Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekly News Round-Up - Jan. 18-24, 2010

Films in the Works

After talks last week, Sony has announced that Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) will direct the next film in the Spider-Man franchise. [Superhero Hype]

Fresh out of dropping out of another Spider-Man film, Tobey Maguire is rumored to be assuming the role of Bilbo Baggins in director Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of The Hobbit. [The Sun]

In other major movie rumor news: Tim Burton may be directing a different take on the fairy tale classic Sleeping Beauty. The film would be called Maleficent, and tell the story from the titular villain's point-of-view. [Ain't It Cool News] Empire has also posted a new clip and stills from Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland.

Martin Scorsese is in talks to direct the adaptation of the children's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which follows an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris and tries to repair a robot left behind by his father. [Variety]

Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher and Tom Wilkinson will star in director John Landis' horror comedy Burke and Hare, which follows the exploits of British serial killers William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis), who sold the bodies of their victims to medical schools for dissection. [Hollywood Reporter]

Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Duhamel are teaming up to play two men navigating a battle between heaven and hell in Sympathy for the Devil. [Latino Review]

Naomi Watts and Daniel Craig will star in director Jim Sheridan's psychological thriller Dream House, which follows a family that recently moved into a house that was the site of brutal killings. [Hollywood Reporter]

Sean Penn, Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson will co-star in the adaptation of the novel Water for Elephants, which centers on a 90-year-old man's memories of his time working at a circus during the Depression. [Coming Soon]

Paramount has announced that the Coen brothers' remake of the John Wayne classic True Grit will be hitting theaters on Dec. 25. [Cinematical]

Marc Forster will direct Gerard Butler as the titular character in Machine Gun Preacher. The film is adapted from Sam Childers' memoir Another Man‘s War: The True Story of One Man‘s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan, which chronicles his change from drug-dealing biker to preacher who sets up a Sudanese orphanage and starts a militia to protect kids from becoming child soldiers. [Deadline Hollywood]

According to Michael Bay, Transformers 3 is a go. [Los Angeles Times] So is Paranormal Activity 2, with director Kevin Greutert (Saw VI). [Hollywood Reporter] Also, The Resurrection of the Christ, an unofficial sequel to The Passion of the Christ, will be coming soon to a theater near you. [Empire] And it's a go for Night at the Museum 3, according to Thomas Lennon, who co-wrote the first two films. [Access Hollywood]

Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, My Sister's Keeper) is in talks to direct the latest version of A Star Is Born, which tells the story of a romance between an alcoholic star on the way down and a rising star. [Deadline Hollywood]

DreamWorks has hired Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Pianist, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) to write a biopic about Martin Luther King Jr. [Reuters]

Jason Momoa (TV's "Stargate Atlantis") has been chosen to play the titular character in an upcoming remake of Conan the Barbarian. [Deadline Hollywood] Mickey Rourke has been offered the part of Conan's father. [Latino Review]

Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) will co-star in writer-director So Young Kim's indie drama For Ellen, which follows a struggling indie rocker (Dano) in the middle of a divorce. [Variety]

Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart) will direct and Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, 21) will star in Promised Land, which leads up to the 1948 division of Palestine and the creation of Israel. [Coming Soon]

Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon) and Harry Lennix (The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions) will co-star in the indie drama Mr. Sophistication, which follows a famous comedian's (Lennix) fall and career rebound. O'Neal will play his wife and business partner. [Hollywood Reporter]

Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank) will direct the latest big-screen adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights for Ecosse Films. [Coming Soon]


Oscar-nominated actress Jean Simmons (Guys and Dolls, Hamlet) died on Jan. 22 from lung cancer. She was 80. [Yahoo]

In Other News

To accept a new position as president of Refugees International, Dan Glickman is resigning his post as chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America. [The New York Times]

MGM is considering adding a "prepackaged bankruptcy" as an incentive to potential buyers of the fledgling film studio. [Yahoo]

Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose, Nine) has teamed up with Franz Ferdinand to record their song "The Eyes of Mars" to promote fashion label Dior. [Lady Dior via Spinner]

Adidas has announced its line of Star Wars-themed gear. [The Guardian]

YouTube began trying out its online movie rental on Friday to help start this year's Sundance Film Festival. Five films from the 2009 and 2010 festivals will be available to rent. [Yahoo] Slamdance is also partnering with Microsoft to make some of the festival's films available on Zune and the Xbox. [Indiewire]


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