Who, if anyone, can you picture playing the late literary genius David Foster Wallace? Go ahead and sub in Jason Segel. The Wrap reports that James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now) will soon direct an adaptation of Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. Jesse Eisenberg will costar as David Lipsky, the Rolling Stone reporter who spent five days with Wallace on the 1996 press tour for Infinite Jest. (Lipsky went on to pen a lengthy piece in the wake of Wallace's suicide in 2008.) Pulitzer-winning Dinner With Friends playwright Donald Margulies wrote the screenplay, titled The End of the Tour.
The last we heard, Fast 7 had gone on indefinite hold. For now, Universal is still publicly holding on to the movie's originally targeted release date, July 11, but that's already getting encroached on. Dawn of the Planet of the Apesjust bumped itself up a week, from July 18, to that slot, sensibly presuming that, when the chips fall, it'll have the weekend to itself. So when will we actually be seeing Fast 7? Who the hell knows! But what's going on with the production right now? THRhas some insight.
Whether or not you liked Arrested Development’s fourth season, the execution occupied a gray area somewhere between television, short-story collection, and big long movie. So it's not with total surprise that we find Mitch Hurwitz, Arrested’s creator and superbrain, signing on with Fox 2000 to direct his first feature. Guinea Pigging will be written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, cocreators of Reno 911! and The State and writers behind the Night at the Museum series; it'll detail a "community of semiprofessionals who spend their lives as test subjects for drug companies, hospitals and universities." The concept is based on Carl Elliott's 5,000-word New Yorker piece from 2008. The Hollywood Reporter says the spin will be "a sophisticated comedy" that'll deal with the "unusual side effects" of all that piggin'. (THR also remarks that Hurwitz signed for "a hefty seven-figure deal," which, congrats, sir!)
LeBron went to Miami for one reason: to win a ring so he could finally get on Jordan's level by starring in a timeless big-screen comedy. When it didn't work out after the first year, mega-producer Brian Grazer put the movie on hold. Two NBA championships later, it's back on — with Kevin "Major Stand-Up Comedian/Got So Many Upcoming Projects on My IMDb Page You Can't Even Understand" Hart. "Hart will first co-write the comedy along with his scripting teammates Joey Wells, Chris Spencer and Harry Ratchford. He'll then star as a man who lives in the shadow of his NBA superstar brother, but gets a chance to prove himself when he and some pals attend a weekend fantasy basketball camp in Miami," Deadline reports. The site also calls Ballers "the real Twins sequel." I'm envisioning more of a pseudo-Stepbrothers follow-up, especially if Hart brings anything he brought to this intense court scene in 2012's Think Like a Man:
We've seen Jeff Bridges as an old-timey, eye-patchy U.S. Marshal, but how about the Dude as a chill citizen of history's favorite empire? The Coen brothers are "plainly excited" about a new project they're writing, "which they proudly explain is set in ancient Rome," writes the Associated Press. "It's like: Would you ever do a sandal movie?" Joel says, amused with the idea. "It's big," Ethan adds. "We're interested in the big questions. And we don't [expletive] around with subtext. This one especially."
Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street will be the longest film of the 71-year-old auteur's career and of the 2013 holiday season, clocking in one minute shy of three hours. If running times don't count as scandalous, though, here's what might: Scorsese flew to Marrakesh, Morocco, last week to judge a nine-day film festival immediately after handing his final cut to Paramount. The New York Times speaks of two "sneak-peek guild screenings" that happened over the weekend, then calls Wolf the potential "weirdest" Oscar movie of the year. Oh, that's right: Premiering on Christmas means Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are in the Oscar race together again for the first time since The Departed won four statues in 2007, including Best Picture and Best Director.
On Monday, producer Arnon Milchan announced on the Israeli investigative news program Uvda that he's a former Israeli spy, acquiring nuclear weapons and information for the top-secret intelligence agency Lekem until the mid-'80s. Milchan, who produced (among many others)Pretty Woman, Heat, and L.A. Confidential and founded New Regency Productions, has been surrounded by secret-agent rumors for years and was the subject of a 2011 biography titled Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon, but his Uvda interview marks the first time he has openly addressed it.
The biopic, in the early developmental stages at Fox Searchlight, will detail the moments that led the author to create The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. At first it sounds like a lot of shots of a guy sitting in a study, scrawling and smoking a pipe, but there's plenty of mid-century English drama to stir in. "Tolkien led a fascinating life," The Hollywood Reporter writes. "He fought in World War I, where he saw countrysides torn to shreds and friends killed, and he was a code breaker in waiting during World War II. He was close friends with C.S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia books, and the two made up part of an academic and writing group known as the Inklings." Still, if they're running low on actual plot, when Tolkien starts synthesizing all that life experience in his imagination while coming up with The Hobbit and LOtR, footage from Peter Jackson's films can easily just overtake the screen for a half-hour here and there.
On Monday, Variety told the world to expect a sequel to 1946’s It's a Wonderful Life in theaters in time for Christmas 2015. The New York Post’s Lou Lumenick, meanwhile, told everyone to chill, saying things like "not gonna happen" and "rights hopelessly tangled." So it's been hard knowing what's what — especially when it's unclear if anyone was clamoring for this movie in the first place. Now the AP hears Paramount is indeed unsupportive. "No project relating to It's a Wonderful Life can proceed without a license from Paramount," a statement reads. "To date, these individuals have not obtained any of the necessary rights, and we would take all appropriate steps to protect those rights." The individuals in question are Star Partners and Hummingbird Productions, which I'm sure are great, but which I'm also sure are not Paramount-size companies with access to Paramount-size lawyers.
Just more than 20 years after A Few Good Men dropped you-can't-handle-the-truth bombs all over the place, costars Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson might make El Presidente. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script's about "a straight-arrow Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect America's worst former president, an alcoholic and womanizing sleazebag who was elevated from VP when the president died." Unnamed sources tell THR that Cruise went to Nicholson's house last week to try convincing The Man Who Was Jack Torrance to come along for the ride. "Cruise told Nicholson he won’t do the movie without him. It’s too early to say if the sit-down proved effective, but insiders say the end result was that Nicholson agreed to at least read the script," which came from Jesse Armstrong (In the Loop) and Parks and Recreation writer and Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator Dan Goor, with a rewrite from Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco). Doug Liman, who directed Cruise in the upcoming sci-fi film Edge of Tomorrow and also has The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith on his résumé, is directing.
That bit where Bugs Bunny takes a handsaw to the state of Florida, casting it forth into the sea? Will Smith and director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Real Steel, The Internship) are gonna do that to Manhattan in City That Sailed. (No way this movie's not getting a The before the title at some point.) When Smith began eyeing the project in 2009, it was about a street magician breaking the island off and guiding it to London to reunite with his daughter; the new description says it'll involve a father and daughter captaining the metropolis together. Either way, you're imagining 13-year-old Willow Smith for the part, even though she hasn't demonstrated as much love for the making-blockbusters-with-dad pastime as Jaden has. That's fine. Let's go straight to 10-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who honed her fantasy chops in 2012’s Beasts of the Southern Wild before scooping up the Annie remake's lead role from Willow.
The long-developing Jurassic Park sequel/potential franchise rejuvenator now known as Jurassic World recently cast Josh Brolin, which wasn't overly exciting to this particular Jurassic fanatic. Now Brolin is out (scheduling and salary problems; see ya!) and Parks and Recreation’s Chris Pratt is in early talks to take over. The Hollywood Reporter says the role is "a rugged ex-military man, whose foil is the already-cast Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays a smart corporate scientist." Ex-military isn't necessarily the greatest fit with Pratt's goofy image, but Pratt himself does fit any movie I'm looking to see. We'll also have a better idea of Pratt's capacity to hold down a big blockbuster after 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy hits. Pratt had a good-enough time on that one that he hopes Marvel makes 10 more.
After recently outing himself as a shy bloke indeed, Idris Elba has lined up his perfect James Bond audition role. Lest you thought Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom indicated a permanent shift away from explosion-y fare like Pacific Rim, Prometheus, and Thor: The Dark World, this new project, Bastille Day, is an action-thriller. Variety reports that Elba will play "a U.S. operative who is tasked with interrogating and eventually making a young American boy 'disappear' in order to avoid embarrassment to the U.S. government after the boy is linked as the prime suspect to an attack on the Paris metro." Then more attacks go down, it becomes apparent the boy isn't a terrorist but just a onetime terrorist associate/friend/relative, and Elba and the boy are suddenly in a buddy movie.
There can never be enough filmed adventures about bearded mutants with retractable adamantium claws, and James Mangold might be game to keep helping the cause. 20th Century Fox is looking to strike a deal with the director following this summer's The Wolverine, Mangold's first comic book movie, which grossed an impressive $413 million worldwide, $132 million of that domestically. That makes it the second-highest-earning X-Men project, falling just behind 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Before taking Darren Aronofsky's spot at The Wolverine’s helm, Mangold was a stylistic dabbler, ranging from Walk the Line to Kate & Leopold to Cop Land to Girl, Interrupted. So while it's easy to imagine Mangold yearning to cut loose and make a small drama or a non-superhero actioner, it's harder to imagine someone not wanting to reteam with Australia's most effervescent gentleman-badass.
J.J. Abrams has been vocal about the impossibility of directing Star Wars: Episode VII as well as another Star Trek movie. It's just too much space for one man; his insides would get all goopy and he'd start muddling Yoda's catchphrases with Spock's. With that reality starting to sink in, Paramount is reportedly looking at England's Joe Cornish for the follow-up to this year's Cumberbatchtastic Star Trek Into Darkness. Cornish became a known quantity in 2011 with Attack the Block, a low-budget alien-invasion flick that oozed cool. Since then he's cowritten Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tin Tin and Edgar Wright's upcoming Ant-Man. The man is ready for his shot.