Thursday, January 08, 2009

BUZZ: Taylor Keeps "Twilight" Gig, "Iron Man" Villains Cast, and more

• It's been confirmed by new director Chris Weitz and writer Stephenie Meyer that Taylor Lautner will be keeping his role of Jacob Black in the next Twilight film, New Moon. But there's no guarantee that he'll be at the forefront of the plot, despite the fact that the second book focuses mainly on his relationship with Bella. Producers are wary of putting Robert Pattinson in less than half the film after the major love fans have shown for him. Chances are they'll split the film's spotlight 50-50 to accomodate purists and giggling girls.

• While we're on the topic of Pattinson, the new Hollywood hunk had to drop out of the romantic drama Parts Per Billion, which will now only star Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness and Juno), Rosario Dawson, and Dennis Hopper, because of preparation conflicts with New Moon. That bites.

D.J. Caruso (Disturbia and Eagle Eye) had plans to adapt the comic Y: The Last Man with his favorite leading man, Shia Labeouf, as the main character. But maybe he's waiting for Shia's schedule to lighten up--even though he's just wrapped the Transformers sequel--and for his hand to officially heal, because it's reported that his next project will be fairytale based. Interesting. The film, Jack the Giant Killer, written by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), is about a princess who is kidnapped by a giant and a farmer who leads a revolt against the giants' kingdom to get her back. Hmm. I don't know, D.J. I need to see a trailer before I commit.

• Speaking of big budget passion projects, after McG wraps up Terminator: Salvation, he'll get started on the prequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, subtitling it Captain Nemo. No, not that Nemo.

• It's rumored that Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell will play the villains in Iron Man 2. Rourke would be the tattooed Russian who becomes Whiplash, a man with deadly, technologically enhanced coils, and Rockwell would be Tony Stark's rival, Justin Hammer, a multibillionaire businessman. They're still looking for someone to play Stark's female assistant. I could've sworn Gwyneth Paltrow, who is reprising her role, was his assistant, but I guess not.

Sandra Bullock turned down a role in Sylvester Stallone's upcoming war action film The Expendables.

Gerard Butler teams up with Jamie Foxx for the crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen, where "a district attorney orchestrates a plea bargain that sets free the killers of another man's family," leading him to take justice into his own hands. Is it racist to assume that Butler is the one playing the attorney. I don't know. I feel like Foxx would be better at the bad guy role, cause Butler, despite his 300 role, has the perfect puppy dog eyes of grief.

• NBC stupidly steals an idea from ABC's "Eli Stone," greenlighting a new drama called "Soundtrack," where a man's life is disrupted by the music that won't stop playing in his mind until he figures out what it is. It's nearly the same trouble Stone has as he imagines the people around him break out into song until he figures out what clue each song and scenery is trying to tell him in order to solve a legal case. It just sounds like the perfect vehicle to sell music, not an Emmy-winning or fan-base creating series.

• HBO feels the need to remake the British series "Shameless," which once starred James McAvoy (Atonement).

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li: The martial arts isn't bad, but it's just a little hard to believe Neal McDonough (Edie's crazy husband on "Desperate Housewives") as a bad guy in this scenario.

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