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Casting News -- April 30, 2009

Bruce willis_die hard 4

Bruce Willis is currently in negotiations to star in three upcoming action movies. First, the 54-year-old star is in talks to play a detective on the trail of a murderer in the thriller Inventory. Next, in the CIA film Red (based on a Wildstorm/DC comic book), Willis would star as a former black-ops agent who has gone into retirement but is forced back into action when a high-tech assassin threatens him and his girlfriend. And finally, the actor has also been offered the title role in the mob biopic Scarpa, about FBI informant Greg Scarpa, who worked deep undercover in New York’s Columbo family.

R&B artist Ashanti will star as Dorothy in the Encores! Summer Stars production of The Wiz. This is the singer's stage debut, but the Grammy winner previously appeared as Dorothy in the 2005 ABC TV special The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. The musical runs June 12-July 5 (with an official opening June 18) at New York City Center.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rainn Wilson will star in Hesher, an indie dramedy about a 20-something loser who invades the life of a 13-year-old boy. Gordon-Levitt stars as the title character, a good and bad influence on the boy's life; Wilson plays the boy's dad, a widower trying to keep his family together. Natalie Portman also stars as supermarket worker who the kid falls for after she saves him from a bully.

Kelly McGillis and Julia Duffy have been cast in Pasadena Playhouse's new production of The Little Foxes, by Lillian Hellman. McGillis will star as the scheming Regina Giddens and Duffy will play Birdie Hubbard. The play runs May 22-June 28 in Pasadena, CA (the original production opened on Broadway in 1939 at the National Theatre).

Judith Light and Tony Award winner Katie Finneran will star in the Williamstown-Westport joint production of Children, a family drama by A.R. Gurney. The cast also includes Mary Bacon and James Waterston. Children premieres at the Westport Country Playhouse May 26-June 13, and later runs July 1-12 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

-- Daniel Lehman

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It's weird with Bruce Willis - a big part of me wants to see him move on from the action stuff. But then, weirdly, you kind of want it too!.

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