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Enormo Round-Up

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So I’ve been extremely busy with film-watching and outings all this week, so I have had no time to put together nice posts and news for you all to enjoy. Today though, sitting in bed and vegging like a pro, I will provide a round-up of all the interesting happenings from the past week in film.

It’s been confirmed that Jonathan Nolan will not be credited for writing Terminator Salvation. In laterally-related news, Christian Bale said he will commit to the next Batman movie, with or without the presence of Christopher Nolan.

Universal has confirmed plans to remake Drop Dead Fred, the cult classic early-90s movie starring Rik Mayall, with Russell Brand to take over the lead role. This will go alongside the previously announced remake of Dudley Moore-vehicle Arthur for our cheeky chappy.

An interview with Lauren Shuler Donner has seen her say that spin-off vehicles for both Gambit and Deadpool will come, if she has her way. Given the utterly awful Wolverine, that would be something of a result to have a movie which will provide us with easily the two most interesting characters from the film.

Todd McFarlane has entered talks over bringing Spawn back to the screen. It was made before to a very poor reception in 1997. During the interview, with IESB, he also talked a little about the David Fincher-helmed Torso, the adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel. That was dropped by Paramount but McFarlane believes another house will pick it up given the presence of Matt Damon in the lead and Rachel McAdams alongside him.

Some photos have emerged of Megan Fox in Jonah Hex, the adaptation of the John Albano-penned DC series. As you would imagine from a movie about a gonzo version of the Wild West, Fox has eschewed the demure look in favour of chicken house chic. Fox did experience a mild disappointment this week, beat to the FHM 100 Sexiest Women poll’s top spot by Girls Aloud’s Cheryl Cole.

Rainn Wilson, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Natalie Portman have joined the cast of Hesher, an indie dramedy to be directed by Spencer Susser. /Film has a host of extra information on this, including a really bewitching zombie short directed by Susser.

Here’s an odd one. The next movie coming from Zhang Yimou, the helmer of the astounding Hero and House of Flying Daggers, is reportedly a remake of the Coens’ Blood Simple.

McG and Michael Bay could well end up slapping ’em out on the table and bringing out the rulers, should the challenge put forth by the former to the latter become reality. Yes, McG has challenged Bay to a dick-measuring contest.

So apparently Oliver Stone, Michael Douglas and Shia LeBoeuf have signed up to take on a sequel to Wall Street, Stone’s visceral attack on the lack of ethics involved in big money trading. It seems a little late at this point but, praise be, no Charlie Sheen.

On the business side, the merger between agency giant William Morris and Endeavour has been approved. Relativity and Lionsgate have brokered a distribution agreement which will cover around five movies per year. Time Warner has announced a 14 per cent fall in profits in the first quarter, primarily owing to problems with AOL, which it is looking to spin-off imminently, and in Time Inc, the magazine side of the conglomerate.

Cinematical has a review of Departures, the Japanese foreign film Oscar winner from this year.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro will open the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.

Benicio del Toro is reportedly in talks to play Brett Easton Ellis in an adaptation of his Lunar Park.

Here’s a first look at Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 2.

The Forgotten, the indie comic series by Evan Young and Jareth Grealish, has been optioned for a movie adaptation.

Bruce Willis is reportedly being courted to star in Red, an adaptation of the Warren Ellis-penned series.

The BBC has commissioned more The Thick of It from Armando Ianucci, coming on the back of the success of In the Loop.

Warner Bros has acquired the rights to Death Note, the manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba.

Mike Newell is in talks to direct a new version of The Lone Ranger.

Fox Searchlight has picked up Whip It, the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore starring Ellen Page.

Iran’s About Elly has won the jury prize at Tribeca.

Trailers: Transformers 2: Revenge of the FallenDistrict 9Mother

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Movie News Round-Up

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Michel Gondry has been signed up to direct The Green Hornet, the crime-fighting comic book adaptation starring Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow. Chow had been signed up to direct but later dropped out over what were described as ‘creative differences’. Gondry’s presence makes this easily the most interesting comic movie on its way at present. I may not have fully loved Be Kind Rewind, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the best films of the past ten years while Science of Sleep is an endless well of whimsy and imagination. Notably, the news was first reported on the Twitter feed of Production Weekly. Also, the trailer for Rogen’s new movie, Observe and Report, has emerged and looks like something of a departure for him into a slightly darker area.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Drew Barrymore, she of the adorable poppet-ness, is among the candidates being considered for Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series which will follow up the next instalment, New Moon, in 2010. Barrymore has recently signed off on her debut in the chair, Whip It, starring Ellen Page.

Eddie Murphy has apparently signed on to play Richard Pryor in ‘Richard Pryor: Was It Something I Said’ for director Bill Condon. It will reunite the pair who worked together previously on Dreamgirls, the film which garnered so much buzz for Murphy and won him an Academy Award nomination. Seems like a strong part for him given the placement of Murphy as the next in line in succession in the evolution of black comedians after Pryor and preceding Chris Rock.

Cate Blanchett has signed on the dotted line to play Maid Marian in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. This news follows that from last week that Scott has changed the name and vision behind the project to a more straight-forward retelling.

Samuel L Jackson is to play Nick Fury in Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and, possibly, in a Nick Fury movie should Marvel decide to do this too. There had been issues over Jackson joining in the past but now it seems such things have been pushed aside for the sake of continuity.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are to team for The B Team, a comedy from Adam McKay which will follow the misadventures of two mismatched cops. Sounds like it be in a similar vein to all other Ferrell/McKay projects and have around four very funny Ferrell moments, almost no story and an effort to make up for any shortcomings through shouting.

Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are involved in talks for Fair Game, not a remake of the Cindy Crawford-starrer from the mid90s, but a drama about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. It would reunite Penn and Watts from when they starred together in the Innaritu/Arriaga piece 21 Grams, a role which won Watts a Best Actress nod at the Oscars. Fair Game will be directed by Doug Liman.

Joss Whedon has spoken out during an interview with Maxim on why many DC comics adaptations are having difficulty in getting to the big screen, including Wonder Woman, which he was often linked with in the past. Whedon said the difference in the era in which the DC comics were made meant that the heroes were not being created as people, but as gods. ‘DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.’ Whedon has long been working on getting Wonder Woman off the ground with Eliza Dushku in the lead. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Dushku’s acting so I’d put forward Morena Baccarin of Firefly and Serenity fame instead. Probably wouldn’t get made either way though.

Francis Ford Coppola has given out some new information on Tetro, his new film following the life, loves and troubles of an Italian family of artists. It stars Vincent Gallo and is, according to Coppola, his first ‘original screenplay’ since his The Conversation. A film from Coppola about an Italian family of artists, autobiography much?

Also in the news: Emily Blunt will definitely not be in Iron Man 2, instead she’ll have to star alongside Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels; Mel Gibson’s The Colonel has a trailer; Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal are to star in a remake of Damn Yankees; Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto have joined Woody Allen’s next movie; Warner Bros has picked up the rights to adapt comic series Suicide Squad; The Coens have directed a 30-second commercial mocking the claim of clean coal; Gore Verbinski is to bring Clue/Cluedo to screens; Seth Green will star in animated caper Mars Needs Moms!; Ed Helms is to write and star in a Civil War-themed comedy; Danny Boyle and Dev Patel may take part in the real-life Who Wants to be a Millionaire; Peter Baynham, a collaborator of Sasha Baron Cohen on Borat, will write the Arthur remake for Russell Brand;