DiCaprio goes for the nuggets
Leonardo DiCaprio is finally taking a little breather from working with director Martin Scorsese. He is in negotiations to star in director Ed Zwick's dramatic thriller The Blood Diamond. Set in Sierra Leone circa 1999, the story is about a time when the nation was in the midst of a horrific civil war. DiCaprio would play the role of a smuggler who specializes in the sale of "blood diamonds," also known as "conflict diamonds"--the precious stones used to finance rebellions, privateers and terrorists. When the smuggler encounters an indigenous Mende farmer whose young son has disappeared into the RUF's army of child soldiers, the two men's fates become linked. Sounds sufficiently bleak and depressing--and Oscar-worthy.
Speaking of Oscar-worthy...
Steven Spielberg has recruited Australian actor Eric Bana to star in his new movie focusing on Israeli retribution following the terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The Troy hunk will play the leading Israeli secret service agent alongside British actor Daniel Craig (Layer Cake) and Geoffrey Rush, whose role has yet to be confirmed. We all remember this grim little piece of history. A Palestinian terrorist group named Black September staged a hostage attack against the Israeli Olympic team and left 11 athletes dead. Following the bloody Munich massacre, then Israeli premier Golda Meir order secret service agents to hunt down the terrorists responsible and eliminate them. Spielberg is fairly passionate about bringing this story to the screen--and we all know what happens when the director of Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List gets passionate about history. Oscars. And lots of them. He told World Entertainment News Network, "Viewing Israel's response to Munich through the eyes of the men who were sent to avenge that tragedy adds a human dimension to a horrific episode that we usually think about only in political or military terms. By experiencing how the implacable resolve of these men to succeed in their mission slowly gave way to troubling doubts about what they were doing, I think we can learn something important about the tragic standoff we find ourselves in today." Another plus is the script was written by award-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America). The only problem is the film is suppose to bow Dec. 23, just in time for the Oscar nominations. That's cutting it a little close, don't you think?
Damon may be Bourne again
Matt Damon is considering reprising his role in a second Bourne sequel, The Bourne Ultimatum, after Universal Studios bosses sealed a reported $2 million deal with Tony Gilroy to script the movie. And why shouldn't Damon reprise his role as the super cool assassin, Jason Bourne, who doesn't know he's a super cool assassin. It's done very well for him. The whole Bourne film series has already grossed more than $500 million worldwide. Based on the hit books by Robert Ludlum, the story charts the life of ex-CIA spy and assassin Jason Bourne, who in the first film, The Bourne Identity, is fished out of the ocean, bullet-ridden but alive, not knowing who he is or what has happened to him. He pieces things together and in the second film, The Bourne Supremacy, gets back at the ones who made him who he is. The Bourne Ultimatum is set to be released in 2007. Damon is waiting until Gilroy's script is finished before signing on. Would be kind of pointless to make the movie without him, I'd say.
Fantastic Four sequel already in the works
Producer Avi Arad is so convinced his Fantastic Four movie will be a huge hit when it opens next week, he has already signed up the cast--including Jessica Alba, Ioan Gruffudd, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis--for a sequel. According to WENN, the heavyweight Marvel Comics CEO-turned-film producer can't wait to get started on Fantastic Four 2--and he's looking for someone to play comic book villain The Puppet Master, who has the power to turn foes into puppets, for the sequel. Arad tells iesb.net, "Puppet Master's a great character. Don't we all wish we had this power--especially when we are mad at someone." I don't know if turning someone into a puppet would necessarily curb my anger. Making them disappear, however, is another story.
And more on sequels...
Billy Boyd, who starred as a cute and cuddly Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings series, is getting ready to set sail for the high seas with Russell Crowe again after revealing plans to make a sequel to seafaring drama Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World. According to WENN, the British actor is among the stars in negotiations to reprise their characters for the sequel. He tells HollywoodNews.com "There are, like, 21 books of Master and Commander, and Fox (movie studio) already own the ship, so a lot of people, I think, were confused as to why there hasn't been a sequel yet. We'll just have to wait and see." Boyd states director Peter Weir has promised not to kill his character off if he does make a sequel to the 2003 movie, but insists the Scot will die in a third film. Boyd adds, "Peter said that I won't die in the next one, but he said I will die in the third one. So I've still got another movie, and then I've got a death scene. So, great. I do hope they make some more as I had great fun making that film." I don't think anyone else will really care that much if he dies but Billy is sure excited about it!
Until next week...