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Casting news: Umbrella Academy, Kung Fury land stars; Dragon Rider casts Felicity Jones and Patrick Stewart

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May 9, 2018, 1:07 PM EDT (Updated)

It’s a good day for genre films in development. Two heavy-hitting stars have signed on to two similarly intense projects for roles sure to emphasize toughness in their respective worlds of kung fu and magic. Meanwhile, a slew of big names boards a very dragon-centric project sure to resonate with geeks of every age.

First, there’s Kate Walsh, the Grey’s Anatomy alum who’s joining Netflix’s TV adaptation of The Umbrella Academy. Based on Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s graphic novels about dysfunctional superheroes, the show, Deadline reports, will add Walsh as The Handler, the charming head of a large (and secretive) corporation. That couldn’t possibly pose a threat to a team of grieving superheroes.

Walsh joins the family — it includes Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Vanya (Ellen Page), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), and Number Five (Aidan Gallagher) — as a character new to the show. However, she could be a reimagining of some of the books’ rich characters, like the corporate millionaire Mr. Perseus.


Meanwhile, Baby Driver’s Eiza Gonzalez is boarding the tongue-in-cheek ‘80s martial arts pastiche Kung Fury. Joining stars Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and David Hasselhoff, Gonzalez is the first major female addition to the cast of the feature-length adaptation of the viral short. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Kickstarter success has recently landed a slew of foreign distribution sales, which means the goofy Miami cop action won’t be stopped any time soon.

Gonzalez’s role is under wraps as of now, but after the action chops she showed in Baby Driver, it wouldn’t be surprising to see her as a member of the Thundercops — aka the ultimate police force.


Finally, the animated adaptation of Cornelia Funke’s novel Dragon Rider has landed its stars. Rogue One's Felicity Jones, Game of Thrones' Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart, and Bates Motel’s Freddie Highmore will be directed by Tomer Eshed as their group deals with dragons and dragon-killers alike.

Two dragons, voiced by Brodie-Sangster and Jones, team with a boy, voiced by Highmore, to fight the dragon-killing machine Nettlebrand (Stewart) in order to find the mythical Himalayan region called the Rim of Heaven. Talk about high fantasy.