Sunday, February 14, 2010

Weekly News Round-Up - Feb. 8-14, 2010

Films in the Works

Penelope Cruz is in talks to join Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides for Nine director Rob Marshall. [Yahoo] Multiple sources are also reporting that Cruz will star in the psychological drama Melancholia for filmmaker Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Antichrist). [The Playlist]

Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard will star in the action-thriller Contagion for director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Che). [The Playlist]

Warner Bros. is using filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) as a "mentor" for the latest Superman film. He has also started preliminary work on his highly-anticipated third Batman film. [Deadline Hollywood]

New Line Cinema is looking to restart its Vacation franchise, starting with a film that puts Clark Griswold's son, Rusty, at the center of the story. Chevy Chase is expected to reprise his role, now as a grandfather, in some capacity. [Coming Soon] New Line is also moving forward with its remake of the 1981 action film Escape From New York. [New York Magazine]

Cate Blanchett is joining Eric Bana and Saoirse Ronan for director Joe Wright's Hanna; Katherine Heigl will star in the adaptation of the Janet Evanovich novel One for the Money; Amber Tamblyn will co-star with James Franco in director Danny Boyle's 127 Hours. [Coming Soon] Kate Mara is also in talks to co-star in 127 Hours. [Hollywood Reporter]

Glenn Close will star in, co-produce and has co-written an adaptation of the play The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, a drama about a woman (Close) in 19th-century Ireland who disguises herself as a man to survive. Rodrigo Garcia will direct the film, with Orlando Bloom, Michael Gambon and Janet McTeer co-starring. [Screen Daily]

Alicia Silverstone is reuniting with Clueless writer-director Amy Heckerling for Vamps, about two female vampires who must make immortality-jeopardizing decisions when love enters the picture. [Coming Soon]

Kevin Costner will direct and star in a World War II action-adventure film based on the novel A Little War of Our Own by Dan Gordon. [Cinematical]

Tom Cruise will return to the role of Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 4. [Deadline Hollywood]

Madonna will direct W.E., which centers on King Edward VIII's affair with Wallis Simpson, who may be portrayed by Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed). [Empire]

The next Spider-Man film can be added to the list of upcoming movies that will be released in 3D. [Hollywood Reporter]

Tim Robbins will play the father of the villainous Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) in the upcoming adaptation of Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds has filled the titular role. [Hollywood Reporter]

Susan Sarandon is in talks to star in the feature film adaptation of the 1960s TV show "The Big Valley" as the matriarch of a ranching family in the 1870s, a role that was originally filled by Barbara Stanwyck. [Hollywood Reporter]

Rachel Weisz is joining Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts for director Jim Sheridan's thriller Dream House. [Empire]

Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen are joining Jim Sturgess in director Michael Winterbottom's drama The Promised Land. [Yahoo]

Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins and Imogen Poots are in talks to co-star in the latest adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Hunger) have already signed on as the leads. [Yahoo]

Pierce Brosnan, Ed Harris and Jim Gaffigan will star in the independent comedic thriller Salvation Boulevard, about a born-again Christian who finds himself on the run from fundamentalist members of his church that will do anything to protect their pastor. [Coming Soon]

Writer-director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters) is adapting the novel The Song Is You into a music-infused film. [Deadline Hollywood]

Peter Bogdonavich will co-write and direct the film adaptation of the novel Turn of the Century, which follows a couple with three kids dealing with marriage issues in an alternate reality-based world. [Hollywood Reporter]

Bob Balaban, Catherine O'Hara, Vanessa Paradis, Adam Goldberg, Danny Huston and Jay Harrington will all lend their voices to the animated film A Monster in Paris, which follows a group of unlikely characters who team up to save the city from said monster. [Hollywood Reporter]

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films) will co-star in the supernatural horror thriller The Apparition. [Shock Till You Drop]

Hugh Laurie (TV's "House") is in talks to star in the indie dramedy Oranges, about an older man who has an affair with a friend's daughter. [The Los Angeles Times]

Plans to develop a feature film based on Fox's hit TV show "24" are moving forward. [Coming Soon]

Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco) will write and direct an as-yet-untitled film about the mysterious death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko for Warner Bros. [Coming Soon]

Sean Bean, Dougray Scott and Robert Vaughan will star in The Magnificent Eleven, a modern update on the classic western The Magnificent Seven (which in turn is a remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai). [Screen Daily]

Warner Bros. is planning the latest adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel The Three Musketeers. [Coming Soon]

Regency Enterprises is putting a "reboot" of the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie Mr. and Mrs. Smith into development. [New York Magazine]

Universal is remaking the 1982 comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which starred Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton. [Coming Soon]

Russell Brand will star as a millionaire soccer player who gets arrested and sentenced to community service in Texas in an untitled project for Warner Bros. [Deadline Hollywood]

Taylor Lautner will star in the drama Abduction, about a teen who feels disconnected from his parents and discovers why. [Deadline Hollywood]

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, P.S. I Love You) will star in the psychological thriller The Unblinking Eye as a retired detective who was nearly murdered by a serial killer. [Hollywood Reporter]

Breaking Dawn, the last part of the Twilight saga, will be split into two films. [Deadline Hollywood]

Industry News

Lionsgate and The Weinstein Co. have been revealed as two of the bidders for Disney's Miramax Studios, which recently closed its offices. Lionsgate is also one of the potential buyers of fledgling studio MGM. [Yahoo]

New Yorker Films, the 44-year-old independent film distribution company that previously announced plans to close up shop, will go on after Aladdin Distribution LLC bought its extensive library, which includes Jean Luc Godard's classic Breathless in addition to films by Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa. [The New York Times]

Hong Kong company Imagi International Holdings Ltd. has announced that it has shut down its computer animation studio, Imagi Studios, which helped produce the films TMNT and Astro Boy. [Yahoo]

Film Festivals

Directors Quentin Tarantino and Michel Gondry will each be part of one of over 80 panels at the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. [The New York Times]

The Berlin Film Festival started on Feb. 11 and will run through the 21st. The festival included the first screening of the restored full-length director's cut of Fritz Lang's 1927 classic Metropolis. [The Guardian]


Stuntman and actor Bobby Hoy (Spartacus, The Defiant Ones) died on Feb. 8 from cancer. He was 82. [The Los Angeles Times]

Texas congressman Charles Wilson, who was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 2007 film Charlie Wilson's War, died on Feb. 10 from a heart attack. He was 76. [The Guardian]

In Other News

Conservationists in Los Angeles are trying to raise $5.5 million by April to ensure that the land around the historic Hollywood sign becomes a park. [The New York Times]

Entertainers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin will receive stars on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in a ceremony on Feb. 22. [Yahoo]

The annual Toy Fair was held in New York on Feb. 14, and included new toys from major film releases such as Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Shrek Forever After and The Last Airbender. [Yahoo]

The French band Phoenix will provide the soundtrack to filmmaker Sofia Coppola's upcoming movie Sometime. [Prefix]

Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man, Coffee and Cigarettes) will curate the Sunday lineup of the music festival All Tomorrow's Parties in New York. [Stereogum]

Non Plus One, a six-minute short film for clothing brand Opening Ceremony starring Jason Schwartzman and Kirsten Dunst, and directed by Gia Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter) and Tracy Antonopoulos, has been released online. The short also features a song by Schwartzman's Coconut Records. []

Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) has announced that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He says he is expected to fully recover. [Yahoo]

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are suing the British tabloid News of the World for claiming that they are looking into a multi-million dollar split. [Yahoo]

A play centering on the life of legendary film producer Robert Evans (The Godfather, Rosemary's Baby) is in the works. [The New York Times]

Film blogs, including Speaking of Cinema, are uniting Feb. 14-21 as part of "For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon," which will help raise awareness and money for the National Film Preservation Foundation. More information can be found at the blogathon's main page and Facebook page.


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