NEWS ROUNDUP

Dillon Doing National Lampoon Spoof

Plus: ''Indiana Jones'' computers and pre-production photos stolen, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker in talks for fourth ''Fast and Furious,'' Comedy Central picking up sketch series from Jon Stewart's Busboy, and more...

Kevin Dillon
Image credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com
Kevin Dillon

National Lampoon taps Entourage star
Kevin Dillon (Entourage) is starring in National Lampoon's 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus Wallace Leonidas, a spoof of swords and sandals movies 300, Troy, Gladiator, and Braveheart. Dillon will play the title role, a bumbling Spartan general who fails in his quest for greatness. Jason Burinescu wrote the script and will produce with Dan Farah, and a director will be named shortly. Production will start by year's end. 301 is the fifth project underway by the reconstituted National Lampoon. National Lampoon's Bagboy and National Lampoon's Ratko just wrapped and will be released theatrically through National Lampoon Distribution with Comedy Central securing first broadcast rights. National Lampoon Presents the Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell debuts Oct. 19, and National Lampoon Presents Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo opens Nov. 9. (Variety)

Indiana Jones materials stolen
DreamWorks Pictures SKG has asked local law enforcement to investigate the theft of items being described as ''confidential and proprietary materials'' related to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which is set for release next summer. Computers, pre-production photos, and other potentially sensitive materials were reportedly taken, though police refuse to say where or when the theft took place. News of the robbery follows last week's confidentiality breach when an extra on the movie, Tyler Nelson, revealed plot details to his hometown newspaper, Oklahoma's Edmond Sun. Producers have settled a lawsuit against the actor, who was accused of breaching his confidentiality agreement. Terms of the settlement were not revealed. Director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas have tried to keep a tight lid on any details pertaining to the film, which stars Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, and Cate Blanchett. (L.A. Times)

Diesel, Walker in talks to do fourth Furious
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are in negotiations for a fourth installment of Universal's The Fast and the Furious franchise. Director Justin Lin and writer Chris Morgan, who paired for the last installment, 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, are already on board for a fourth movie. Neal Moritz will produce the as-yet-untitled installment along with Diesel, who will produce through his One Race Films. Diesel has only starred in the 2001 original Furious, which grossed $144 million. Walker did the second movie, 2003's 2 Fast 2 Furious, but skipped Tokyo Drift, which featured Diesel in a brief cameo but starred Lucas Black (Jarhead). Diesel most recently appeared in Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty and next stars in Fox's Babylon A.D. Walker just wrapped indie drama The Heaven Project. (Hollywood Reporter)

Comedy Central picking up sketch series from Jon Stewart
Comedy Central is picking up a sketch variety show series from Daily Show host Jon Stewart's Busboy Prods. called Important Things With Demetri Martin. The series will have Martin, a comedian and featured contributor on Daily Show, alternating between taped sketches and stand-up performances in front of a studio audience, the format used for Comedy Central's Chappelle's Show and Mind of Mencia, which received a fourth-season order this week. Martin previously worked with Comedy Central on his first comedy album, These Are Jokes, a stand-up tour, and a primetime special, Demetri Martin, Person, which aired in January. Stewart has reportedly taken an active role in developing the show, which is slated for the second half of 2008 with anywhere from six to 10 episodes. Busboy, which has a first-look deal with Comedy Central, first collaborated with the network for The Colbert Report. It also had another pilot set up, the scripted single-camera Three Strikes, but Comedy Central has passed on that project. (Hollywood Reporter)

Portman joins Brothers
Natalie Portman has joined Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire in Jim Sheridan's (Ger Rich or Die Tryin', My Left Foot) Brothers for Relativity Media. The story, based on Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish-language film, is about a man (Maguire) who is sent to fight in Afghanistan while his black-sheep brother (Gyllenhaal) cares for his wife (Portman) and child. David Benioff (The Kite Runner) is writing the remake. Shooting is set to begin in November. Portman stars in the upcoming movies Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, The Other Boleyn Girl, and My Blueberry Nights. (Variety)

Showtime kills with Dexter ratings
The second season premiere of Showtime's series Dexter attracted more than a million viewers on Sunday (Sept. 30) night at 9 p.m. The series stars Michael C. Hall as a likable forensics expert for the Miami Police Department who moonlights as a serial killer. Sunday's airing marks the first time Showtime broke the million-viewer mark for a single run and a 67 percent increase over the series premiere last October. Showtime heavily promoted Dexter's second season, including turning the water red in fountains nationwide. (Hollywood Reporter)

Cooper joins Carrey in Yes Man
Bradley Cooper (Kitchen Confidential, Wedding Crashers) will play the best friend of Jim Carrey's character in Warner Bros.' Yes Man. The story is about a man (Carrey) who decides to change his life by saying yes to everything. Production is set to start this month. Cooper will also appear in the Drew Barrymore-produced He's Just Not That Into You and All About Steve, which stars Sandra Bullock. He will next appear in Lionsgate's Midnight Meat Train and Paramount's Case 39. (Variety)

ABC doing reworked Cupid series
ABC is working with writer Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) on a new version of Cupid, the short-lived late-90s series that starred Jeremy Piven as a man who thinks he's been sent to earth by Zeus to help out romantically challenged souls. The show lasted only 15 episodes during the 1998-99 season, but it attracted a cult audience and helped launch the career of series creator-exec producer Thomas. (Variety)

Bracco starring in Lifetime drama pilot Long Island
Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) will star in Lifetime's upcoming drama pilot Long Island Confidential. She will play Nora, the mom of series lead Alison Elliott. Elliott plays a female detective juggling family and career. Bracco played Dr. Melfi on The Sopranos from 1999 until the show ended last spring. (Variety)

HBO acquires Duke Lacrosse Rape Case
HBO has acquired rights to Stuart Taylor Jr. and K.C. Johnson's book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The book is about the prosecution of three white Duke University lacrosse players who were accused of gang rape by an African-American stripper at a team party on campus. It was just published by the St. Martin's Press imprint Thomas Dunne Books. HBO plans to develop a movie that explores how race and class made the case a national issue. (Variety)

Swain starring in Slamdance horror film
Dominique Swain (Alpha Dog) is starring in Slaughter, an indie horror movie financed and co-produced by Maverick Red and Angel Baby Entertainment. The film, which will work from a script that won writers Bobby Darby and Nathan Brooks the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival Horror Screenplay Competition, is about a young actress (Swain) who travels to a remote desert location to shoot a film called Slaughter, only to discover that it is a snuff film. Production is scheduled to start this month and the movie is set to premiere at next year's Slamdance Fest. (Hollywood Reporter)

Harwicke tapped to direct Meyer's Twilight
Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown) will direct Twilight, Summit Entertainment's adaptation of the first novel in Stephenie Meyer's bestselling young adult fantasy series. The story is about seven-year-old Bella, a girl who moves to a small town to live with her father and is drawn to a mysterious classmate who comes from a family of vampires. Meyer has published two more installments of the series, New Moon and Eclipse, and is working on two more. (Variety)

CELEBRITY NEWS

AP via Google: A man who broke into Nic Cage's home on Monday (Oct. 1) has been charged with a felony count of residential burglary. Cage was upstairs with his wife and son when he allegedly saw Robert Dennis Furo, 45, standing at the door of his bathroom naked, save for one of the actor's leather jackets. Duro has pleaded not guilty.

Rush & Molloy: Big Love's Chloe Sevigny says that if she was polygamous in real life, she'd want to be with Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro, and Clive Owen. ''I love really masculine men,'' she said.

Page Six: Former Eagle Don Felder's memoir, Heaven and Hell: My Life as an Eagle, will be published in the U.K. by Orion Publishing Group following Hyperion's decision not to publish the book in the U.S., citing unspecified ''legal issues.''

Originally posted Oct 03, 2007