Kidman in Universal horror movie
Universal has set up a remake of the Colombian horror movie Al final del espectro as a starring and producing vehicle for Nicole Kidman. Juan Felipe Orozco, who directed the original, will also helm the remake. Kidman will produce through her Blossom Films production company. She will play a woman who is struck by tragedy and becomes a shut-in at a fancy apartment building where she begins to see a ghost. Kidman will next be seen opposite Daniel Craig in The Invasion and recently finished shooting on Margot at the Wedding and The Golden Compass. (Variety)
Warner doing live-action Johnny Quest
Warner Bros. is developing a live-action adaptation of the 1960s animated Hanna-Barbera series Johnny Quest. The show was about a young boy traveling the world and investigating scientific mysteries with his scientist father, adopted brother from India, Bandit the bulldog, and a government agent assigned to protect them. The show lasted one season in primetime, in 1964, but was updated as a new series for Cartoon Network in the late 1980s and early 1990s as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. It was also turned into a comicbook by DC Comics. The idea is to turn Quest into a family-friendly franchise. Warner Bros. is already filming an adaptation of Speed Racer, another cultish 1960s animated series. (Variety)
Bourne's Allen tapped for Death Race
Joan Allen, who is currently in theaters reprising her role as Pamela Landy for Bourne Ultimatum, will return to the studio for Death Race, Paul W.S. Anderson's (AVP: Alien vs. Predator) remake of the Roger Corman action thriller. Jason Statham (The Transporter) will star, and Ian McShane (Deadwood) and Tyrese Gibson (Waist Deep, Four Brothers) have also been cast. Death Race is set in a future America where prison inmates are forced to brutally compete in an enclosed arena. Statham will play a prisoner who is coerced into being a driver and becomes the crowd favorite called Frankenstein. Allen will play the warden who ruthlessly forces Statham to enter the arena, McShane will play a coach, and Gibson will portray a sociopathic racer named Machine Gun Joe who seeks to escape from the prison. Production is scheduled to start this year for a 2008 release. Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner are producing via their C/W Prods. (Hollywood Reporter)
Sonnenfeld directing NBC legal thriller pilot
Barry Sonnenfeld will direct an untitled legal thriller pilot for NBC about unapologetic lawyers at a prestigious New York firm who will do whatever they have to do to win. Sonnenfeld is coming off of directing the pilot for Pushing Daisies, which ABC is taking to series this fall, and is also attached to direct Sony Pictures TV's single-camera comedy pilot Hackett for Fox and SPT's medieval fantasy pilot Kingdom for CBS. (Hollywood Reporter)
More casting in Abrams' Star Trek
Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog) is in negotiations to play Pavel Checkov, the Russian-born navigator of the USS Enterprise, in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek movie. The actor joins Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy, who will both play the role of Mr. Spock. Casting is under way for Captain James T. Kirk, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, the film's villain, and the Federation captain. Abrams is expected to sign bigger-name actors for the latter two parts. The film is scheduled for a Christmas Day 2008 release. (Hollywood Reporter)
Church joins Eddie Murphy comedy
Thomas Haden Church, who played the villain Sandman in Spider-Man 3, is in final talks to join the Eddie Murphy comedy NowhereLand for Paramount Pictures. The story is about a struggling businessman who solves his troubles at work by consulting his 6-year-old daughter and the imaginary world she has created. Church will play Murphy's rival at work. Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge) is directing the movie, which has set a Sept. 26, 2008 release date with shooting scheduled to begin next month. (Hollywood Reporter)
Dangerous Book for Boys author speaks on movie adaptation
Conn Iggulden says that he'd like Disney's adaptation of his and brother Hal's best-selling The Dangerous Book for Boys to be ''something like Jumanji, if you remember that film with Robin Williams. That would be absolutely brilliant, but I really don't know. My brother and I are going to be consultants on it apparently, I'm still trying to work out what that means. We'll find out.''
TNT's The Company premieres poorly
TNT's new CIA-themed miniseries The Company, starring Michael Keaton, Chris O'Donnell, and Alfred Molina, scored poor ratings in its two-hour Sunday (Aug. 5) premiere, attracting 2.9 million viewers. By comparison, TNT's series premieres of Saving Grace and Heartland averaged 6.4 million and 4.3 million, respectively. The Company will complete its three-episode run over the next two Sundays. (Hollywood Reporter)
Clooney narrating HBO Darfur documentary
George Clooney will narrate and executive produce HBO's Sand and Sorrow, a documentary from Paul Freedman about the Darfur crisis. Sudan's Darfur region has suffered from the Arab-controlled government's killing and displacing of the indigenous African population. The documentary will lay out the history and look at the international community's slow reaction to the crisis. It is set to debut in December. (Variety)
Sony Classics acquires Brick Lane movie rights
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired movie rights to Monica Ali's 2003 novel Brick Lane, about a Bangladeshi family living in the U.K., exploring the British immigrant experience. The novel was up for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and Ali was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 young British novelists of that year. Sarah Gavron (This Little Life) will direct the movie adaptation. (Variety)
Page Six: The packaging for Britney Spears' fragrance, Believe, may feature the singer's head superimposed on an image of someone else's body.
Ben Widdicombe: E!'s plans to replace The Simple Life's Paris and Nicole with Kelly Osbourne and Kimberly Stewart have been canned in favor of a new family-based reality show starring Kim Kardashian and featuring her four sisters, mother, and step father Bruce Jenner.