Fox is resuscitating its Alien franchise. Ridley Scott is attached to return as director to the series he created in 1979 while the studio has hired Jon Spaihts to write a prequel. The new film will precede the 1979 sci-fi horror movie that proclaimed "In space no one can hear you scream."
In the original, which starred Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the crew of a commercial towing ship returning to Earth is awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planet. However, the crew discovers too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them. And there was of course that awful gastroenterological problem suffered by John Hurt...
Spaihts, says Variety, got the writing job after pitching the studio and Scott Free, which will produce the film. A new go-to-guy for space thrillers, Spaihts was hired by Keanu Reeves to write the space journey epic Passengers at Morgan Creek. That script got Spaihts the meeting with Fox and Scott Free.
Separately, Fox has separately hired Spaihts to rewrite The Darkest Hour, which Timur Bekmambetov will produce with Tom Jacobson. Spaihts is also writing Children of Mars for Disney and Scott Rudin. He will follow by rewriting St. George and the Dragon for Sony and Red Wagon.
The original Alien spawned three sequels, but this is the first time that Scott has set his mind on directing one.
Bloody Disgusting echoes what are likely the sentiments of many saying, "If there's one way to win over the fans, it's to bring the original helmer back onboard with his blessings."
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Unstoppable may be just that after all: Just two weeks after Denzel Washington pulled out of the 20th Century Fox drama, the actor is back on the train.
Variety reports that Washington and the studio have come to terms on a deal that will put the project back on its fast track in the fall.
Tony Scott is directing the film, about a runaway train, which has resumed preproduction in Pittsburgh.
Washington had been attached since April to play a veteran engineer who jumps into a locomotive with a young conductor (Chris Pine) to stop an unmanned train loaded with toxic cargo.
Mark Bomback's script is based on true events.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the project had slowed when Fox insisted that the budget be brought close to $90 million, requiring salary concessions from Washington and Scott.
Sources told Variety that the studio asked Scott to shave $3 million off his upfront salary and Washington to shave $4 million off his. Washington declined and he started eyeing other jobs for the fall.
Scott and Washington, off in Europe to promote their latest collaboration The Taking of Pelham 123, continued talking, and Washington's reps and Fox found a way to compromise on the deal.
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[IMG: LThe A-Team is coming together with Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson now said to be in talks with Fox to play Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck and Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, respectively. Joe Carnahan is directing the film based on the 1980s TV series.
According to Variety, Neeson and Fox are working out money issues.
Meanwhile, back in May, Cooper appeared to have unwittingly confirmed to IESB that he was in for Faceman although he backpedaled on his statements a few days later when speaking with Chud. The actor is especially hot right now coming off this weekend’s number one film, The Hangover.
Carnahan and Brian Bloom fine-tuned an A-Team script by Skip Woods while Ridley Scott is producing with Jules Daly and series creator Stephen J. Cannell. Tony Scott is executive producing through Scott Free.
Production begins in late August for a June 11, 2010 release.
The series' premise — four war vets wrongly convicted of armed robbery who escape from a military prison to become do-gooder mercenaries — is intact but the camp nature of the show is said to have been replaced with a tone that hews closer to Mission: Impossible and Ocean's Eleven.
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Has Tom Cruise finally found his next starring vehicle? Variety reports the actor is zeroing in on the 20th Century Fox action comedy Wichita, which James Mangold is to direct and which would also star Cameron Diaz.
According to Variety sources, Cruise and Diaz have approved the script, and their deals are in advanced negotiations. Cruise will play a secret agent who pops in and out of the life of a single woman.
Fox has not officially dated the film but the studio is said to be eyeing a summer 2010 release.
The most recent script drafts were done by Scott Frank, with Mangold currently fine-tuning the script with Laeta Kalogridis.
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Demetri Martin will suit up for Moneyball, the Steven Soderbergh-directed baseball drama that Brad Pitt is starring in at Columbia.
Steven Zaillian adapted the screenplay from Michael Lewis' book about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who assembled a contending baseball club on a shoestring budget by employing a sophisticated computer-based analysis to draft players. Martin will play Paul DePodesta, a Harvard graduate who helps Beane with his system.
A summer start is expected for the production, which Michael De Luca and Rachel Horovitz are producing. Variety reports that real ball players have also signed on, including David Justice, Scott Hatteberg, Daryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra.
Martin is best known for Comedy Central's Important Things with Demetri Martin, for which he wears actor, writer, composer and executive producer hats.
He will also be seen in the upcoming Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee's reportedly Cannes-bound ensemble drama.
Back in October, David Frankel had been attached to direct Moneyball, but Soderbergh ultimately came to the project in February.
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James Franco is in final negotiations to join Danny McBride in Your Highness, a Universal comedy to be directed by David Gordon Green this summer in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the actor is so much in-demand that he's having to turn down some of the biggest movie projects in town.
Franco, says THR, was also in talks to join Leonardo DiCaprio in Christopher Nolan's Inception, but scheduling conflicts made that gig impossible -- the role he would have played remains a mystery.
The actor is also said to have an offer to play opposite Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, a Plan B drama at Columbia, though it's unclear how that project would fit into his schedule.
Franco is taking classes for his master's degree at Columbia University and he recently sold a collection of short stories to Scribner. He's also playing Allen Ginsberg in the indie drama Howl.
Highness, which begins shooting in July, would see Franco partner once again with his co-star and director of Pineapple Express. The film, written by Ben Best and McBride, centers on an arrogant, lazy prince who must complete a quest to save his father's kingdom.
McBride would play the prince, Franco his more heroic brother.
Scott Stuber is producing via his Stuber Prods.
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The Coen brothers could be adding a third Writers Guild of America Award to their impressive trophy case next month if they can nab best original screenplay for their quirky comedy Burn After Reading. The WGA, who announced their nominees today, presented Joel and Ethan Coen with best adapted screenplay last year for No Country for Old Men and best original screenplay in 1997 for Fargo.
Rounding out the contenders this year are Dustin Lance Black for Milk, Woody Allen for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Tom McCarthy for The Visitor and Robert Siegel for The Wrestler.
The WGA’s best adapted screenplay noms include Eric Roth for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with story by Roth and Robin Swicord; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight with story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer; John Patrick Shanley for Doubt, based on the stage play; Peter Morgan for Frost/Nixon, based on his stage play; and Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire.
WGA members will meet simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles for the award ceremony on Feb. 7.
Burn After Reading, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Focus Features
Milk, Written by Dustin Lance Black, Focus Features
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Written by Woody Allen, The Weinstein Company
The Visitor, Written by Tom McCarthy, Overture Films
The Wrestler, Written by Robert Siegel, Fox Searchlight Pictures
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth; Screen Story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord; Based on the Short Story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures
The Dark Knight, Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan; Story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer; Based on Characters Appearing in Comic Books Published by DC Comics; Batman Created by Bob Kane, Warner Bros. Pictures
Doubt, Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley, Based on his Stage Play, Miramax Films
Frost/Nixon, Screenplay by Peter Morgan, Based on his Stage Play, Universal Pictures
Slumdog Millionaire, Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, Based on the Novel Q and A by Vikas Swarup, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, Written by Stefan Forbes and Noland Walker, InterPositive Media
Chicago 10, Written by Brett Morgen, Roadside Attractions
Fuel, Written by Johnny O'Hara, Greenlight Theatrical / Intention Media
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Screenplay by Alex Gibney, From the Words of Hunter S. Thompson, Magnolia Pictures
Waltz with Bashir, Written by Ari Folman, Sony Pictures Classics
Dramatic Series Dexter, Written by Scott Buck, Daniel Cerone, Charles H. Eglee, Adam E. Fierro, Lauren Gussis, Clyde Phillips, Scott Reynolds, Melissa Rosenberg, Tim Schlattmann; Showtime
Friday Night Lights, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Brent Fletcher, Jason Gavin, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, John Zinman; NBC
Lost, Written by Carlton Cuse, Drew Goddard, Adam Horowitz, Christina M. Kim, Edward Kitsis, Damon L. Lindelof, Greggory Nations, Kyle Pennington, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Brian K. Vaughan; ABC
Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Jane Anderson, Rick Cleveland, Kater Gordon, David Isaacs, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Marti Noxon, Robin Veith, Matthew Weiner; AMC
The Wire, Written by Ed Burns, Chris Collins, David Mills, David Simon, William F. Zorzi, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos; HBO
30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Donald Glover, Andrew Guest, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher, Ron Weiner; NBC
Entourage, Written by Doug Ellin, Jeremy Miller, Ally Musika, Steve Pink, Rob Weiss; HBO
The Office, Written by Steve Carell, Jennifer Celotta, Greg Daniels, Lee Eisenberg, Anthony Farrell, Brent Forrester, Dan Goor, Charlie Grandy, Mindy Kaling, Ryan Koh, Lester Lewis, Paul Lieberstein, Warren Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Michael Schur, Aaron Shure, Justin Spitzer, Gene Stupnitsky, Halsted Sullivan; NBC
The Simpsons, Written by J. Stewart Burns, Daniel Chun, Joel H. Cohen, Kevin Curran, John Frink, Tom Gammill, Valentina Garza, Stephanie Gillis, Dan Greaney, Reid Harrison, Ron Hauge, Al Jean, Brian Kelly, Billy Kimball, Rob LaZebnik, Tim Long, Ian Maxtone-Graham, David Mirkin, Bill Odenkirk, Carolyn Omine, Don Payne, Michael Price, Max Pross, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, Matt Warburton, Jeff Westbrook, Marc Wilmore, William Wright; Fox
Weeds, Written by Roberto Benabib, Mark A. Burley, Ron Fitzgerald, David Holstein, Rolin Jones, Brendan Kelly, Jenji Kohan, Victoria Morrow, Matthew Salsberg; Showtime
Breaking Bad, Written by Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Patty Lin, George Mastras, J Roberts; AMC
Fringe, Written by JJ Abrams, Jason Cahill, Julia Cho, David H. Goodman, Felicia Henderson, Brad Caleb Kane, Alex Kurtzman, Darin Morgan, J.R. Orci, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Zack Whedon; Fox
In Treatment, Written by Rodrigo Garcia, Bryan Goluboff, Davey Holmes, William Meritt Johnson, Amy Lippman, Sarah Treem; HBO
Life on Mars, Written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Becky Hartman Edwards, David Wilcox, Adele Lim, Bryan Oh, Tracy McMillan, Sonny Postiglione, Phil M. Rosenberg, Meredith Averill; ABC
True Blood, Written by Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Nancy Oliver, Chris Offutt; HBO
Episodic Drama - any length - one airing time
“Don’t Ever Change” (House), Written by Doris Egan & Leonard Dick; Fox
“Double Booked” (Burn Notice), Written by Craig O’Neill & Jason Tracey; USA
“Gray Matter” (Breaking Bad), Written by Patty Lin; AMC
“Pilot” (Breaking Bad), Written by Vince Gilligan; AMC
“Pilot” (Eli Stone), Written by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim; ABC
“There’s Something About Harry” (Dexter), Written by Scott Reynolds; Showtime
Episodic Comedy - any length - one airing time
“Believe in the Stars” (30 Rock), Written by Robert Carlock; NBC
“Cooter” (30 Rock), Written by Tina Fey; NBC
“Crime Aid” (The Office), Written by Charlie Grandy; NBC
“Crush’d” (Ugly Betty), Written by Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally; ABC
“Succession” (30 Rock), Written by Andrew Guest & John Riggi; NBC
“Vote for This and I Promise to Do Something Crazy at the Emmys” (My Name is Earl), Written by Greg Garcia; NBC
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Today marked a sunny day for The Dark Knight.
Also for a guy who grows younger as he gets older and a kid who beats all odds to win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
The Producers Guild of America has announced its nominations for best movies, documentaries and TV shows. Nods in this movie category often foreshadow what’s to come by way of Oscar later on.
The 20th Annual PGA Awards will take place Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Paladium.
The complete list of nominees is as follows. First, for theatrical movies:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall
The Dark Knight
And for documenaries:
Man on Wire
Standard Operating Procedure
Julie Bilson Ahlberg
Trouble the Water
And for animation:
Kung Fu Panda
And for episodic TV/comedy:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Lori Jo Nemhauser
And for episodic TV/drama:
David E. Kelley
Mark A. Baker
Todd A. Kessler
Robert Lloyd Lewis
Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
And for "nonfiction" TV:
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List
Lisa M. Tucker
This American Life
And for "live and competition" TV:
Bertram van Munster
Hayma “Screech” Washington
The Colbert Report
Stephen T. Colbert, DFA
Real Time with Bill Maher
And for "long-form" TV"
Bernard and Doris
A Raisin in the Sun
Finally, honorary awards and recipients:
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures
Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television
MySpace founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson
The Stanley Kramer Award
Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen
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Harrison Ford as a temperamental anchorman? Yeah, we can picture it.
Ford will star in Morning Glory, a comedy set in the world of TV news.
Rachel McAdams is in final negotiations to join the cast as well, report the trades today. Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Changing Lanes) will direct.
Ford plays a grizzled old-school anchor, who quits in disgust with the gossip-heavy direction of the evening newscast. He is then recruited by a hot up-and-coming producer to help revive a morning talk show, only to be paired with his rival.
Ford’s last starring comedy role was in 1995’s Sabrina remake. Prior to that, he won praise for his turn in 1988's Oscar nominated Working Girl.
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Keira Knightley is in discussions to play Zelda in Nick Cassavetes’ The Beautiful and the Damned, the period love story about the relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda Sayre. Production is looking to start in April, says The Hollywood Reporter.
Damned revolves around Zelda and Fitzgerald, who were Jazz Age icons and tempestuous lovers.
Damned was Fitzgerald’s second novel and was published in 1922. Hanna Weg wrote the screenplay for the latest screen adaptation.
Damned would be yet another period piece for Knightley who next stars in The Duchess, following on such films as Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. Cassavetes directed the love story The Notebook in 2004. His next film to be released is My Sister’s Keeper with Cameron Diaz