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Cate Blanchett joins cast of ''Indy 4''

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Cate Blanchett
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Cate Blanchett signs on for Indy 4
The Oscar-winning actress has been cast opposite Harrison Ford in the long-awaited fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, which will be directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas’ Lucasfilm. Because the script is so top-secret, it is not yet known what role Blanchett will play, but sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that it is a starring one. The movie begins shooting in June, and Paramount will release it in theaters on May 22, 2008. (Hollywood Reporter)

Get ready for a new Sherlock Holmes
Warner Bros. is developing an action-adventure film around the classic detective character, with Neil Marshall (The Descent) attached to direct. Plot details aren’t available yet, but sources told Variety that Warners wants to reinvent Holmes and Dr. Watson, in the same way that Christopher Nolan reinvented the Caped Crusader with his Batman Begins. The film will be based on an upcoming comic book by Lionel Wigram, who will adapt it for the big screen. (Variety)

Escape From New York finds a home
As expected, a remake of John Carpenter’s cult action flick, to star 300‘s Gerard Butler, has been snatched up by a studio — New Line, to be exact. Butler will star as Snake Plissken, the antihero originally played by Kurt Russell. The new film is said to merge a new Plissken origin story with the story of the 1981 version. (Hollywood Reporter)

Crown drops Madonna tell-all
A proposed memoir by the pop icon’s former nanny Melissa Dumas — news of which EW.com broke last week — is back up for grabs following Crown Publishing’s decision not to release it. ”I deeply regret that Crown decided not to move forward in publishing [the nanny’s] book,” said Dumas’ agent, Sharlene Martin, in a statement. (Previously, Martin had sold Suzanne Hansen’s You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again, another former nanny’s account of her brush with celebrities, to Crown in 2004.) Dumas’ proposal, a copy of which EW.com has seen, contains alleged details about Madonna’s family life, including her marriage to Guy Ritchie, their involvement in Kabbalah, and what motivated her decision to adopt. A representative for Madonna had no comment on the proposal, nor on whether Madonna’s legal team has gotten involved. (New York Daily News and EW.com)

Stephen Frears may direct courtroom drama
The director of the Oscar-nominated The Queen is now in talks to helm The Burial, the fact-based tale of how Willie Gary, a personal-injury lawyer in the Deep South, helped an underdog client win $260 mil from a major corporation that had swindled him. (Hollywood Reporter)

Spielberg idea lands at Showtime
The cable channel is developing The United States of Tara, a half-hour comedy series based on an original concept from Steven Spielberg. It’s not yet clear what role Spielberg will take on the show, which follows a wife and mother who has multiple personality disorder. (Variety)

Melissa Gilbert, Patrick Swayze head to the Prairie
Gilbert, best known for her role as plucky young Laura on the beloved TV series Little House on the Prairie, will play Ma to Swayze’s Pa in a workshop presentation that adapts the show for the stage. The workshop will run on April 17 and is closed to the public, but its backers are hoping for a national tour kicking off in spring 2008. (Backstage)

Is Rosie planning her own show?
Several studios are looking to develop new syndicated programs in 2008: projects in the cooker include a game show tentatively titled Up Your Alley (think: Bowling With the Stars), a dating show called Brutally Honest Personals… and a talk show hosted by Rosie O’Donnell? The View cohost is said to be looking to go solo again, possibly through Telepictures (where her last talk show was produced), though her contract with ABC stipulates she must negotiate with Disney before making any moves. (Hollywood Reporter)

Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone cast in Disney flick
Fresh off the success of Wild Hogs, Lawrence will team with the Disney Channel star for College Road Trip, a comedy to be directed by Roger Kumble (Just Friends). It’s about an overprotective cop (Lawrence) who tours universities with his ambitious daughter (Raven-Symone). (Hollwyood Reporter)

Cuba Gooding Jr., Ray Liotta sign up for Hero Wanted
They’ll star in Brian Smrz’s directiorial debut, about a garbageman who plans to stage a bank robbery so that he can stop it and impress a woman who works there. Of course, that plan goes awry. (Hollywood Reporter)

Philbin fine after heart surgery
Kelly Ripa told the Live With Regis and Kelly audience on Thursday that her 75-year-old cohost was doing well following open-heart surgery — already ”up and joking around with nurses.” (Reuters)

IN THE GOSSIPS

Page Six: Apparently, rehab hasn’t done too much for Lindsay Lohan — she’s been seen out partying and drinking.

Rush & Molloy: Writer A.E. Hotchner (whose first name is Aaron) was shocked and dismayed to see that CBS’ Criminal Minds uses his name — and even his nickname, ”Hotch” — for one of its characters.

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