Witherspoon teaming with Vaughn | EW.com

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Witherspoon teaming with Vaughn

Plus: Ritchie directing adaptation of his comic series, DC Comics doing ''Heroes'' graphic novel, Crudup, Earle Haley added to ''Watchmen,'' and more...

(Steve Granitz/WireImage.com; Jon Furniss/WireImage.com)

New Line taps Witherspoon, Vaughn for holiday comedy
Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are in final talks to star in Four Christmases, a holiday comedy for New Line Cinema. They will play a couple who struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents’ homes during the Christmas holiday. Witherspoon and Vaughn may also produce along with Spyglass Entertainment’s Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Jon Glickman. Witherspoon will next appear in New Line’s thriller Rendition, which is scheduled to open on Oct. 12. Vaughn’s upcoming projects include Fred Claus for Warner Bros. and the Vince Vaughn Wild West Comedy Show: Hollywood to the Heartland, from Picturehouse. (Hollywood Reporter)

Ritchie to direct Gamekeeper
Guy Ritchie is set to direct a movie adaptation of his Virgin Comics mini-series The Gamekeeper for Warner Bros., with Joel Silver producing. Ritchie developed the concept, but Andy Diggle writes the comic, which launched a limited 10-issue run in March. The story centers on a reclusive caretaker of a Scottish estate who is supernaturally in-tune with the behavior of all animal species. When the alleged killer of his son surfaces, the caretaker finds that Europe’s urban jungle is not that different from the natural surroundings he’s accustomed to. Gamekeeper is part of Virgin’s Director’s Cut comic line, which also includes original comics from John Woo, Terry Gilliam, Shekhar Kapur, Jonathan Mostow, Ed Burns, and Nicolas Cage. Ritchie is currently shooting RocknRolla, starring Chris ”Ludacris” Bridges, Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, and Tom Wilkinson. (Variety)

DC Comics takes on Heroes
DC Comics is developing a hardcover Heroes graphic novel based on the 43 comic vignettes that appeared on the NBC series’ website last season. It will be the first time the online stories will be available in print. Comic-book gurus Alex Ross (Astro City) and Jim Lee (X-Men) will contribute some new material for the book, which is due out this fall. (USA Today)

Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley in Watchmen
Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Patrick Wilson (Passengers), and Matthew Goode (The Lookout) have been added to the ensemble cast for Warner Bros.’ movie adaptation of the Watchmen comic book, being directed by Zack Snyder (300). Based on Alan Moore’s 1980s comicbook series, the Cold War-set movie will feature Crudup as Dr. Manhattan, a role Keanu Reeves once considered, while Wilson will portray Night Owl, a rich kid interested in birds. Goode will play the glamorous Ozymandias, a role Jude Law was previously set to play, and Morgan has been cast as the Comedian, a Vietnam vet who’s a member of the Minutemen. Haley and Akerman will play Rorschach, a vigilante, and Silk Spectre, the key femme role. The movie has been in the works for decades, bouncing around between Fox, Warner, Universal, Revolution, and Paramount before Warner decided to take it on for a second time. (Variety)

Tim Blake Nelson cast in Hulk
Tim Blake Nelson (Syriana, O’Brother Where Art Thou?) has been cast in Marvel Studios’ The Incredible Hulk as scientist Samuel Sterns. Sterns, aka ”The Leader,” is one of the Hulk’s major antagonists. Nelson joins Edward Norton (Bruce Banner), Liv Tyler (Betty Ross), Tim Roth (villain Emil Blonsky/the Abomination), and William Hurt (General Ross, Betty’s father) in the cast. Louis Leterrier is directing. Universal is aiming for a June 13, 2008 domestic release. (Hollywood Reporter)

Mulroney joins Kinnear in Flash of Genius
Dermot Mulroney (Georgia Rule, Zodiac) will appear alongside Greg Kinnear in Flash of Genius, a drama Universal will distribute for Spyglass. The movie tells the real-life story of Robert Kearns (Kinnear), the man who invented the intermittent windshield wiper and sued Detroit automakers over patent infringement. Mulroney play Kearns’ best friend and owner of a chain of auto-parts stores. Shooting is already underway. (Variety)

Izzard replaces Piven in Weinsteins’ animated Igor
Eddie Izzard has replaced Jeremy Piven in the Weinstein Co.’s CG-animated Igor as the insane Schadenfreude, the nemesis to Igor in the world’s evil scientist community as they plot to win the annual Evil Science Fair. The movie will also feature voices from John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Jennifer Coolidge, Arsenio Hall, Jay Leno, Molly Shannon, and Sean Hayes. Additionally, IDW Publishing will release a series of Igor prequel comicbooks next May or June, followed by a sequel series that will release in time for the film’s October 2008 premiere. (Hollywood Reporter)

FX’s Damages premiere gets good ratings
FX’s new legal drama, Damages, starring Glenn Close, averaged 3.7 million total viewers in its Tuesday (July 24) debut from 10-11 p.m., ranking as basic cable’s top show of the night. The show skewed slightly older than previous FX series, drawing 1.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic, off significantly from the series premieres of Riches (2.5 million) and Dirt (2.4 million). FX said its shows generally improve by as much as 25 percent when DVR-playback is factored in. That data will be available in coming weeks. (Hollywood Reporter)

Three tapped for HBO/Hanks/Spielberg’s Pacific
Jon Seda (Close to Home), Ashton Holmes (Wind Chill), and Rami Malek (Night at the Museum) have joined the cast of HBO Films’ big-budget miniseries The Pacific, from executive producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The 10-hour mini is a companion to Hanks/Spielberg’s 2001 HBO WWII saga Band of Brothers. Pacific tracks intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines across the Pacific, from the first clash with the Japanese to their return home after V-J Day. James Badge Dale, Val Lauren, and Joe Mazzello have already been cast. Shooting starts in August; no airdate has been set. (Hollywood Reporter)

CELEBRITY NEWS

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Ben Widdicombe: Peter Greene (perhaps best known as Zed the Gimp-keeper in Pulp Fiction) was arrested Tuesday night in Manhattan’s East Village for possession of crack cocaine.