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Beckinsale to star in ''Whiteout''

Plus: Dr. Dre jumps into the movies game, CBS grabs LL Cool J drama pilot, and more…

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Beckinsale to star in Whiteout
Kate Beckinsale will star in the action thriller, which will be directed by Dominc Sena (Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds). Whiteout is based on Greg Rucka’s 1999 Eisner Award-winning comic book series about a lone U.S. marshal (Beckinsale) investigating the first murder to take place in Antarctica. She has just three days before winter plunges the continent in perpetual darkness, stranding her with the killer. Jon & Erich Hoeber wrote the movie adaptation. Production is scheduled to start on March 5. (Hollywood Reporter)

Dr. Dre signs production deal with New Line
New Line has signed the hip-hop mogul to a multiyear film production deal through Crucial Films, his new production company. Dre and longtime collaborator Phillip Atwell will begin by developing dark comedies but plan to move onto other genres, such as horror. Dre will be heavily involved in the music side of projects. In the past, the rapper-producer scored New Line’s Set It Off. He says he would eventually like to get involved in movie directing. (Variety)

CBS picks up LL Cool J pilot
CBS has ordered The Man, a drama pilot from CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, featuring LL Cool J. The show centers on an undercover Los Angeles cop (LL Cool J) who develops a father-like relationship with a boy orphaned after one of his drug busts. Zuiker wrote the script and is executive producing. LL Cool J and his manager, Jason Barrett, also produce. (Hollywood Reporter)

Romanek directing Wolfman movie
Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) will direct Universal’s The Wolfman, which stars Benicio Del Toro, who is also producing with Rick Yorn. The movie will closely follow the 1941 original, in which a man returns from the U.S. to his ancestral home in Britain and turns into a monster by moonlight after getting bitten by a werewolf. Shooting is slated for fall. (Hollywood Reporter)

Nicolas Cage eyes star role in cop movie
The actor has purchased rights to play an NYPD detective in the movie adaptation of the novel Circle of Six. In their book, co-authors Det. Randy Jurgensen and Robert Cea allege that politics hampered the investigation of a cop murder. (CBS)

Police to announce tour on Monday
Rock band The Police are likely to announce a reunion tour at a press conference they have organized for Monday with concert promoter Live Nation. The announcement will come a day after they perform at the Grammys. It has been widely expected that the band was planning a reunion tour to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their hit ”Roxanne.” (Variety)</p

Idol, House take Tuesday for Fox
Fox’s Tuesday night one-two punch beat all other networks’ primetime ratings averages combined. American Idol earned a 13.4 rating/33 share in adults 18-49, with 33.1 million viewers overall. That score was slightly higher than the same night a year ago. House scored a 10.2/24 in 18-49, with 25 million viewers overall. In total viewers: Fox, 29 million; CBS, 13 million; NBC, 9.3 million; ABC, 7.7 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 3.5 million. (Variety)

Indiana Jones gets May 2008 release date
Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones 4, which will see Harrison Ford reprising the character, will be released on May 22, 2008 for Memorial Day weekend. It will go up against the Speed Racer movie. Indiana is scheduled to begin shooting by June. Little is known about the storyline. (Variety)

Borat, Ugly Betty winners at ICG Publicists Awards
The film and TV campaigns for Borat and Ugly Betty were honored at the awards on Wednesday. Bob Barker was given the ICG President’s Award. Jimmy Kimmel emceed the luncheon event. (Hollywood Reporter)

Magnolia grabs Slamdance’s Weirdsville
Magnolia has picked up the Slamdance Film Festival entry Weirdsville, a black comedy featuring Scott Speedman, Wes Bentley, and Taryn Manning, from Darius Films. Director Allan Moyle’s movie is about two small-town heroin addicts (Speedman, Bentley) who run into trouble with Satanists, an angry group of little people, and a drug lord in their remote Canadian town. The deal is said to be worth mid- to high-six figures. The movie is set to be released some time this year. (Hollywood Reporter)

Norah Jones hits No. 1 again
Jones has hit No. 1 for the third consecutive time with her third album, Not Too Late, which sold 405,000 copies in its first week of release, the most for a female solo artist since Beyonce’s B’Day sold 541,000 in early September. Katharine McPhee came in second last week with her self-titled debut moving 116,000 units. (Variety)

Portman interested in Israeli book
Natalie Portman has expressed interest in directing a movie based on Israeli writer Amos Oz’s internationally acclaimed autobiography. She may also act in the project, if it gets off the ground. In A Tale of Love and Darkness, Oz describes growing up in Jerusalem in the midst of the fighting that surrounded the formation of the Jewish state. Portman is reportedly interested in playing Oz’s mother. The actress was born in Jerusalem and speaks Hebrew. In 2005 she appeared in Free Zone by Israeli director Amos Gitai. (Reuters)

Guerra eyes talk show
Actress-comedian-author Jackie Guerra is in discussions to host her own talk show. She has been seen several times on Tyra Banks’ talk show discussing her recent weight loss. Guerra has written a number of books, including Under Construction: How I’ve Gained and Lost Millions of Dollars and Hundreds of Pounds, and she hosts a show on Air America called Workin’ It. She acted in the PBS drama series American Family, WB Network’s comedy series First Time Out, and the feature film Selena. (Hollywood Reporter)

Simpson ordered to not spend book money
A judge has barred O.J. Simpson from spending any of the reported $1 million advance money for the abandoned If I Did It book about the murder of his ex-wife. The order folds the new book money into a past judgment prohibiting Simpson from spending any movie or book money at least until a planned Feb. 20 hearing. (Reuters)

IN THE GOSSIPS

Page Six: Following rumors that she and Isaac Cohen broke up, Britney Spears was seen club-hopping in Manhattan, drinking, dancing, and making out.

Liz Smith: Given their history of unhappy relations, Ryan and Griffin O’Neal are lucky no one was killed during their altercation the other night.