Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Ocean’s Twelve) is taking over as a last-minute replacement for Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Soviet thriller Child 44, based on Tom Rob Smith's bestseller. The cast also includes Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman in the story of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia.
Rachel Brosnahan (who played a call girl on Netflix's House of Cards) has signed to star in the indie movie The Sainthood of Bethany Wolfe. Brosnahan takes on the character of a young girl who was taken in by a priest after losing her parents in a bloody murder-suicide but grows up to be a contract killer.
Matt Damon is in preliminary talks to direct The Foreigner for Paramount, which would be the actor's directing debut. The project is based on a New Yorker article by David Grann (with a script by Oscar-winning Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio), and details corruption and high-level murders in Guatemala that reached all the way to the country's president.
A&E has decided to renew Longmire, the crime drama based on the novels by Craig Johnson. Unfortunately for fans of The Glades, the network is canceling that show, which starrred Matt Passmore as a Chicago detective who took a South Florida job with FLDE.
JJ Abrams and HBO are developing a TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Westworld (which was previously made into a film starring Yul Brenner). The sci-fi thriller is based in a futuristic amusement park where humans interact safely with androids, until a power glitch causes the androids to run amok.
Omnimystery News reported that Lionsgate and Munich-based Tandem Communications are teaming up to develop drama series for US and Europe markets. The first such project is Sex, Lies and Handwriting, a crime drama based on a book by Michelle Dresbold and featuring a handwriting expert drawn into solving crimes based on the use of her expertise.
Two Tony-award winners are headed to TV crime dramas for guest stints. Laura Osnes, currently starring in the title role of Broadway's Cinderella, will appear on an upcoming episode of the CBS drama series Elementary; and Sutton Foster will join USA's Psych season finale, titled "A Nightmare on State Street."
FX Networks has ordered a pilot based on a character created by crime novelist Charles Willeford. The show is titled Hoke and stars Paul Giamatti stars as Miami homicide detective Hoke Moseley. Screenwriter Scott Frank (Minority Report, Get Shorty) is adapting the novel for the small screen. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
Former Chuck executive producer Matt Miller and former Chuck writer Zev Borow have sold the cop/family drama Bad Guys to Fox. The show is about an NYPD detective and a single mom raising a teenage son, and her recently paroled ex-con father who wants a second chance with his daughter and grandson.
Lisa Kudrow is joining Scandal, Shonda Rhimes' Washington, D.C. drama series for ABC, playing a politician.
Cinemax is close to placing a pilot deal for the gangster drama Blanco, about an uptown gangster who uses his status as a confidential informant to turn the tables on law enforcement and build his criminal empire.
Steve Lewis of The Mystery File, posted a cheat sheet listing of mysteries, crime dramas, horror and fantasy shows for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
It's a Crime radio, hosted by Margaret McLean, welcomed former homicide detective Derek Pacifico, talking about the laws of search seizure.
Vertigo Mystery Theatre will stage Gaslight in The Playhouse at The Vertigo Theatre Centre, Calgary, Alberta, January 31 through February 24. The mystery play (a/k/a Angel Street) was written in 1938 by PatRick Hamilton and was adapted into a 1944 film starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton and Angela Lansbury in her on-screen debut.