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Cast Blast: Akerman playing Debbie Harry in ‘CBGB,’ Reynolds up for ‘Highlander’ reboot

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
May 29, 2012

Cast Blast is Wide Screen's weekly roundup of the notable casting bits from Hollywood and beyond. This week is apparently a special Canadian edition, with a number of Canucks scoring high-profile gigs.

According to THR, Ontario's Malin Akerman ("Watchmen") is set to play Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry in "CBGB," a film about New York's legendary club of the same name.

Akerman definitely has the looks for the part, and she can sing, too! The former model was the frontwoman for alt-rockers the Petalstones for a short time before pursuing acting full time. Akerman joins a huge cast of actors playing real-life punk and rock luminaries in the film. Alan Rickman ("Harry Potter") headlines as CBGB founder Hilly Kristal, Joel David Moore ("Avatar") will play Joey Ramone, and fellow Canadian Stana Katic ("Castle") will play producer Genya Ravan. The Randall Miller ("Bottle Shock") film will start shooting next month in Georgia and New York. "CBGB" should provide a nice indie counterpoint to the upcoming 1980s musical "Rock of Ages."

Variety is reporting that Vancouver-born leading man Ryan Reynolds ("Safe House") is in discussions to star in Lionsgate's reboot of "Highlander."

Though plot details are scarce, the film is said to be a faithful remake of the 1986 film starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. Lambert played Connor McLeod, a 16th-century Scotsman who discovers he is immortal after surviving an otherwise grievous injury. The film follows the sword-wielding McLeod through the years to present-day New York City, where he encounters another immortal who has been hunting him for centuries. Contrary to the film's famous tag line "There can be only one," the original "Highlander" spawned several unfortunate sequels and a fairly decent television series.

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo ("28 Weeks Later"), a modern version of "Highlander" sounds tantalizing on paper. The affable Reynolds would likely be a good fit for the charismatic 500-year-old warrior. Although he's already lined up for two major franchises -- "Green Lantern" and the "Wolverine" spinoff "Deadpool" -- which might keep him busy, he's already put in the required sword training thanks to the latter film, so he's ready either way.

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