NEWS ROUNDUP

Cage Set for 'Untouchables' Prequel

Plus: Ritchie returns to British gangster comedy for ''RocknRolla,'' Bello replaces Weisz in ''Mummy,'' Winstead starring in dance movie ''Make It Happen,'' and more...

CAGE
Image credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images
CAGE

Nic Cage in talks to play Capone
Nicolas Cage is in negotiations to star as Al Capone in director Brian DePalma's prequel, The Untouchables: Capone Rising for Relativity Media and Paramount Pictures. Art Linson, who produced De Palma's original Untouchables, which starred Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery, is also producing the prequel. The story follows Chicago mob boss Capone's rise to power and his relationship with police detective and nemesis Jimmy Malone. Cage is currently in theaters with Next, and he is shooting the Disney sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets. (Variety)

Dark Castle greenlights Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla
Director Guy Ritchie is set to helm another British ensemble gangster movie: RocknRolla, which is being produced by Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment. The story, which Ritchie wrote, is an action comedy about a Russian mobster who orchestrates a crooked land deal, putting millions of dollars up for grabs, and attracting all of London's criminal underworld, who scheme and double-cross one another to get their hands on the loot. The movie will be shot on a relatively small budget (under $20 million) and be in the same vein of past Ritchie projects, like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Casting is underway for a planned summer start date. (Hollywood Reporter)

Bello takes over Weisz's role in Mummy
Maria Bello (A History of Violence, Flicka) has joined the cast of the third installment of The Mummy as Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell, the role played by Rachel Weisz in the first two movies. She joins Brendan Fraser, Luke Ford, Jet Li, and Michelle Yeoh in the Rob Cohen-directed film, which Universal Pictures plans to release next summer. The story follows the O'Connells and their grown son (Ford) to China, where they battle a shape-shifting mummy, a former Chinese emperor (Li) cursed by a wizard (Yeoh). Bello next stars in The Jane Austen Book Club for Sony Pictures Classics, and Butterfly on a Wheel, which Lionsgate will release in August. (Variety)

Winstead, Grant join Make It Happen
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Grindhouse, Bobby) will star in the Mayhem Project's dance movie, Make It Happen, while Darren Grant (Diary of a Mad Black Man) has been attached to direct. The story is about a young woman from a small town who moves to Chicago to become a professional dancer but falls into performing at a burlesque club. Shooting is schedulede to start in July. (Variety)

Cole, Coolidge, Bruckner tapped for Stan Talmadge
Gary Cole (Talladega Nights, The Brady Bunch), Jennifer Coolidge (For Your Consideration, Click), and Agnes Bruckner (Blood & Chocolate) will star in writer-director David Moreton's Say Hello to Stan Talmadge. The road-trip comedy is set in 1979 and told in flashback. It is about the title character (Cole), an estranged ex-husband who tries to reunite his family with a cross-country motor-home trip to a game show called ''Beat Your Neighbor.'' Coolidge plays Stan's boozing, acid-tongued ex-wife, while Bruckner plays his daughter, who is traumatized by the disastrous trip. Tina Holmes (Half Nelson) plays Stan's new wife, who comes along for the ride, and Jordan Bridges (Mona Lisa Smile) plays the game show host. (Hollywood Reporter)

Hot Fuzz producer adapting one-woman stage show
Nira Park, producer of Hot Fuzz, is working on an adaptation of Jane Bussmann's one-woman stage show Bussmann's Holiday. Park will develop the project through her Big Talk Productions. It is a comedy based on the true story of Bussman's career. The former South Park writer went to Uganda to become a journalist, but she wound up stumbling upon a war-crimes scandal. Bussmann also recently sold a script to HBO for a sitcom about a 30-something woman looking for love in war-torn Africa. (Variety)

Borat writer pairs with History Boys producer for new comedy
Borat screenwriter Dan Mazer and History Boys producer Damian Jones are developing a comedy film about the Eurovision Song Contest for Working Titles Films. The annual TV song contest brings together pop acts from 42 countries, with the winner decided by votes from national juries. Kitschy and inadvertently humorous, it's one of Europe's most-watched TV events. Celine Dion and ABBA both came out of the contest. (Variety)

Fox threatens action against online Simpsons parody
20th Century Fox has sent legal notice to online video hub Broadcaster.com requesting that it remove the animated clips The O.J. Simpsons claiming copyright infringement. The website says it is reviewing the demand but claims fair-use protects the parody. (Hollywood Reporter)

IN THE GOSSIPS

Rush & Molloy: Stacy (Fergie) Ferguson talked American singer Fergie into doing a charity concert for UNICEF at Cipriani Wall Street on May 17.

Ben Widdicombe: The members of rock band Bloody Social are a bit miffed that their bandmate, Jamie Burke, and his girlfriend, Sienna Miller, are getting so much attention.

Originally posted May 14, 2007
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