Thursday, March 12, 2009

BUZZ: Julia & Jesus, Taylor Kitsch's next project, Twilight's newest director, and more

Julia Roberts is producing Jesus Henry Christ, a comedy based on Dennis Lee's Student Academy Award-winning short film, which tells the story of "a boy conceived in a petri-dish and raised by a loving, left-wing feminist. At the age of 10, he decides his mother's love is not enough and begins to follow a trail of Post-It notes stuck around town hoping it will lead him to his biological father." Lee will write and direct. This should be mighty interesting.

Tracy Morgan, Martin Lawrence, and Chris Rock are teaming up for the remake of the comedy Death at a Funeral. Also on the roster are Loretta Devine, Ron Glass, Danny Glover, Regina Hall, James Marsden, Zoe Saldana (Guess Who) and Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard).

Hugh Grant found a new leading lady. Sarah Jessica Parker will play his estranged wife who he witnesses a murder with in Did You Hear About the Morgans? They are shoved into a witness-protection program and comedy ensues. Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men") will play her OCD executive assistant.

• I'm always excited to see what project a TV star chooses for the beginning of their feature film career. Taylor Kitsch (Riggins from "Friday Night Lights") first signed on for Wolverine, where he plays Gambit, and now he'll be in the indie The Bang Bang Club with Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Ryan Phillippe. They'll play four combat war photographers who document the "final bloody days of white rule in apartheid-era South Africa." Hmm, Kitsch is getting deep.

• I'm getting increasingly uninterested in Robin Hood as the cast members are announced. I was cool with Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett headlining, but Scott Grimes ("ER"), Kevin Durand ("Lost"), and a Canadian folk-rock singer Alan Doyle as Robin's merry men. Are you kidding me?

• Apparently someone found the latest Indiana Jones incarnation enjoyable, since they've greenlit the adaptation of 1968's Chariots of the Gods, which "explores evidence that different ancient civilizations were visited by extraterrestrials." As long Indiana Jones doesn't discover this hidden truth, it sounds awesome.

• Spaniard director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) will be directing the third film in the Twilight series.

• First they cast a new kid, Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood"), as Thor and now they're thinking of casting Josh Hartnett as the villain, Loki. Riiiight!!! Next!

• The good news is Scarlett Johannson will play Black Widow in Iron Man 2. The bad news is she took a huge paycut, and signed on to reprise her role in whatever incarnation it appears in all Marvel films. That was not a genius move.

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