Casting news: Harvey Keitel and Richard Gere sign on for new roles

Jim Napier

by: Jim Napier
February 7th, 2011

Harvey Keitel and Richard Gere

Announcements were made today that veteran actors Harvey Keitel and Richard Gere are set to star in two new feature films!

According to THR, Harvey Keitel has signed on to star in AGAINST ITSELF, written and directed by Kranti Kanade. This will be his first Indian film and he will play an American schoolmaster in India struggling to protect his students and school from anti-Gandhian forces. Shooting begins in mid-March on the film, which will be filmed in English and will be possibly dubbed in Hindi.

Here is what Keitel had to say about the film: “The film deals with religious intolerance that’s one of the core issues of contemporary society. And I believe that art can sometimes more effectively deliver a message, than politics.”

Sanjay Singh is set to produce the film. Singh took home 14 trophies during India’s awards season for his latest film UDAAN (directed by Vikramaditya Motwane), which screened at Cannes last year in the Un Certain Regard section. AGAINST ITSELF’s screenplay gained some buzz after it won the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Film Fund development grant.

Keitel is a consummate professional still at 71 years old and recently participated in script reading sessions, wardrobe tests, and went location hunting in Mumbai. That is exactly what I would expect from an old-school character actor like Keitel. My personal fave role of his is BAD LIEUTENANT and RESERVOIR DOGS.

In other news, Deadline is reporting that Richard Gere is close to inking a deal to star in ARBITAGE for director Nicholas Jarecki. He joins Eva Green and Susan Sarandon, who’ve already been cast in the film. The script follows a “troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.”

Filming is scheduled to begin in New York in mid-April. Laura Bickford is producing with Kevin Turen, Bob Salerno, and Justin Nappi. Mohammed Al Turki and Brian Young will serve as executive producers.

Gere can next bee seen opposite Topher Grace in THE DOUBLE from director Michael Brandt from Hyde Park. I am not a huge fan of Richard Gere personally, but I like Eva Green so this may be a film I end up seeing. I did like him in BROOKLYN’S FINEST.

What are your thoughts on this news? What are your favorite Keitel and/or Gere roles?

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