Maguire cuts movie deal with online entrepreneur
Tobey Maguire has made a deal with a man selling his soul online that will adapt his story for the big screen. After losing his job, Gerald Fraller hatched the idea to sell his soul in a lottery at winmysoul.com. Each $1 bid gets one entry in the lottery. Fraller says he has received 3,690 bids and will name the winner by November. He claims he will use some of the proceeds to start a foundation for people suffering from depression. Maguire and partner Mark Ross will produce the movie with Nash Entertainment’s Bruce Nash and Robert Kosber. (Variety)
Police recommend charges be brought against Brandy for car accident
The California Highway Patrol has finished its investigation of a fatal car accident involving Brandy and recommends that the singer be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. A CHP spokesperson said that there were no indicators that Brandy was distracted when her Land Rover rear-ended the 2005 Toyota, driven by Awatef Aboudihaj, who died in the accident. The L.A. City Attorney will review the case and decide whether to officially file charges against her. (People)
The Office‘s Fischer tapped for Walk Hard
Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam on The Office, will star alongside John C. Reilly in the Columbia Pictures forthcoming comedy Walk Hard. Fischer will play Darlene, the love interest for Reilly’s Dewey Cox, a troubled musician. Jake Kasdan, who wrote the script with Judd Apatow, will direct. (Variety)
Weiland to helm Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy
Columbia has picked Paul Weiland (Roseanna’s Grave, Sixty Six) to direct Made of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey. The story is about a man, played by Dempsey, who is in love with a woman who’s engaged to someone else. The woman asks Dempsey’s character to be her maid of honor, and he agrees. Columbia is searching for the female lead. (Hollywood Reporter)
Arnett teams with Ferrell for New Line comedy
Will Arnett has been cast alongside Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro, the New Line basketball comedy about the owner/coach/player of the fictional Flint Michigan Tropics (Ferrell) and his desperate attempt to make it to the big leagues. Arnett will play a hard-drinking sports commentator. Woody Harrelson and Andre Benjamin are also on board. Kent Alterman is making his directorial debut on the movie, which is slated to start production next month. (Hollywood Reporter)
DePalma attached to Iraq war project
Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s HDNet Films have tapped Brian De Palma to write and direct Redacted, a movie about the Iraq war told in a montage of stories about U.S. soldiers fighting in the conflict. No cast has been selected yet for the project, which will start shooting in high def this spring. (Variety)
ABC shuffles Wednesday to avoid Idol
ABC is shifting new comedy series The Knights of Prosperity back a half-hour to 8:30 to avoid putting it up against Fox’s American Idol. Knights lost 50 percent of its viewers when Idol debuted on Jan. 17. ABC’s new comedy series In Case of Emergency will remain in its 9:30 slot, however, with According to Jim moving to 9. (Hollywood Reporter)
Extra renewed through 2010
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has renewed Telepictures Prods.’ syndicated newsmagazine through the 2009-10 season and renewed contracts for hosts Dayna Devon and Mark McGrath. (Hollywood Reporter)
YouTube to share revenue with users
The viral video Web site has announced that it is devising a plan to begin sharing advertising revenue with users who provide content. YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley gave no other details when he made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Reuters)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: R&B singer Mario publicly serenaded Miss Universe Jerris Rivera Mendoza and then slipped her his number.
Liz Smith: The columnist takes a look at J. David Riva’s new book, A Woman At War: Marlene Dietrich Remembered.
Ben Widdicombe: Victoria Beckham is not joining the Church of Scientology, despite her friendship with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
Rush & Molloy: A former colleague says Isaiah Washington struggles with anger management issues but is not anti-gay.