Casting Call: Mark Wahlberg Gets Some 'Happening' Friends

Mark Wahlberg Berlin 4 3 07 Germany Mark Wahlberg Berlin 4 3 07 Germany

Ron Howard is ready to father “Children.” John Leguizamo knows what’s “Happening” with Mark Wahlberg. Plus, George Lopez jumps into the “Poole.” It’s all in today’s Access Hollywood Casting Call?

Ron Howard has signed on to direct “The Emperor’s Children,” reports Variety.

The film, based on Claire Messud’s 2006 novel, follows a group of Ivy League grads hesitantly approaching their 30s.

“Children” is the latest in a long list of upcoming projects for Howard. He’s already signed on to helm “Frost/Nixon” in August, as well as “Angels & Demons,” the prequel to"The Da Vinci Code.”

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John Leguizamo has joined the cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller “The Happening,” reports Variety.

Film stars Mark Wahlberg as a man who takes his family on the run when a cataclysmic natural crisis threatens to end the world. Leguizamo will play his best friend.

Spencer Breslin (“The Kid,” “The Cat in the Hat”) has also joined the cast. The 15-year-old actor describes his role as “a typical teenage boy, a bit of a smartass.” He claims he “hasn’t been clued in” to other aspects of his role in the film, including whether his character is part of Wahlberg’s family.

Shooting is slated to begin in August in Philadelphia with a release planned for Friday, June 13, 2008.

Leguizamo also stars in the upcoming indie “Where God Left His Shoes,” a drama about a failed boxer struggling to support his family during the holidays in New York. The film earned high praise during this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

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George Lopez’s sitcom run might have come to an end, but he’ll be keeping plenty busy on the big screen, with two upcoming projects lined up, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The comedian has signed on for the dramedy “Henry Poole Is Here,” which follows a man (Luke Wilson) who leaves his job, fiancée and overbearing mother when he finds out he has only six weeks to live.

His efforts to spend his remaining days in seclusion go awry when he undergoes a miracle transformation and his neighbors disrupt his plan.

Lopez will play a priest in the film, which also stars Adriana Barazza (“Babel”) and Radha Mitchell (“Silent Hill,” “Man On Fire”).

Following that, Lopez will appear in the laugher “Swing Vote” alongside Kevin Costner.

Produced by Costner, “Vote” centers on a single dad who is thrust into the limelight when the presidential election comes down to his vote.

Lopez will play a local TV station manager whose town is descended upon by the political machinery of both parties.

Film also stars Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci.

Production is slated to begin this month in New Mexico.

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