There’s so much cast news, so little time. Here’s a bouquet of the latest snippets for those of you who follow the LOTR stars careers.

First, thanks to Bella from Toronto, who transcribed this Cate Blanchett news from the National Post:

“Margaret Atwood’s novel “Alias Grace” is to be turned into a movie with Cate Blanchett starring in the role of Grace Marks, one of Canada’s most notorious female criminals.

“The movie will be directed by Dominic Savage, a rising talent in England who directed the low-budget drama “Out of Control”, which won the award for best new British feature at least year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film will be written by John Brownlow, whose credits include a film on Sylvia Plath for BBC Films.

“Blanchett will play Marks, who was convicted of the murder of her employer and his mistress in 1843. The script will focus on her relationship with a young doctor who helps her find the truth about the murders by using psychology.

“Blanchett, who has recently starred in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “The Shipping News”, brought the project to the U.K.’s Working Title Productions after Jodie Foster’s film production company, Egg Pictures, failed to get it off the ground. Casting on the film should be finished by the end of the year.”

Oh, and here’s a pic of her on E!Online’s Fashion Police page, where she gets a good review for her dress sense. [More] Thanks to Isabela for the link.

From Wales (I assume,) Claire writes, “Further to Nia’s message here about John Rhys-Davies appearing on Welsh TV’s ‘Popcorn,’ some viewers in the UK may be able to pick up terrestrial S4C if they’re within reach of transmitters in Wales, but may have to tune in a spare channel on their TVs. Otherwise, those with Sky digital can get S4C on channel 184.

“The non-English-language bits of the programme will be subtitled in English (bring up Teletext page 888 on terrestrial or select ‘Subtitles On’ on digital). I won’t be doing the subtitles for this particular programme, but hopefully they’ll be adequate. :-)”

Atrus writes, “According to the Internet Movie Database, Troy (With Orlando Bloom and Sean Bean) has begun filming. Its release date is 21 May, 2004. This movie also has Eric Bana in it.(From this summer’s, The Hulk) [More]

And concerning Sir Ian McKellen:

“My local paper’s review of X2 has this interesting comment about Ian McKellen’s recent movie performances (mainly X-Men 2 and LOTR).

‘”While X-Men 2 remains as chaste and child-like as most American mainstream fodder, it does boast those wonderful British actors Stewart, McKellen and series newcomer Cox, who bring a surprising, almost Shakespearean, richness to characters who in the hands of lesser actors would remain fixed on comic book parallels.

“In fact, one of the unimagined benefits of digital special effects is the elevation of McKellen, with his parts in Lord of the Rings and Magneto, to the status of one of the most ubiquitous, compelling action heroes of our age.

“If digital fx can make a 64-year-old gay acting knight, who has spent his career on the English stage, now effortlessly kick the butts of teenage punk, I say: bring it on. In fact, forget Mel Gibson for Mad Max IV – I want Crazy Ian McKellen.”‘

Thanks to Jacobi for that.