This should heal some wounds for a nation of aggrieved, turned-away television writers: Even Jonathan Franzen can’t get on the air. Against all outward signs of momentum, HBO has decided not to put in a series order for The Corrections, the adaptation of Franzen's 2001 sad-family epic.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn are in talks for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant. DiCaprio would play an 1820s frontiersman who, after being mauled by a bear on an expedition, hires two guys to transport him back from the wilderness; those two guys rob him and leave him for dead, and DiCaprio seeks out some solid revenge. Penn is in talks to play one of the two guys and being the ever-innovative thespian that he is, though, he's also looking into what it would take to play the bear. Grade: A- [Deadline]
Matt Damon will direct and star in a movie he co-wrote with John Krasinski, who will also star. (Krasinski came up with the idea, and developed it with Dave Eggers). Details have yet to be released, but the movie is in the vein of Erin Brockovich, and will feature Damon as a salesman who “arrives in a small town only to have his life changed.” That is certainly a lot of information to digest, so let’s focus on what’s really important: in the vein of Erin Brockovich? Finally, Matt Damon in a push-up bra! Grade: A- [HR]
It’s been a decade since the book was released and almost as long since producer Scott Rudin first attempted to turn it into a movie, but, finally, an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections is just about actually happening. If all goes as planned, it'll be an HBO series directed by Noah Baumbach and co-written with Franzen. The project is nearing a pilot order with Anthony Hopkins in talks to play the Parkinson's-addled patriarch of a troubled Midwestern family. In related news: Freedom the movie! Coming 2027! Grade: A [Deadline]
Stellan Skarsgard says Lars Von Trier has cast him as the lead in Nymphomaniac, an exploration of female sexuality from ages zero to 50. According to Skarsgard, “Lars called me and said 'Stellan, my next film will be a porno and I want you to play the lead in it.’” Also, "I want you to sit uncomfortably next to me, Kirsten Dunst–style, when I say something inappropriate while promoting it at a film festival,” Von Trier did not add. Grade: A- [HR]
Bruce Willis is negotiating to star in the increasingly weird-seeming G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation as Joe Colton, the original Joe. He'd join Dwayne Johnson, Adrianne Palicki, and RZA, and be inexplicably directed by Jon M. Chu, the guy who made the Step Up movies and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Grade: B [HR]
Oren Moverman (The Messenger) is writing and possibly directing The Terrorist Search Engine, a movie based on Wesley Yang's recent New York magazine profile of Evan Kohlmann, a young, Internet-savvy, counter-terrorism expert who earned the nickname "the Doogie Howser of Terrorism" for his testimony leading to the conviction of nearly 24 jihadists. Scott Rudin will produce and Jesse Eisenberg may star ("That's thousand. Twenty-four thousand jihadists"). Grade: A [Deadline]