With Brad Pitt locked up for Quentin Tarantino’s war picture, expect the rest of the cast to fill in quickly. That’s due in part to Pitt’s clout, but it’s also simple math. Tarantino has nine months to get the picture made for Cannes ’09, a target date he’s evidently trying to meet in reality. (“It’s going to be a nine-month sprint marathon,” says Lawrence Bender.) That makes 2008 something of a watershed; everything Tarantino has said this year is something he’s actually doing. Amazing, really.

(Note that we haven’t actually heard him really say anything about that Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! remake.)

The trade reports about Pitt’s signing include a few notes about other possibilities. One is Simon Pegg, in talks to play ‘a British lieutenant’. That’s pretty good news, but I’m afraid it dovetails with a revelation sure to be unpopular: Variety says Tim Roth’s show Lie to Me will present a scheduling conflict that prevents him from taking a role. Roth has been the most credible long-standing cast rumor; when he was doing press for Dark Water in 2005 (at the infamous ‘what scares you more: the dark or water?’ press conference) he talked about the film and his desire to work with Tarantino again, and the subject has come up many other times as well.

Also in talks (in one form or another) are David Krumholtz, a choice I really like, for one of the other Basterds (though THR suggests scheduling conflicts might put him out, too) and Nastassja Kinski for the ‘German actress’ role. I’d give more details on Kinski’s possible character, but I don’t have them. I’m at the point where I’m finally in the dark about some of these characters, and that’s just fine.

There are more Basterds to cast still, and the big roles of Col. Hans Landa and the female lead Shoshanna, so this ain’t over yet.