Casting Round-Up: Charlize Theron - Cities of Refuge, Mary Elizabeth Winstead - Smashed, Paula Patton - Disconnect

Charlize Theron is in early talks to star in and produce a new crime thriller called Cities of Refuge. If she joins the project she will play "a female investigator brought in to solve a brutal murder and kidnapping in which things aren’t what they seem." Whenever it comes to crime thrillers nothing is ever what it seems. I hate that people still find that as an effective way to market movies. The movie was written by Brandon Willer, and it just seems like another one of those films that isn't going to be anything special.

Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol) has joined the film Disconnect, and indie drama being directed by Henry Alex (Murderball). She joins the previously cast Alexander Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Frank Grillo and Jason Bateman. The movie was written by Andrew Stern, and follows the disparate lives that intertwine as the digital technologies intended to bring people closer together push families further apart. 

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim, The Thing) has been cast in a indie dramady called Smashed. She's teamed up with Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, in a story about a couple whose relationship is based on "a mutual love of alcohol. When the wife decides to sober up, the relationship is put to the test." Winstead's character is sponsored by Octavia Spenser (The Help). Nick Offerman from Parks & Recreation is in talks to play an assistant headmaster at the school where Winstead teaches.