Father Geek here once again with Elston's morning coffee break review of all the Tinseltown news you may have missed during the past work week, soooo refill that mug of Java, grab another of your fave breakfast treats, sit back and dig into the week that was out in Hollywoodland with AICN's...
The WEEKLY RECAP...
TAKEN FROM VARIETY AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER...
TAKEN FROM VARIETY AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER...
* Jamie Kennedy will star in a feature based on one of his characters from his show ("JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment"). SUCKAZ will feature Kennedy's character, wannabe rapper Brad Gluckman, and will be directed by Fax Bahr and Adam Small for Warner Bros. Production begins mid-June. Nick Swardstrom will play Gluckman's sidekick Mocha.
* Brad Pitt and Wolfgang Petersen may star and direct, respectively, in Warner Bros.' epic feature THE TROJAN WAR. David Benioff wrote the script based on Homer's THE ILIAD. Pitt may play the role of Achilles.
* Gabriel Mann (HIGH ART) will join Liam Neeson and Billy Crawford in John Frankenheimer's untitled prequel to THE EXORCIST for Morgan Creek Prods. Shooting begins in the spring in the United Kingdom and Spain. Author Caleb Carr (THE ALIENIST) rewrote the script, based on an original screenplay by William Wisher.
* Javier Bardem is attached to star in the drama NIKE: A ROMANCE, based on the novel by Nicholas Flokos, for Landscape Pictures. It's about a villager who tries restore his island's pride by stealing the statue of the goddess Nike from the Louvre and returning it to the island. When he goes to Paris, however, he must choose between his love for the statue and the love he develops for the museum guard who watches over it.
* Susan Sarandon, Leelee Sobieski, Robin Tunney, Donald Sutherland, David Straithairn and Rory Cochrane will star in the ensemble indie pic A WHALE IN MONTANA for director George Hickenlooper. Production begins April 29. Written by Paul Donohoe, the project is about a widowed doctor with a 7-year-old daughter working in a small town. The doctor must come to terms with her past, present and future when her child's best friend, a 7-year-old boy from an abusive family, begins having visions of her dead husband.
* Christina Ricci is in talks to star in Neil Jordan's BORGIA after she finishes Woody Allen's untitled film. She'll play Lucretia Borgia, the illegitimate daughter of Roderigo.
* Jimmy Fallon joins Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Glenn Close and Danny DeVito in Woody Allen's untitled project, which will shoot in the spring.
* Nicolas Cage is in negotiations with director John Woo about starring with Chow Yun-Fat in MEN OF DESTINY, an epic look at the 19th-century construction of America's railroads. Cage would play an Irish immigrant who at first clashes and then bonds with his Chinese co-worker when they find common ground in the immigrant struggle for the American dream.
* James Gandolfini, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Renee Zellweger and Martin Scorsese will lend their voices to SHARKSLAYER, a DreamWorks CGI-animated project. Eric "Bibo" Bergeron (THE ROAD TO EL DORADO) and Vicky Jenson (SHREK) will direct the pic about how the undersea underworld is shaken up when the son of a mobster sharks gets killed and a young fish named Oscar is found at the scene of the crime.
* Swoosie Kurtz join Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore in THE DUPLEX for Miramax and director Danny DeVito.
* Eugene Levy and Jean Smart join Steve Martin and Queen Latifah in the comedy IN THE HOUZE for Disney and director Adam Shenkman. Jason Filardi wrote the script about a guy who gets into an online relationship with a woman in jail.
* Thomas Jane will star in STANDER, based on the true story of a police detective-turned-bank robber, for director Bronwen Hughes and Seven Arts Pictures. Production begins in late June. It's about a white police officer in Johannesburg who in the early 1980s suffered a crisis of conscience because of his involvement in apartheid and became a notorious bank robber on the run.
* Cuba Gooding Jr. is in talks to star in RADIO, written by Mike Rich (THE ROOKIE) for Revolution Studios and director Mike Tollin. The project, based on a 1996 Sports Illustrated article by Gary Smith, centers on the relationship between a white football coach and a mentally challenged black man. Production begins this fall. Gooding is also expected to star in SNOW DOGS 2 after he finishes RADIO.
* Kate Beckinsale, Matthew McConaughey and Gary Oldman are in talks to join Patricia Arquette in the indie pic TIPTOES for writer/director Matthew Bright. Shooting begins this month in L.A. It's about a pregnant woman whose boyfriend doesn't want her to have the baby. When she insists, she finds that he comes from a long line of little people, including his twin brother Rolfe, with whom she falls in love.
* Duane Martin (SCREAM 2) will star opposite Vivica A. Fox in the comedy/thriller RIDE OR DIE, which he co-wrote with Jay Wolcott. Craig Ross Jr. will direct. It's about a private detective searching for answers to the death of his best friend. Meagan Good, Jadakiss and Michael "Bear" Taliferro will also star.
* Robin Wright Penn will star alongside Robert Downey Jr. in THE SINGING DETECTIVE. Keith Gordon will direct the pic from a screenplay by Dennis Potter. Mel Gibson, who is producing the film with his Icon Productions partner Bruce Davey, will play Downey's psychiatrist.
* Joe Pantoliano joins the cast of DAREDEVIL for director Mark Steven Johnson. Pantoliano will play a reporter who is hot on the trail of Daredevil. Ben Affleck, Jon Favreau, Jennifer Garner and Michael Clarke Duncan star.
* Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia will co-star in a feature film adaptation of THE GUYS, a one-act play by Anne Nelson commissioned and staged by lower Manhattan's Flea Theater in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It focuses on the true story of a fire captain who lost eight men on Sept. 11 and the editor who helps him put together the eulogies. Weaver's husband, Jim Simpson, directed the play and will helm the film for ContentFilm and Open City Films. Shooting begins this month in New York.
* Ryan Reynolds will star in the romantic comedy THE ROMFORD MATADOR for writer/director Piers Ashworth (GIRL). It's about a Montana cowboy who lives in London with his grandparents. When they win a trip to Spain, he meets the girl of his dreams and must save a bull to win her heart.
* Kurt Russell is in talks to star in the thriller PAPARAZZI for Icon Prods. and 20th Century Fox. Paul Abascal will direct from a script by Forest Smith. It's about a movie star who seeks revenge after his wife and son are injured in an accident caused by a group of paparazzi.
* Sophia Bush (NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER) joins the cast of T3: RISE OF THE MACHINES for C-2 Pictures/Intermedia and director Jonathan Mostow. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl and Kristanna Loken star.
* Laura Elena Harring (MULHOLLAND DRIVE) will star opposite Crispin Glover in New Line's WILLARD, a remake of the 1971 horror pic, for director Glen Morgan. It's about a guy whose only friends are his pet rats. When of them gets killed, the guy goes on a rampage with the aid of his pets. Morgan wrote the remake with James Wong.
* John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia will star opposite Rowan Atkinson in the spy spoof JOHNNY ENGLISH for Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. Peter Howitt (SLIDING DOORS) will direct the pic about a bumbling British secret agent up against an evil French business magnate. Ben Miller (THE PAROLE OFFICER) will also star in the pic written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH) and William Davies. Production begins April 15.
* Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and director Sam Raimi will return for a
sequel to SPIDER-MAN for Columbia Pictures and producers Laura Ziskin, Avi
Arad and Ian Bryce. Miles Millar and Alfred Gough (SHANGHAI NOON,
"Smallville" exec. producers) will write the script. Shooting is expected
to begin during the first-quarter 2003.
* Jean-Jacques Beineix (BETTY BLUE) will direct I WAS AMELIA EARHART, based on the 1996 novel by Jane Mendelsohn, for Fine Line Features. The project mixes history and fiction chronicles the exploits of Earhart leading up to her final ill-fated attempt to fly around the world, and then veers into a fictional flight pattern, inventing a romance between Earhart and her co-pilot when they land on a deserted island.
* Fox 2000 has bought the romantic comedy script LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, written by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson, about two unattached adults forced to become instant parents when their best friends die after naming the two singles as caregivers for their orphaned daughter.
* New Regency Entertainment has picked up the pitch GIVE IT UP from Dana Schmalenberg for MBST Entertainment to produce. The story is set at a rock 'n' roll summer camp for girls, where two quarreling lead singers make a bet in which the last to lose her virginity must drop out of a competition for a recording contract.
* Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott (SHREK) will rewrite THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN for Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
* Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have purchased an untitled pitch from writer Ross Canter about the fictionalized adventures of a teenage Thomas Edison who teams up with Wild Bill Hickok and their efforts to save the Union during the Civil War.
* Dimension Films has nabbed the family action-comedy script THE SPY NEXT DOOR from writer Joe Ballarini. It's about a dysfunctional family man who finds out his next-door neighbor is an international spy. The two team up to save the world and the suburbs.
* Jonathan Lynn is in talks to direct Cuba Gooding Jr. in Paramount Pictures/MTV Films' THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS.
* DreamWorks Pictures and Signpost Films grabbed writer/director Vadim Perelman's adaptation of Andre Dubus III's best-selling novel HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG. Jennifer Connelly and Ben Kingsley are attached to star.
* Kirk Wong will direct Wesley Snipes in WHEN THE RIDE IS RUFF for Creative Union Entertainment about a member of a motorcycle group called the Ruff Ryders who is framed for murdering the head of the Biker Council. Shooting begins in June in Wilmington, Del., and New York.
* Dominic Sena (SWORDFISH) will direct an adaptation of Jim Thompson's (THE GETAWAY, THE GRIFTERS) THE KILLER INSIDE ME for producer Chris Hanley. Andrew Dominik (CHOPPER) and Robert Weinbach have written a script. It's about a sheriff's deputy who hides a psychotic streak. Burt Kennedy directed Stacy Keach and Susan Tyrell in a 1976 adaptation of the book.
* David Nutter ("X-Files," DISTURBING BEHAVIOR) will direct the ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN remake for Disney. to direct its remake of the 1975 movie "Escape to Witch Mountain. The project, about two teens with telekinetic powers, is based on the novel by Alexander Key.
* Kelsey Grammer's Gramnet Prods. has optioned playwright Chad Beguelin's comedy pitch FRANKENTEACHER about two high schoolers who try to bring back their deceased science teacher, but end up having to fight ubiquitous zombies.
* Joseph Kahn is in talks to direct the motorcycle racing action pic TORQUE for Warner Bros. and Original Films.
* Kevin Kerslake is in final talks to direct the skateboarding movie PAVEMENT starring extreme sports team DC Shoes. Shooting begins mid-April.
* Music video helmer Len Wiseman will direct the action/horror film UNDERWORLD for Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment. It's a modern-day tale of forbidden love set against an ancient war between vampires and werewolves. Wiseman wrote the script with Danny McBride.
* Paramount Pictures and producer Scott Rudin have purchased the rights to Richard Price's (CLOCKERS) upcoming novel ALMS TO MEN. Price will adapt the story about a TV writer who returns home and tries to use his wealth to help out the people he grew up with. The author will also pen for the producer an urban ghost story about psychics who work with police.
* Tony Gilroy (PROOF OF LIFE, upcoming THE BOURNE IDENTITY) will write an corporate espionage thriller for producer Laura Bickford and Universal Pictures as a directing vehicle for Steven Soderbergh.
* Philip Kaufman will direct Ashley Judd in BLACKOUT for Paramount Pictures and Intertainment AG. Production begins July 8. Sarah Thorp wrote the script about a female police officer investigating a murder who finds herself at the center of the investigation when her past lovers end up dead.
* DreamWorks Pictures and Artists Production Group are developing David Ambrose's novel THE DISCRETE CHARM OF CHARLIE MONK, with Peter Buchman adapting. The book follows a government superspy who becomes a subject of a virtual reality experiment that slowly reveals the truth about his unclear past.
* Tina Fey ("Saturday Night Live" head writer) will adapt Margaret Talbot's Feb. 24 New York Times Magazine article, "Girls Just Want to Be Mean," as a feature comedy for producer Lorne Michaels. The article looks at the teen phenomenon of girl-to-girl cruelty, which can take the form of jibes, vicious e-mails and malicious gossip. It focused on the nonprofit Empower Program, which helps to get girls to treat one another more kindly.
* Fox 2000 has optioned Carl Hiaasen's BASKET CASE for Michael Tolkin (THE PLAYER, CHANGING LANES) to adapt. It's about a former investigative reporter who is banished to the obit desk of a Florida newspaper and happens upon the suspicious death of an aging rock star in the Bahamas.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTION TIDBITS
* Miramax Films is pushing ahead with several kids films, which it dubs "the Teddy Projects." Some of these projects include: the Anthongy Minghella-produced THE FIREWORK-MAKER'S DAUGHTER, based on the novel by Philip Pullman; ELLA ENCHANTED with Tommy O'Haver directing Anne Hathaway; SLUGGER with Kevin James in talks to star; PINOCCHIO co-written and directed by Roberto Beinigni, who also stars; an adaptation of Eoin Colfer's ARTEMIS FOWL; the animated pic THE MAGIC BRUSH; CGI-effects project A CRICKET IN TIMES SQUARE; and NEVERLAND, starring Johnny Depp for director Marc Forster.
* Dean Devlin's Electric Entertainment will produce the action project THE CARRIER for Paramount Pictures. It's about a heist aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, where thieves try to steal $30 million from the ship and get it to shore. John Rogers and David John McCarthey wrote the script. Shooting is expected to begin this summer.
* Preproduction on 20th Century Fox/Davis Entertainment's FAT ALBERT has been temporarily halted due to conflict of visions between Bill Cosby, who penned the screenplay with Charles Kipps, and director Forest Whitaker.
(NOT from the trades)
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