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Casting: Live-action Pinocchio finds its Geppetto in an Oscar winner; Max and Isobel's mom invades CW Roswell; more

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Oct 26, 2018, 12:18 PM EDT

Living puppets, alien towns, and dystopias are the focus of our latest round of casting news straight outta Hollywood. We can see you're eager to get started, so here we go!


Matteo Garrone's live-action Pinocchio film has found its Geppetto in Roberto Benigni, the Oscar-winning director-star of 1997's World War II dramedy Life Is Beautiful. Shooting for the movie is set to take place in Italy during early 2019. 

Garrone (director of Gomorrah and Dogman) told Variety that getting to make Pinocchio and work with Benigni are “two dreams come true in one film."

“Collodi’s puppet and I have been chasing each other since I was a child, drawing my first storyboards,” he added. “As years passed, I have always felt something familiar in the story, as if Pinocchio had penetrated my imagination to such an extent that many have found traces of his adventures in my previous films.”

The news of Benigni's casting comes just days after it was announced that Guillermo del Toro would be directing a stop-motion musical take on the classic story for Netflix. 


Next up, we head to The CW's Roswell, New Mexico, the second TV show to be based on Melinda Metz's Roswell High YA book series.

Season 1 doesn't premiere until 2019, but TVLine reports that Claudia Black (The Originals) is confirmed for the sci-fi drama as a mid-season guest star, playing the adoptive mother of Max (Nathan Parsons) and Isobel (Lily Cowles), Ann Evans. Both Max and Isobel are both illegal aliens, but in the extraterrestrial sense. 

Described as "polished and warm-hearted," Anne has a fractured relationship with her two adopted children, suggesting that she doesn't know that they're really space aliens. Casting Black seemed like a no-brainer as Roswell, New Mexico EPs Carina Adly MacKenzie and Julie Plec worked with her on The Originals


Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies) has joined Years & Years, a "dystopian family drama" that has been picked up by HBO, writes Deadline.

The series (which was once set air on BBC One) stars Thompson as Vivienne Rook, a celebrity who enters the world of politics, and whose controversial stances divide the British public. "She’s a new breed of politician, an entertainer, a rebel, a trickster, and her rise to power leads us into an unknown future," per Deadline.

Hmmmm... where have we heard that exact premise before?

Thompson will star opposite Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), T’Nia Miller (Marcella), Russell Tovey (Quantico), Jessica Hynes (Paddington 2), Ruth Madeley (Cold Feet), and Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax). 

Set in Manchester (circa 2019), the family drama takes place in a world where the U.K. is totally removed from the rest of Europe, the U.S. practices some hardcore isolationism, and China begins to make its dominance known. All of these factors facilitate the rise of Rook to a seat of immense political power. 


Lastly, Adam Scott (Ghosted, Krampus) has been confirmed as the main star in The Twilight Zone reboot's "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet" episode, confirms The Hollywood Reporter

Based on the short story by Richard Matheson, the original (not to mention uber iconic) 1963 episode was titled "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and starred a young William Shatner as an emotionally unstable man who sees a gremlin attempting to rip apart the wing of a plane. No one believes the man (the creature hides whenever someone else looks out the window) until he takes matters into his own hands. 

John Lithgow (Dexter) starred in the remake of the episode in the final segment of 1983's Twilight Zone: The Movie, directed by George Miller

Jordan Peele is the driving force behind the reboot, producing, hosting, and narrating the upcoming series on CBS All Access