BELLE AS THE HOLY MOTHERCamilla Belle certainly looks the part. OK, maybe not while wearing the above dress -- but you can see it. The actress, currently pushing thoughts into people’s heads in the thriller Push, is onboard to play the title character in Mary, Mother of Christ, according to Cinematical.com. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) will take on the double role of Gabriel and Lucifer, while Peter O'Toole is set as Symeon, who meets Mary and her family in the temple shortly after Jesus' birth. Argentine director Alejandro Agresti (The Lake House) will direct the film. "This is not a Christmas movie," producer Mary Aloe told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is a part of Mary's life that has never been shown on the big screen before. It takes us through Mary's youth, young love, her life as a new mother and the triumph through the absolute terror of Herod the Great's reign. It is truly a story of real female empowerment." Indeed.
KEEP READING: Jen and Jay Play House
JEN AND JAY PLAY HOUSEWell, sort of. Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman are set to star in the comedy The Baster about a guy (Bateman) whose best friend (Aniston) decides she wants have a child through artificial insemination. He then surreptitiously replaces her donor's semen with his own and is then forced to live with the secret that he is the child's real father. Oy, Jen. You’re veering dangerously close to The Object of My Affection, bad rom-com territory again.
KEEP READING: The Dueling King Lears
THE DUELING KING LEARSShakespeare's tragic tale of an aging monarch trying to find the right successor frim his three daughters but ultimately fails and is left with nothing is finally getting a big-screen redo. But here’s the catch: You’ve got two to choose from. The first one is already in production and stars Anthony Hopkins as King Lear, with Naomi Watts as Goneril and Gwyneth Paltrow as Regan, the two greedy and conniving daughters, and Keira Knightley as Cordelia, the sweet and loving daughter who refuses to play the game and is exiled for it. Not a bad cast. But then just last week, Variety announced Al Pacino will play the old king in a film directed by Michael Radford, the same dude who guided Pacino as Shylock in the 2004 Merchant of Venice. Hmmm, I’m leaning towards the Hopkins one -- just seems a better fit.
KEEP READING: Gomez Jumps on Beezus Train
GOMEZ JUMPS ON BEEZUS TRAINIt’s about time they turned Beverly Cleary’s books into movies. New hot tween actress Selena Gomez (from Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place) has signed up to play the older sister Beezus in a big-screen adaptation of Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona, according to the Hollywood Reporter. And 9-year-old Joey King (Quarantine, Medium) beat out a nationwide casting call to win the role of the energetic, accident-prone Ramona, the center of Cleary’s beloved children’s series.
KEEP READING: Soderberg Throws a Curve Ball
SODERBERG THROWS A CURVE BALLA curve ball of money, that is. Steven Soderbergh is in talks to direct Moneyball, the adaptation of Michael Lewis' book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, Variety reports. The book focuses on Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who used a sophisticated computer analysis system to piece together a team that regularly contended for the World Series despite a payroll dramatically lower than such big-market rivals as the New York Yankees. Clever boy. Brad Pitt, with whom Soderbergh has worked in all of the Ocean’s films, could come onboard as Beane.
McGREGOR DOES THE ELECTRIC SLIDEThat’s right, they are finally making a movie about that wonderful group dance required at any wedding! Oh, I’m kidding. Actually, Ewan McGregor and Carey Mulligan (An Education) are in talks to headline a different The Electric Slide, based on the true story of a Los Angeles furniture salesman-turned-bank-robber named Eddie Dodson. According to the Reporter, Dodson owned a high-end boutique furniture store on Melrose Avenue in L.A. in the 1980s. He lived the Hollywood lifestyle, partying and hanging out with celebrity friends, when he fell in love and took the biggest risk of his life to impress his new girlfriend -- he robbed a bank. Dodson went on to rob more than 72 banks in the L.A. area before the FBI nabbed him.