Casting: Naomi Watts as Princess Diana, Billy Connolly Joins 'The Hobbit,' and '300' Prequel Gets Lead Actor

Naomi Watts has replaced 2011's most ubiquitous actress, Jessica Chastain, in the Princess Diana biopic, Caught in Flight.

The film focuses on Diana's affair with a Pakistani heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan. Chastain had been cast late last year, but then we didn't hear a peep from anyone involved with the production.
 
Deadline recently reported from the Berlin Film Festival that Chastain has indeed dropped out of the production, partly from her packed schedule (six movies due out this year) and also because of her doubts of being able to portray Diana "the right way."
 
Watts was most recently seen J. Edgar and Dream House.
 
What do you think of this casting change? Do you think Watts can play the Queen of Hearts?
 
 
To give some perspective on how massive a production Peter Jackson's two-part Hobbit movies are, consider this: the cameras started rolling a year ago but they've apparently still been casting.
 
Comedian and actor Billy Connolly becomes the last character to be cast, playing dwarf warrior Dain Ironfoot. We're guessing he'll mostly feature in the second installment since The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is being prepped for its December 14 release.
 
Ironfoot joins the Battle of the Five Armies at the request of his cousin, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). The character is mentioned only briefly in the actual book and features more prominently in The Lord of the Rings, another sign that Peter Jackson is attempting to tie his Rings trilogy with his Hobbit two-piece.
 
 
The 300 prequel movie is busy cycling through Animal Kingdom actors. Late last year, Joel Edgerton was rumored for the lead role but didn't land the gig. Instead, his Aussie Animal Kingdom pal Sullivan Stapleton has.
 
Stapleton is currently in final negotiations to star in the picture which is set to be directed by indie filmmaker Noam Murro. The prequel will be produced and co-written by Zack Snyder and will co-star French actress Eva Green.
 
If you haven't seen Stapleton in Animal Kingdom, which earned Jacki Weaver a best supporting actress nomination last year, you can catch him co-starring in The Gangster Squad with Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Sean Penn this October.
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