry released a statement regarding his hosting duties:

Hosting the Film Awards has always been a highlight of my year. The opportunity to help the Academy promote filmmaking and encourage cinema-going means a lot to me. I’ve met many heroes and had the honor of introducing many young talents that are now busy forging remarkable careers for themselves.”

Alan Rickman‘s return to the director’s chair continues to prove successful. His film, A Little Chaos, will next be seen at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival this March 19-29. A trailer for the film was released earlier this week and can be seen below:

The film stars his previous Sense and Sensibility co-star Kate Winslet as well as Potter co-star Helen McCrory. We also spoke with Alan in October at the London Film Festival – check out what he had to say about the film and his return to directing! To learn more about the festival and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.

A new documentary called A Big Night for Warwick Davis has been announced for BBC Two, according to Digital Spy. The show is set to follow Warwick as he launches a new company taking on the classics starring actors from his Reduced Height Theatre Company. Additionally, it was announced that Warwick’s Celebrity Squares has been renewed for a second series! The first series aired 6 episodes and the newly commissioned second series will air 8. Take a look at clip from the first series below:

Warner Bros. has moved the premiere date of the Steve Kloves production of Jungle Book: Origins from 2016 to October 2017. No word on why the release date has been pushed back, according to Variety.

Brendan Gleeson and his sons Domhnall and Brian Gleeson recently appeared on the Late Late Show on RTE to discuss Calvary, Star Wars (sort of), and their upcoming production of The Walworth Farce.  Included in the interview is a brief clip (finally!) of Domhnall in Calvary opposite Brendan, costume tips from Domhnall, and information about the final performance date of The Walworth Farce, of which ticket sales will go to charity. You can view the entire episode here.

For those unfamiliar with the play, The Walworth Farce tells the story of a father who “makes his adult sons enact a narratively significant farce.” In an interview for the Irish Times, Domhnall takes credit for finding the play and suggesting that the trio perform it.

Well, I saw the play before, so I gave the boys copies of it. It was so good.”

The Gleeson boys have worked together previously and have a much different idea of how to go about creating each scene. Brendan described working with his sons, saying:

It’s clear that everybody works in different ways. Domhnall’s process is different to mine, for example. You tend to gnaw away at it and build that way. I tend to jump right in and see what happens. And Brian’s a bit like that but is a bit of a thinker as well.”

Domhnall also attended the premiere of Unbroken in Dublin on Tuesday – check out a picture from the premiere!

Domhnall Gleeson Unbroken Premiere 1

One of the projects we are squee-fully excited about for next year is Sir Kenneth Branagh‘s Cinderella, which also stars Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. A trailer was released a month ago and we’ve also seen a few posters from the film. This week, an international trailer with new scenes has been released! Check it out below:

Emma Thompson‘s A Walk in the Woods will premiere at Sundance this year. While we are unsure what character she plays in the film, you can read a synopsis here:

An aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail with a long-estranged high school buddy. Along the way, the duo face off with each other, nature, and an eccentric assortment of characters. Together, they learn that some roads are better left untraveled.

The sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Dame Maggie Smith, finally has a trailer! The new film, aptly titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, will see Smith return along with Potter co-star Bill Nighy and Downton Abbey co-star Penelope Wilton. Take a look here!

In rumor news, is Bill Nighy set to join the Marvel universe? According to multiple sources, he is among a trio being considered for the role of The Ancient One in the new Doctor Strange film, which recently announced the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role. Should the role be given to Nighy, he would play the mentor to Cumberbatch’s character. The release date is tentatively set for November 4, 2016. You can read a synopsis below:

The film, directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay, will follow the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.

A recording was also released Wednesday of the actor reading an excerpt of a short story by Philip Pullman called The Collectors. The clip can be heard below and will be available for purchase in the U.S. via Audible.com in January.

Another rumor we’re very interested in is the new Walking Dead spinoff, which will star Frank Dillane (Young Tom Riddle, HBP). According to The Nerdist, the series has been given a code name, Cobalt, and will perhaps be set in Los Angeles. The spoiler information came from TVLine on Tuesday, but nothing about the actual series location has been confirmed. The pilot is scheduled to shoot early next year.

While we’ve seen a clip and some set photos of Jason Isaacs on his new USA Network project Dig, we’ve been itching to get a look at more of the series. An official trailer has been released this week, which you can see below. Jason quite convincingly adopts an American accent for his role as an FBI agent. The series is set to premiere March 5, 2015.

Fans of Downton Abbey, get your bags packed! In our final Role Call tidbit, we have learned that the owners of Highclere Castle, home to the PBS series starring Dame Maggie Smith, have opened up a guest lodge where fans can spend the night. The London Lodge will be open in the spring and summer seasons, though it sounds like the television series will not be filming during these times. You can learn more about the lodge here.

That wraps up this week in Casting News. Which projects had you captivated? Comment below and let us know which films you’re excited to see!