Stephen Sommers hired for G.I. Joe
Paramount has signed Sommers (director of the Mummy movies and Van Helsing) to helm what it hopes will become another hugely successful toy-based movie, à la Transformers: a live-action G.I. Joe. The new flick, which will begin production in February for a 2009 release date, presents G.I. Joe not as any particular war hero but as a high-tech, Brussels-based operative force — the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity — that does battle with evil organization Cobra. The movie is said to be closer in tone to X-Men and Bond flicks than a war film. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce, along with Hasbro chief operating officer Brian Goldner. (Variety)
Dallas adaptation reboots
John Travolta is still attached to play J.R. Ewing, but that’s about the only thing remaining steady on the remake of TV’s Dallas: The Regency/20th Century Fox project looks to be re-forming as a straight-up comedy, with Betty Thomas (helmer of the big-screen Brady Bunch spoofs) in talks to direct and Pam Brady (scripter of Hot Rod) writing. Earlier incarnations had Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) attached to direct, and actors including Jennifer Lopez, Luke Wilson, and Shirley MacLaine attached to star. (Variety)
Ang Lee movie slapped with NC-17
Focus Features has accepted the NC-17 rating given to Lust, Caution, the new movie from Oscar-winning director Lee (Brokeback Mountain). The film — a WWII-set, Mandarin-language espionage thriller that includes extended scenes of a couple having sex in various positions — will screen at the Toronto film festival next month. (Variety)
Universal picks up Rainn Wilson comedy
The Emmy-nominated Wilson (The Office) cowrote and will star in Renaissance Men, about community theater actors who think they accidentally killed someone and go hide out at a Renaissance fair. Wilson’s longtime friend Matt Ross (who plays Alby on Big Love) cowrote; Jay Roach will produce along with Wilson. (Hollywood Reporter)
DGA nixes awards-season screeners
After allowing, then rescinding the mailing of DVDs to its members last year during awards season, the Directors Guild of America has reasserted its ban on the practice in a press release. By firmly stating its policy for ’07, the guild likely hopes it will avoid the controversy and confusion created last year when Paramount/DreamWorks sent out screeners of Dreamgirls to DGA members — at the time, rival studios protested the guild had never before allowed screener mailings (the DGA’s response: no one else had asked permission previously). (Variety)
Fox cancels Anchorwoman after one airing
The reality show, which followed former WWE hottie Lauren Jones in her new job as a news anchor in a Texas town, debuted Wednesday to such abysmal ratings that Fox has yanked it already. The remaining four episodes will posted online, and repeats of Til Death will fill its slot on the air. (Variety)
E! extends Chelsea Lately run
Comedian Chelsea Handler’s late-night show will now continue through the end of 2007. The half-hour show, on which Handler offers commentary on celebrity high jinks and chats with famous guests, has boosted ratings in its timeslot 11 percent, says E! (Hollywood Reporter)
People.com: Five-months-pregnant Nicole Richie was released after spending just one hour and 12 minutes in jail on a DUI conviction.
Page Six: The rivalry between 50 Cent and Kanye West over who will sell more albums apparently ended in New York last night over vodka shots, as the two partied along with Jay-Z, T.I., and Diddy.