ROLE CALL: ‘Mr. Ripley’ Grows Up

Tom Ripley is about to strike again, albeit under a completely different guise. How so? Think John Malkovich and “Mission: Impossible 2‘s” Dougray Scott instead of Matt Damon, for instance.

Daily Variety reports that Malkovich and Scott are in talks to star in “Ripley’s Game,” a sort of a follow-up to last year’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (with Damon as the titled character).

The new project, which is based on the third novel in author Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series, follows an older, married Ripley who is looking for an assassin to rid two rivals.

Shooting of the film is set to begin in Venice in January.

DOWN WITH ‘SMOOCHY’: The Hollywood Reporter says that Edward Norton and Catherine Keener (“Being John Malkovich“) will join the cast of “Death to Smoochy.” Directed by Danny DeVito, the film follows Smoochy (Norton), a children’s TV show character, as he plots sweet revenge when he is kicked off the air. Keener will play a network top brass and Smoochy’s real-life ex-lover.

VICTORY ‘DANCE’: Cuba Gooding Jr., who will be seen next as a Navy diver in “Men of Honor,” is in talks to star in a drama titled “Winterdance,” Variety says. The actor is slated to play a father who’s reunited with his son during a dog-sled race in Alaska.

‘X’ MARKS THE SPOT: Variety also says that Lisa Kudrow might star in “Marci X,” wherein a Jewish-American princess is forced to take control of a hard-core hip-hop record label or something like that.

‘AVENGING’ SLY: The Reporter says that Sylvester Stallone will star in “Avenging Angelo,” a black comedy about a woman (not Stallone) who discovers that she is the daughter of a Mafia boss. If you’re wondering about Sly‘s involvement, he’ll be playing the titular Mafia boss’s bodyguard.

‘CENTRAL’ RESERVATION: Lastly, Variety reports that director Mike Figgis, who brought us the experimental flick “Timecode,” will helm the project “By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept.” Based on the autobiographical novel by Elizabeth Smart, the story revolves around the love affair between Smart, a Canadian poet, and George Barker, a fellow writer.