Friday, November 27, 2009

BUZZ: Pattinson & Thurman in Bel Ami, Flowers for Algernon Adaptation, "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff, and more

• In Bel Ami, Robert Pattinson will play "a young journalist who rose from poverty to become one of the most successful men in Paris via the ruthless and calculating bedding of the city's most glamorous and influential women." I'm not sure why more cougars aren't lining up to play one of Pattinson's conquests in, but Uma Thurman, who hasn't had a hit since 2004's Kill Bill sequel, made the smart move to revive her dwindling career by signing on. I wonder if the ladies of Hollywood don't consider Pattinson worthy of their presence or if the film is so low budget, it can't afford them. Hopefully, after they've seen the trailer for his upcoming indie Remember Me, set for March 2010, they'll have a little more faith in him. It actually looks really well-acted.

• Okay, so maybe it was obvious to everyone else that Will Smith has been gunning for an Oscar for a while now, but I think it's official now that he's signed on to star and produce Daniel Keyes' classic novel Flowers for Algernon. I was forced to read that incredibly depressing book in high school, and I can tell you that it's going to tug on your heart strings. "The story centers on a mentally disabled man who is the first to undergo a surgery that is said to raise intelligence. While the operation is successful, and his IQ raises from 68 to 185, the side effects include social setbacks where he feels ostracized from society." Super super super depressing. I wish someone would give Will an Oscar already so he can get back to saving the world.

• I love when unique stories are adapted onto the big screen. Lauren McLaughlin's young-adult book series Cycler just got optioned. Her novels tell the story of "Jill, a suburban teenager who for four days each month turns into Jack, complete with male anatomy and 17-year-old-boy fantasies. Jill has maintained her life of ordinary teenage worries, such as going to the prom and dealing with a crush, but that changes when Jack, tired of being locked in his room, begins to escape, causing damage to her social life." I can already picture Ellen Page in this role. She looks very androgynous.

Joe Wright ("Atonement," "Pride and Prejudice") might direct Hanna, an action adventure thriller about "a 14-year-old Eastern European girl who has been raised by her father to be a cold-blooded killing machine. She connects with a French family, forms a friendship with their daughter and goes through the pangs of adolescence. When the girl is dragged back to her father's world and discovers that she was bred as a killing machine in a CIA prison camp, she must fight her way to a free life." Who should play her? Hmmm, maybe Dakota Fanning. She's substantially terrifying for all five minutes she's in New Moon.

Colin Hanks has been bravely attempting to make it in this business without any help from his Hollywood dad. Unfortunately, he's yet to achieve maximum stardom through film, despite the company he keeps, which include John Malkovich (The Great Buck Howard), Jack Black (King Kong), Meg Ryan and Antonio Banderas (My Mom's New Boyfriend). Lately, he's been dipping his foot back into TV. Having had his first taste of success in '99 with the WB's "Roswell," it's familiar ground for him. Ocassionally, he's made appearances on CBS's soon to be cancelled "Numb3rs," and last year he had a brief character arc as Peggy's religious conscience on "Mad Men." Now he's heading back to TV with a FOX cop series called "Jack and Dan." The Dan in question will be played by Bradley Whitford ("Studio 60" and "The West Wing"). The series "centers on Jack, an ambitious, by-the-book detective whose habit of undermining himself has resulted in a dead-end position at the LAPD. He's partnered with Dan, a drunken, lecherous cop who hangs onto his job only because of a heroic act years before." It could have weight. It all depends on their chemistry.

• If you want even more "Grey's Anatomy," you'll be happy to know that starting in January there will be webisodes featuring several of the cast members. So far Gloria Garayua, the hispanic intern, and Brandon Scott, the black intern, are on board. Leave it to Shonda to make more opportunities for the minorities of the series. It'll be subtitled "On Call," because it will take place in their favorite hangout bar.

• Yay!!!! NBC just ordered three more episodes of the action-packed medical drama "Trauma" after it received a boost in ratings. This is why I'm a firm believer that all shows should get at least a full season to prove themselves. Some people just need the holidays to catch up on their DVR. Duh!

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