Sorry Gary Oldman fans -- this isn't some meaty gig for the irreplaceable actor. Following voice work in Planet 51 and A Christmas Carol, Oldman has joined the voice cast of the 3D sequel Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom, which is set for release next summer. He will voice Peacock, some helpful dude who's "more than he seems." Let's hope his work in the upcoming Easter Sixteen will make up for the side gigs and voice work. (I'm ignoring The Book of Eli.) I miss meaty, jaw-dropping dramatic Oldman work.
James Franco, meanwhile, is trucking full-steam ahead. Aside from landing the starring Apes gig, he will play the title character in Ricky Stanicky ... kind of. An R-rated comedy spec from Jeff Bushell (Beverly Hills Chihuahua), the film will be an ensemble comedy like The Hangover, about a trio of prank-pulling teens who burn down a house in their neighborhood and blame it on a fake person -- Ricky Stanicky. "Twenty years later, we see that the three guys have been using this alibi to get out of every uncomfortable situation in life. When their wives force them to set up a meeting with Stanicky, they hire an actor (Franco)." Yes folks -- another film about dumbarses.
Now out of the loop of Private Practice -- and no current potential for a Veronica Mars movie to get off the ground -- Chris Lowell is moving to the movies. He's in talks to join DreamWorks' The Help. Emma Stone has already signed on to star as an aspiring writer in '60s Mississippi who writes a book about the way black maids are treated. Lowell will play her boyfriend, a senator's son who breaks up with her because of the book. That's a bad Piz mid-wife.
Finally, Romola Garai (Atonement) is in talks to join the cast of Lone Scherfig's next film, One Day. This is that project about two people who have a one-night stand, and then see each other only one day a year for the next twenty years. Garai gets to play Jim Sturgess' wife, who becomes road-kill on the snail-paced romance between himself and Anne Hathaway.