Cast Blast: Gibson for ‘Machete Kills,’ Chastain and Lau for ‘Iron Man 3,’ and more

Wide Screen

Cast Blast is Wide Screen's weekly round-up of all the notable casting bits from Hollywood and beyond.

"But wouldn't it make sense to do something like this later in the week?" you ask.

Probably, but it's only Tuesday and there's already more major casting news than most full weeks get.

Mel Gibson may be taking a break from allegedly cursing at screenwriters in order to join Robert Rodriguez's grindhouse sequel "Machete Kills." The controversial actor/director is reportedly in talks to join Danny Trejo in the follow-up to intentionally low-budget, low-brow "Machete." The sequel will reportedly pit the former federale against a drug kingpin and an arms dealer; Gibson could be playing one of those roles. Casting Gibson is either absolutely crazy or just crazy enough to work.

With the arrival of Marvel's "The Avengers" right around the corner, casting for their next big project -- "Iron Man 3" -- is quickly coming together. Rising star Jessica Chastain ("The Help," "Tree of Life") and major Chinese star Andy Lau ("Infernal Affairs," "House of Flying Daggers") are both apparently in discussions for the superhero sequel. The pair would join returning faces Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the recently cast Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce, who will play an unnamed villain and scientist, respectively. "Iron Man 3" is set to film in China this summer, so Lau's presence not only makes sense for the story, but also financially for Disney. China is fast becoming one of the biggest film markets in the world, so having Lau on board will definitely give the film a boost at the box office.

Former mixed martial artist and "Haywire" star Gina Carano may join Dwayne Johnson and company in "Fast & Furious 6," the next installment of the long-running vehicular mayhem series. While she may have been criticized for her acting in Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire," Carano certainly has the physicality required to keep pace with guys like Johnson and Vin Diesel. The Justin Lin directed sequel is set for release next year.

Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan has finally snagged a high-profile role, although it's only in a TV movie and not on the big screen. A comeback has got to start somewhere, right? Lohan is set to play legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor in "Liz & Dick," a Lifetime TV movie chronicling the storied relationship between Taylor and her most famous husband (there were seven), actor Richard Burton. The role is a coup for Lohan, who, between her many run-ins with the law, has been attached to numerous projects that have either fallen through or moved on without her. Is she up for it? Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell doesn't think so, and said as much in a recent appearance on NBC's "The Today Show"