The Deal Report

The Deal Report

New gigs for Allison Janney and Edward Furlong -- and other entertainment projects in the works

MOVIES

Janney joins 'Hairspray' cast Allison Janney of The West Wing has been cast in the upcoming Hairspray remake, also starring John Travolta and Queen Latifah. Janney will play Prudy Pingleton, the mother of Amanda Bynes' character, Penny. Janney has also signed with CBS to produce and star in a half-hour sitcom for the network's fall 2007 lineup. Producer Chris Henze says the show, which is close to signing a writer, will be ''an adult comedy in the vein of Mary Tyler Moore or Frasier.''

Gellar scares up 'Addicted' Rapidly becoming the new go-to girl for Hollywood horror, Sarah Michelle Gellar will star in Addicted, a supernatural thriller co-produced by the folks at Vertigo (who also brought us the Ring and Grunge screamers). Gellar plays a woman whose husband and brother-in-law are both left in a coma after an accident. The creepy part? When the brother-in-law wakes up, he insists he's actually Gellar’s husband. Addicted is directed by Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist, who also partnered on the Swedish thriller Invisible. (Variety, Aug. 29)

Swank, Butler say 'I Love You' Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) will play significant others in PS, I Love You. Directed by Richard LaGravenese (Living Out Loud), PS is about a widow whose late husband mysteriously ''sends her letters every month to get her to remember what she used to be like,'' says Swank. But, she adds, before, you get misty, ''it's actually a drama with lots of comedy in it.''

Also no stranger to the afterworld... Six Feet Under's Peter Krause (also see below). The late Nate Fisher will produce and star as an accountant haunted by 9/11 in the suspense thriller Civic Duty, due in January. ''It's about your average American guy who loses his job,'' says Krause. Well, sort of. In the indie, Krause's character might also be losing his sanity: ''I suspect my next-door neighbor of being a terrorist and end up abducting him at gunpoint.''

Lohman works with Berry, Duchovny Her recent gigs include the upcoming flick Flicka (set in modern-day Wyoming) and a big-screen Beowulf adaptation (probably not set in modern-day Wyoming), but Alison Lohman (Where the Truth Lies) is out of those frying pans and into Things We Left in the Fire. Halle Berry has already been cast in DreamWorks' movie about a woman who loses her husband (David Duchovny) and reaches out to his troubled best friend (Benicio del Toro). The breathy-voiced Lohman will play Del Toro's girlfriend. Allan Loeb wrote the script and Susanne Bier (Open Hearts) is directing. (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 30)

Brendan Fraser dips into 'Inkheart' Apparently in a George of the Jungle mood, Brendan Fraser will star in Inkheart, an adaptation of the beloved children's book about a young girl and her father (Fraser) who can give any book the Jumanji treatment just by reading them aloud. Iain Softley (The Skeleton Key, K-PAX) will direct for New Line Cinema, and Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind) is in talks to play a fire-eater named Dustfinger. (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 23 and 24)

Buscemi and Aykroyd will help pronounce 'Chuck and Larry' Perennial character actors Steve Buscemi and Dan Aykroyd have joined the cast of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, about two straight firemen (Adam Sandler and Kevin James) who decide to get married to get domestic-partner benefits. Aykroyd, but of course, will play the fire captain, and Buscemi — who starred as a gay man 20 years ago in Parting Glances, perhaps the very first American feature film about AIDS — will play the municipal bureaucrat who zeroes in on Chuck and Larry to prove their gay marriage is a sham. Jessica Biel co-stars in the Universal film directed by Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Madison) and written by the Oscar winning team behind Sideways, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 23)

Voight in 'National Treasure' sequel Here's what we learned during Sunday's Emmy Awards and afterparties: Jon Voight says the sequel to National Treasure is nearing the end of the script stages and will probably begin filming at the beginning of next year. ''I've never been in a sequel before,'' says the Oscar winner. ''This will be my first.'' (Don't write us letters: We know Voight was in Baby Geniuses 2, but he was not in the first Baby Geniuses, so, er, technically, it wasn't his first time performing the same role in two movies).

Hall takes on Vegas comedy Brat Packer and basic-cable psychic Anthony Michael Hall will make his feature directing debut with an indie costarring himself, Mike Epps, Wayne Newton, Gilbert Gottfried, and Michael Madsen called Life After Death in Las Vegas. ''It's a comedy about Vegas,'' says Hall, ''can you imagine?''

News on the '24' movie Creator Joel Surnow revealed that the feature-film version of the real-time series will probably take place in Afghanistan, London, and Washington, D.C. — wonder why he chose such random locations...

TELEVISION

Furlong resurfaces on 'CSI:NY' Elsewhere in CBS-land, Comingsoon.net reports that Edward Furlong, a.k.a. John Connor, has landed a recurring role on CSI:NY. Furlong storyline revolves around a case in which a serial killer finds inspiration in trendy T-shirts. Urban Outfitters patrons, beware!

Aerosmith rocker will bug Sheen Steven Tyler will guest star on the Sept. 25 episode of CBS' comedy Two And A Half Men. Tyler, playing himself, will be Charlie Sheen's rowdy rock star neighbor.

'Sarah Connor' pilot has a pilot Pilot guru David Nutter (who's directed pilot episodes of Smallville, Supernatural, and many others) is on board for small-screen series hopeful The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Warner Brothers TV is producing with C2 Pictures, the folks behind the most recent Terminator flick. (Variety, Aug. 29)

Krause is three-dimensional And Six Feet Under's Peter Krause says he's currently filming a miniseries for The Sci Fi Channel called The Lost Room with Elle Fanning (Dakota's little sis), Juliana Margulies, Kevin Pollack and Roger Bart. What's the lost room? ''It's a motel room in another dimension,'' explains Krause. ''My daughter [Fanning] gets lost in another dimension. I play a detective and I have to find her in this other dimension.''

Forest Whitaker and Busy Phillpps check into 'ER' NBC's perennial medical drama will feature Forest Whitaker (The Shield) in five episodes and Busy Philipps (Dawson's Creek) in at least four eps for its new season. Whitaker, who will appear starting Oct. 19, will play a carpenter whose simple cough leads to a stroke, and Philipps will guest as a deeply religious Christian medical intern who finds herself challenged when she visits County General Hospital. (Hollywood Reporter, Aug. 24)

(Additional reporting by Nisha Gopalan and Whitney Pastorek)

Originally posted Aug 29, 2006
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