Bryan Cranston heading to 'Mars' for Pixar

121115-Bryan_Cranston_341 "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston has joined the cast of Walt Disney's "John Carter of Mars."

Andrew Stanton is directing the production, which goes before cameras next week.

The adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series centers on a Civil War veteran (Taylor Kitsch) who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where he becomes involved with the planet's warring people.

Cranston plays a Civil War colonel who comes into conflict with Carter.

Continue reading "Bryan Cranston heading to 'Mars' for Pixar" »

Daniel Craig eyeing 'Cowboys and Aliens'

94830-craig_daniel_341x182 Daniel Craig might be putting on the Stetson left behind by Robert Downey Jr. in DreamWorks' "Cowboys and Aliens," being directed by Jon Favreau.

While in the very early stages, Craig is in talks and has the offer to play a gunslinger in the sci-fi Western, which explores what would happen if the traditional Old West enemies -- cowboys and Native Americans -- found the prairie attacked by aliens in mid-1800s Arizona. The gunslinger named Jake is the one who leads the human revolt. Whether Craig dons an American accent for the part remains to be seen

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing and wrote the script with "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof. Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are also producing.

DreamWorks is intent on shooting the film this year with an eye toward a 2011 release, and Downey dropped out last week due to scheduling issues. Among his offerings are potential sequels to "Sherlock Holmes" and a third "Iron Man" movie.

DreamWorks has a soft spot for the CAA-repped Craig. The actor starred in Steven Spielberg's "Munich" and plays a pirate in "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," which Spielberg directed.

Top Shelf strikes deal with Likely Story, media entrepreneur

Too Coo To Be Forgotten Cover Top Shelf Prods. is the latest comic and graphic novel publisher to set up ties to Hollywood, creating a capital investment deal with new media entrepreneur John S. Johnson and indie producer Anthony Bregman’s shingle Likely Story.

Johnson and Likely Story have acquired a 33% stake in Top Shelf. Johnson will now join the board of Top Shelf with Likely Story, getting a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications.

The deal also puts into development the first title, “Too Cool to Be Forgotten,” by Alex Robinson. The well-reviewed graphic novel -- it landed on Amazon’s list of Top 10 graphic novels of 2008 -- tells the story of a fortysomething father of two who undergoes hypnosis therapy to quit smoking, only to transport back to 1985 and his formative years as a gangly, awkward teenager. 

The seeds of the deal were planted years ago when Bregman, the producer behind movies like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Friends With Money,” introduced Johnson and Top Shelf publisher Chris Staro to each other.

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Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan speak 'Code'

120994-farmiga_monaghan_341x182 Golden Globe nominee Vera Farmiga is in negotiations and Michelle Monaghan is set to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in Vendome Pictures and the Mark Gordon Co.’s time-travel thriller “Source Code.”

Summit is distributing in North America.

Duncan Jones (“Moon”) is directing the picture, which centers on a soldier (Gyllenhaal) who, as part of an experimental government program to investigate a terrorist incident, finds himself in the body of an unknown commuter living and reliving a harrowing train bombing until he can find out who is responsible for it.

Farmiga will play a hands-on communications officer controlling Gyllenhaal as he travels through time and space. Monaghan is a woman on the train with whom the man is involved romantically.

Mark Gordon is producing with Vendome CEO Philippe Rousselet and Jordan Wynn. The film is slated to begin filming in March.

Farmiga, repped by CAA and Authentic Talent and Literary Management, is flying high off her performance in “Up in the Air,” one of the season’s major awards players. She’s nominated by the Globes as best supporting actress.

Monaghan, repped by ICM and DF Management, starred with Shia LaBeouf in “Eagle Eye” and recently wrapped “Due Date” with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. She recently garnered a best actress award form the San Diego Film Critics for her performance in “Trucker.”

Peter Sarsgaard in 'Green Lantern' talks

Sarsgaard_Peter_150x200 Peter Sarsgaard is in negotiations to play the villain in "Green Lantern," Warner Bros.' big-budget, Martin Campbell-directed tentpole based on the DC Comics super hero.

Ryan Reynolds is starring as Hal Jordan, the test pilot who finds a downed spacecraft with a dying alien who passes him a powerful ring, introducing Jordan to a interstellar police force known as the Green Lanterns.

Sarsgaard will play Dr. Hector Hammond, the pathologist son of a senator who is seen as a disappointment in his father's eyes. He becomes infused with psychic powers when he discovers a meteor.

The character was created by John Broome and Gil Kane in the early 1960s.

Blake Lively has already cast as Reynolds' love interest, Carol Ferris.

The movie is prepping for a March start in New Orleans. Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti are producing.

Sarsgaard, who starred opposite Carey Mulligan in "An Education," recently wrapped "Knight and Day" with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The actor, repped by CAA and Authentic Talent and Literary Management, is currently shooting the indie thriller "The Ledge" with Terrence Howard and Evan Rachel Wood.

Director Stephen Norrington finds 'The Lost Patrol'

Stephen Norrington has come aboard to write and direct, "The Lost Patrol" for Legendary Pictures.

Plot details are being kept under wraps though it is described as a supernatural action thriller set against the backdrop of World War II. The project was picked up as a spec last year by Andrew Hilton. Matt Cirulnick did a previous rewrite.

Norrington said the project hit all of his "geek-buttons" and contains "hardware, heroes, grime, insane monsters."

Rick Porras and Steven Boyd are producing along with Legendary.

Legendary's Alex Garcia and Dennis Bakriges are overseeing "Patrol" for the company, which has a fully loaded year in its partnership with Warners. "Clash of the Titans," "Inception" and "Due Date" are some of its projects being released this year.

WME-repped Norrington, who directed comic book adaptations "Blade" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," is also currently in development on a new screen iteration of "The Crow" for Relativity.


Robert Zemeckis finds Beatles for 'Yellow Submarine'

Yellsubcasting2 It's "all together now" for the cast of Robert Zemeckis' upcoming Beatles feature.

Cary Elwes, Dean Lennox Kelly, Peter Serafinowicz and Adam Campbell are in negotiations to portray the members of the band in "Yellow Submarine," which the director is remaking for Disney.

The original 1968 animated movie was based on the music by the Beatles and featured a storyline wherein a soldier called Old Fred meets up with the Beatles and travels in a yellow submersible to Pepperland. Among the group's encounters are the music-hating Blue Meanies.

As with his recently released "A Christmas Carol," Zemeckis is making the movie using 3D performance-capture technology. The helmer, who also wrote the screenplay, is producing with his Imagemovers Digital partners Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey.

The Beatles tribute band the Fab Four will be motion-captured as the ensemble for the musical performance sequences though -- since actual Beatles music will be utilized (licensed from Sony/ATV and EMI-Capitol Records) -- they won't actually be performing the 16 songs used in the movie.

Kelly, a British actor who is currently on the BBC's "Robin Hood" series, is portraying John Lennon.

Serafinowicz, repped by UTA and Troika in the U.K. and Principato/Young, appeared in "Shaun of the Dead" and in "Couples Retreat." He plays Paul McCartney.

Elwes, who worked with Zemeckis on "A Christmas Carol" and is in the upcoming "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," will play George Harrison. Elwes is repped by APA and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Entertainment.

Campbell will be Ringo Starr. His credits include "Epic Movie" and "Date Movie," and he will be seen on NBC's miniseries "Day One." He is repped by ICM and Mary Putnam Greene.

Two more joining Soderbergh's spy movie 'Knockout'

Tatum_channing Channing Tatum and Michael Angarano are in negotiations to join Steven Soderbergh's all-star cast of "Knockout," the revenge spy movie he's directing for Relativity.

The script by Lem Dobbs centers on a spy (mixed martial artist Gina Carano) who works for a Blackwater-style security contractor and is betrayed by one of her teammates.

Tatum, who will train with a Mossad agent in preparation for the part, will play one of the agents in her spy cell. Angarano plays a teen who sees Carano in trouble and decides to help, unwittingly ending up as her partner.

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'Spider-Man 4' scrapped; reboot planned

Spider-man Columbia has scrapped “Spider-Man 4” and is rebooting the franchise.

The studio is parting ways with director Sam Raimi and “Spider-Man” stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and is taking the web slinger’s alter ego, Peter Parker, back to high school.

The new movie, which will have a new director and cast but still be produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios, is eyeing a summer 2012 release. It will use a script by James Vanderbilt and put the focus back on a teenager grappling with normal teen problems while also dealing with his superpowers.

News of the reboot follows weeks of script problems in which the studio was at loggerheads with Raimi over which villains to use in the fourth movie. The clashes were kept mostly under the radar but last week erupted into the public when it became clear that the studio was not going to meet its start date and subsequently its May 6, 2011, release date.  

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Stuart Townsend leaves Marvel's 'Thor'

Stuart_townsend Associated Press

Stuart Townsend has departed Marvel Comics' movie adaptation of "Thor" because of creative differences, according to sources close to the production.

Townsend had been cast as Fandral, an ally of Norse god Thor. He was replaced by Joshua Dallas, according to the two sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The cast change came as production was about to begin. Shooting starts Monday on the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Irish actor Townsend, 37, best known as the boyfriend of Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, starred in "Queen of the Damned." He had been cast as Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy but was replaced at the last minute by Viggo Mortensen.

Dallas, an American actor who is a relative newcomer, appears in George Lucas' upcoming Tuskagee Airmen drama "Red Tails."

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  • Heat Vision sets its sights on what’s hot in the world of fanboy entertainment, from blockbuster films to the comic books that inspire them. Its author is Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter.



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