Thesp joins Warner Bros. period pic

Anthony Mackie has joined the cast of the Warner Bros.-Village Roadshow period police saga “Gangster Squad” alongside Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Michael Pena.

Ruben Fleischer is helming from a script by former Los Angeles Police Dept. officer Will Beall. Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick are producing through Lin Pictures and Langley Park, respectively; Jon Silk, of Lin Pictures, is co-producing.

Mackie will portray former LAPD lieutenant Rocky Washington.

Project’s based on the Los Angeles Times’ seven-part series “Tales From the Gangster Squad,” to which Warner acquired the rights two years ago. — Dave McNary

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Kang joining Sly for Hill thriller

Sung Kang’s feature career is hitting a new gear, as the “Fast Five” star has landed a key supporting role alongside Sylvester Stallone in Walter Hill’s upcoming action thriller.

Untitled pic is a Warner Bros. presentation, in association with Dark Castle Entertainment, IM Global and After Dark Films.

Project is based on the graphic novel “Bullet to the Head,” written by Matz and illustrated by Colin Wilson. Kang is repped by Management 360.

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Dale recruited for zombie ‘War’

“The Pacific” star James Badge Dale is going back into battle, albeit against an already-dead enemy. Dale is in negotiations to join Brad Pitt in Paramount’s “World War Z,” set 10 years after a global zombie epidemic. Marc Forster is directing from J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Carnahan’s script, adapted from Max Brooks’ novel.

Pitt will play a researcher for the U.N. Postwar Commission, while Mireille Enos of AMC’s “The Killing” was previously cast as his wife, a mother of two girls.

Pitt and his Plan B shingle are producing the big-budget pic, which will be co-financed by David Ellison’s Skydance Prods. Production is slated to begin this July in London, Malta and other locales overseas.

He’s repped by CAA and MJ Management. — Jeff Sneider

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Arkin to Affleck pol drama ‘Argo’

Ben Affleck has tapped “Little Miss Sunshine” star Alan Arkin as the first actor to join his Tehran hostage-crisis pic “Argo.”

Arkin is in negotiations to play Hollywood producer Lester Siegel, an O.S.S. veteran described as equal parts bookie and rabbi.

Chris Terrio adapted Joshuah Bearman’s April 2007 Wired magazine article, titled “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran.” George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing Warner Bros.’ political drama through their Smoke House banner along with David Klawans (“Nacho Libre”).

Arkin is repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment.

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Luna longs for Blomkamp role

Diego Luna is in talks to join the cast of Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fier “Elysium,” a Sony co-production with MRC. Blomkamp will write and direct with Bill Block and Simon Kinberg producing. The story of aliens and humans doing battle on Earth also stars Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster. Production is set to get under way this summer for a March 1, 2013, release. — Justin Kroll

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