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Casting News -- June 30, 2009

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Amy Adams is in final negotiations to star in The Fighter opposite Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg. David O. Russell is directing the film about the life of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his trainer-brother Dick Eklund (Bale). Melissa Leo will play their mother. Adams will play Charlene, a "tough, gritty bartender and former college high-jumper... who ends up dating Mickey."

Jason Lee and Michelle Trachtenberg have joined the cast of A Couple of Dicks, a buddy cop comedy directed by Kevin Smith in which Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan star as a pair of cops who track down a stolen baseball card, rescue a Mexican beauty, and must deal with gangsters and laundered drug money. Trachtenberg will play Willis' daughter; Lee will play her stepfather.

Drea de Matteo is joining the cast of Desperate Housewives. The Sopranos actress will play the matriarch of a new Italian family in the neighborhood. Casting is underway for her "landscape designer husband and their tightly wound son."

Guy Pearce is in final negotiations and Bailee Madison is set to star in Don't Be Afraid of the Dark with Katie Holmes. The supernatural thriller is based on a 1970s TV movie about a young girl who moves in with her father and his girlfriend, and discovers they are sharing the house with demonic creatures. Madison will play the daughter, who discovers the creatures and is fascinated by them until they prove dangerous. Pearce will play the father, an author frustrated by his daughter's tales of monsters. Holmes plays Pearce's girlfriend, who believes his daughter.

Chris Kattan has joined the cast of the new ABC comedy The Middle, about a middle-class Midwestern family seen through the eyes of the mother (Patricia Heaton). Kattan will play Bob, a good friend and fellow car salesman of Heaton. This is Kattan's first post-SNL TV series.

Comedian Gary Owen has signed a deal to star in a possible spin-off of Tyler Perry's hit sitcom House of Payne. In Payne, Owen currently plays recurring character Zach, one of the barbers in the barbershop featured in the TBS series.

Christine Lahti is joining the cast of Law & Order: SVU as the new Assistant DA. Lahti will appear in the first four episodes of next season.

Chris Vance will appear in a four-episode arc on the series Burn Notice as Gilroy, "a sophisticated and ruthless former MI-6 bigwig who now oversees freelance black ops." Vance will appear during the second half of the show's current third season.

-- Daniel Lehman

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