The Wanted beauty was originally offered the role as director Alfonso Cuaron's leading lady in the upcoming 3D film, but she declined and now Johansson has "verbally agreed" to star.
The New York Daily News claims Downey, Jr. is slated to appear alongside the Lost In Translation actress in what Cuaron is allegedly touting as "the most ambitious film, technology-wise, since Avatar".
Sci-fi epic Avatar, directed by James Cameron, was lauded for its stunning 3D effects and won Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography and Visual Effects at the Academy Awards earlier this year (10).
It also became the world's highest grossing film of all time after earning more than $2 billion at the global box office, beating the previous record of $1.8 billion set by Cameron's last smash hit, Titanic.
The pair will be pitted against each other for the programme's Star In a Reasonably Priced Car track drive in an episode which airs in the U.K. on Sunday (25Jul10).
A string of stars have previously revved up for the challenge, including Angelina Jolie, Dame Helen Mirren and Simon Cowell.
Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint currently holds the record for the celebrity with the fastest lap time.
Cruise and Diaz's appearance will make Sandra Bullock envious - last year (09) the Oscar-winner revealed she was desperate to compete on the track, saying, "I love Top Gear. I live for Top Gear."
The media queen lands at number one for the fourth time with an estimated $315 million (£210 million) fortune from the last 12 months, while Beyonce is a distant second with $87 million (£58 million) from tour and album sales, together with fashion and fragrance deals and endorsements.
Winfrey retains the top spot on the list from Angelina Jolie, who slips to 18th on the new Forbes countdown.
Lady Gaga also makes the top five for the first time with an estimated $62 million (£41.3 million) and Avatar director James Cameron and shamed golfer Tiger Woods also land at the top of the list.
Is the Action Film Dead?
This past weekend I plunked down $20 for myself and my wife to check out this week’s big action release Knight and Day, which was offered as a single, paid sneak preview for anyone and everyone to attend. Despite there being only one showing in the whole city of Austin, it did not sell out. The tracking on the film has reportedly been atrocious, and it will get even worse once the word of mouth on this clunker gets out and we critics finish having our way with it. The one positive thing I can say about this film and its situation is that it gave me pause. I sat down with several friends and began mulling it over, with one question banging around in my head: Is the action film finally dead?
Now the first thing I have to stipulate is that I’m talking strictly about films considered “action” as a genre. I’m not talking about other genre films, like science fiction, fantasy or superhero movies. Those are all doing splendidly. But it seems that their success has led to a kind of boredom among mainstream audiences when it comes to standard, vanilla action movies -- you know, your typical spy thriller, man-on-a-mission-to-save-the-world/get-the-truth-out kind of fare. That all seems to be doing terribly.
Take, for example, The A-Team – which was a really great film as far as the genre goes. No, not everyone loved it, but action fans did. It was funny, had an A-list cast and was wall-to-wall action. It got its ass handed to it by a $40 Million Kung Fu family film. Similarly, films like Green Zone, Killers, Cop Out, Edge of Darkness, From Paris with Love, and The Losers all performed dismally. And a Michael Caine return-to-form action film like Harry Brown never even saw wide release. To find a non-genre action film on the list of this year’s highest-grossing films, you have to go past the top 20 to No. 24, where you’ll find The A-Team. Last year was much the same, with only Fast and Furious and Taken coming in at a respectable Nos. 17 and 20, respectively. The next action film on that list is Law Abiding Citizen at No. 44. And the academy Award-winning Best Picture The Hurt Locker? 117th.
Add in time-traveling knives, superheroes, post-apocalyptic wastelands or mythical monsters and you’ve got a hit. But car chases? Bomb.
Now think for a moment about the films for which you’re most excited this summer. Mentally make a list of the top five films you are most anticipating. Are they films like The Last Airbender, Inception, Scott Pilgrim, Eclipse, Predators, or even The Sorcerer's Apprentice? Did Salt make the list? You know, the big-budget Angelina Jolie actioner that seems like a Michael Bay remake of Kevin Costner’s No Way Out? Or did you forget that was even coming out? Only one straight action movie this summer seems to be generating any heat (and that’s only for nostalgia reasons): The Expendables. I have a feeling that will do well for its modest budget, but right now, things are not looking good for action movies.
No, I think for the time being, the action movie is dead. Its patron saint, Michael Bay, is off making his robot movies and Jerry Bruckheimer is off producing genre pictures about guinea pigs, pirates, and Persians. It would appear that once mainstream audiences took to movies about aliens and Hobbits and superheroes, the idea of just some really cool guy running around shooting people got a little boring. Even teams of really cool guys running around shooting people seem uninteresting to audiences. I love a good action film – I’m even eagerly awaiting Michael Bay finally getting around to Bad Boys 3. But in the meantime, I wouldn’t expect any modern-day, non-magical action films to be burning up the charts. And I think that goes for this weekend as well.
Bay has topped Vanity Fair magazine's list of Hollywood wealthiest players, with his two robot action films adding to massive estimated earnings of $125 million (£78 million) last year (09).
Spielberg landed second place with a huge $85 million (£53 million) salary, accrued mostly through film royalties and his deal with the Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles, as well as his executive producer role in the Transformers movie franchise.
Roland Emmerich, who released his 2012 disaster movie last year (09), was third, followed by Oscar-nominee Cameron and The Hangover director Todd Phillips in fourth and fifth places respectively.
The highest placed actor in the countdown is Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe who claims sixth place with estimated earnings of $41 million (£25.6 million) ahead of Ben Stiller and Tom Hanks, who also made the top 10.
Radcliffe's Potter co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint claimed 14th and 15th place respectively with both earning a total of $30 million (£18.8 million).
Surprisingly a string of big Hollywood names featured lower down the list, with Robert Downey Jr., George Clooney and Matt Damon missing the top 20 completely - scoring places of 28th, 29th and 30th respectively.
Brad Pitt was bottom of the list at number 40, while his current partner Angelina Jolie was at 32, closely followed by Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston at number 33.
The Transformers franchise has made Michael Bay one of the richest stars in Hollywood -- he beat out competition from fellow directors Steven Spielberg and James Cameron to be crowned the movie industry's highest earner of 2009.
Bay has topped Vanity Fair magazine's list of Hollywood wealthiest players, with his two robot action films adding to massive estimated earnings of $125 million last year.
Spielberg landed second place with a huge $85 million salary, accrued mostly through film royalties and his deal with the Universal Studios theme park in Los Angeles, as well as his executive producer role in the Transformers movie franchise.
Roland Emmerich, who released his disaster epic 2012 last year, was third, followed by Oscar nominee Cameron and The Hangover director Todd Phillips in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
The highest-placed actor in the countdown is Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who claims sixth place with estimated earnings of $41 million, ahead of Ben Stiller and Tom Hanks, who also made the top 10.
Radcliffe's Potter co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint claimed 14th and 15th place, respectively, with both earning a total of $30 million.
Surprisingly, a string of big Hollywood names were featured lower down the list, with Robert Downey, Jr., George Clooney and Matt Damon missing the top 20 completely -- scoring places of 28th, 29th and 30th, respectively.
Brad Pitt was bottom of the list at No. 40, while his current partner Angelina Jolie was at 32, closely followed by Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston at No. 33.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
Jolie stepped up to replace Charlize Theron in the remake of 2005 French thriller Anthony Zimmer after the South African beauty was forced to drop out.
Cruise was also slated to star, but pulled out of his part to team up with Vanilla Sky co-star Cameron Diaz in a new movie.
Aussie actor Sam Worthington was reported to have accepted the role, but has since dropped out - and Depp has now been lined up for the lead part, according to Variety.
The film tells the tale of a female agent on the hunt for an elusive ex-boyfriend, who becomes a wanted man.
Both Charlize Theron and Tom Cruise were signed to star in the project, to be retitled The Tourist, which tells the story of a female agent on the hunt for an elusive ex-boyfriend, who becomes a wanted man.
Cruise pulled out of the film to star in Wichita with Cameron Diaz, and was replaced by Sam Worthington.
Tomb Raider star Jolie is the latest star to enter the film's revolving door and is in negotiations to fill in for original leading lady Theron after she dropped out.
Angelina Jolie has topped a new list of highest-earning actresses -- earning $2 million more than her partner Brad Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston last year.
Jolie banked $27 million in the last 12 months, according to Forbes magazine.
The bulk of the Tomb Raider star's 2008/2009 income reportedly came from her share of the profits from her action film Wanted and her paycheck for new film Salt.
Marley & Me and new film The Baster swelled Aniston's fortunes, and put her in second place on the new Forbes list.
Aniston also still earns big cash from reruns of Friends.
Meryl Streep came in third and Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz round out the new top five.
Forbes tallied the actress' film payments and cash they made from clothing brands, perfumes and other sources to come up with the list.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
MORE NEWS: Kevin Jonas Engaged
We recently picked 10 car chases we thought were pretty darn memorable but according to our readers, we may have missed a few key ones (yes, we gasp! forgot Bullitt). And so, to those adrenaline junkies who are keeping score, here are 10 MORE car chases we neglected to include (and yes, Bullitt is there):
10. Speed Racer
In thinking old school in our original list, we missed the most recent car races from the Wachowski’s speedster flick. The movie may not have hit the mark, but those frenetic, eye-candy chase scenes make the cut.
9. True Lies
Who could forget the director James Cameron's miles-long chase on the bridge, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger has to save Jamie Lee Curtis from certain death as parts of the bridge blows up? We did, but not this time!
8. Gone in Sixty Seconds
Sure, it’s a not-so-great Nicolas Cage movie, but for all the snazzy car action--and Angelina Jolie--it’s certainly worth mentioning.
Lots of great car chases have graced the Bond flicks, but we feel the tank chase in Goldeneye stands out as the best.
6. The Dark Knight
Another recent movie we neglected to include due to its freshness, but the Bat-motorcycle chase scene is pretty friggin’ awesome.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Oops. Of course, Indiana Jones’ chase through the Egyptian desert after the Ark is taken by the Nazis MUST be included. Our bad.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
OK, another oversight. Again, a James Cameron creation, T2 boasts one of the best semi-truck smash ‘em ups ever filmed, hands down--until The Matrix Reloaded, that is (which made it to our original list).
3. Grindhouse: Death Proof
For the pure joy of joy riding, this climactic chase--first by Kurt Russell, chasing down four young women, then by said women, who get so pissed they were chased unnecessarily, they go after Kurt--Quentin Tarantino hands us a classic car sequence.
2. To Live and Die in L.A.
We did mention director William Friedkin’s heart-stopping car chase in The French Connection, but failed to give props to his To Live and Die in L.A. chase through the city’s freeways.
Here it is. Steve McQueen’s classic actioner, in which he plays a cop chasing down drug kingpins through the streets of San Francisco, should have been on our original list. The readers have spoken, and we wholeheartedly agree.
Now, if we happened to miss any more of your favorite car chases, we do apologize in advance--but this is it for now!