Danes tapped for "Orson Welles"

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:50pm EST
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By Stuart Kemp

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - Claire Danes has joined the cast of Richard Linklater's "Me and Orson Welles," an adaptation of the period coming-of-age novel by Robert Kaplow.

Eddie Marsan ("The Illusionist"), Leo Bill ("Becoming Jane") and Imogen Poots ("28 Weeks Later") also have been cast in the film.

They join Zac Efron and Ben Chaplin in the 1937-set movie, which centers on a high school student (Efron) who, while strolling the streets of New York, happens upon the yet-to-open Mercury Theatre and is noticed by its mercurial founder, Orson Welles.

He lands a bit part in "Julius Caesar," the production that catapulted Welles to the top, and in the process learns about life and love.

Newcomer Christian McKay plays Welles, and Chaplin ("The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep") has been cast as English film and stage actor George Coulouris.

The script was penned by Holly Gent Palmo, who worked on Linklater's "Dazed and Confused," and Vince Palmo, who is a longtime collaborator with the American director.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Cast member Claire Danes attends the premiere of "Stardust" at Paramount studios in Hollywood, California July 29, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>