DiCaprio re-teams with Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in the Martin Scorsese-directedThe Wolf of Wall Street for Warner Bros. Pictures, with The Sopranos writer Terence Winter penning the script. The project is an adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s upcoming autobiography, which tells the story of how the Long Island stockbroker, to be played by DiCaprio, served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a 1990s securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including mob infiltration. The book publishes in September. The movie deal closed on Friday (March 23) after a brief bidding war between Warner and DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company and Paramount and Brad Pitt’s Plan B. It is not yet known when Scorsese is scheduled to begin work on Wolf. He currently is developing, and may direct, The Long Play, a rock ‘n’ roll epic to be penned by Departed writer William Monahan, as well as an adaptation of Eric Jager’s book Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, and is said to be eyeing an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. DiCaprio just signed on to star alongside Kate Winslet in an adaptation of Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road. (Variety)
Three stars return to finish Potter franchise
The three stars of the Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, have all signed on shoot the final two movies in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The British tabloids recently reported that Watson, who plays the practical-minded Hermione Granger, might not complete the series. Radcliffe plays Harry, and Grint plays the role of Harry’s best friend, Ron Weasley. The fifth Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix comes out on July 13. (Variety)
Warner Bros. doing 300 director’s zombie movie
Warner Bros. is teaming with Zack Snyder, director of 300, for Army of the Dead, a zombie action thriller based on an original story by Snyder. The story is about a father who tries to save his daughter from zombies. Snyder will produce with wife Deborah Snyder through their recently launched Cruel & Unusual Films, based at Warner Bros. It is unknown whether Snyder plans to direct. Cruel & Unusual is also developing action-fantasy Sucker Punch, from an original story by Snyder, and Snyder is set to direct Watchmen for Warner Bros, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel about a group of retired superheroes who reunite to save the world. (Variety)
Miramax doing Auschwitz movie
Miramax will begin shooting for Boy in the Striped Pajamas at the end of April with Vera Farmiga (The Departed) set to star. The movie is based on John Boyne’s book about a German family relocating to Auschwitz after the father takes a posting ordered by Hitler, and two boys forming a friendship from opposite sides of a concentration camp fence. Farmiga plays the mother/wife. Mark Herman (Little Voices) will direct, and David Heyman’s Heyday Films will produce. (Variety)
Another Dark Films ad campaign under fire
Suicide prevention groups are protesting Dark Films’ plans to advertise comedy Wristcutters: A Love Story with signs showing people killing themselves. Last week, Dark Films removed billboards and taxi signs for Captivity following complaints over their depictions of star Elisha Cuthbert being tortured and killed. Wristcutters, Goran Dukic’s dark comedy-romance, has received acclaim since its 2006 Sundance Film Festival debut, winning best feature at the Gen Art Film Festival, a nomination for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You at the 2006 IFP Gotham Awards, and nods for best first feature and best first screenplay at the Independent Spirit Awards in February. (Hollywood Reporter)
Click director gets CBS pilot
Director Frank Coraci (Click, The Waterboy) will direct the CBS pilot I’m in Hell, which stars Jason Biggs as a Wall Street high roller who dies and is sentenced to ”Hell on Earth,” where he is forced to exist without his career and all the trappings that went along with it. (Hollywood Reporter)
Clinton helps announce new TV Land programming schedule
Bill Clinton delivered an hour-long address on Friday (March 23) to help TV Land announce its upcoming lineup, focused on the Baby Boomer demographic. Among its new shows are 35 and Beyond Super Model Search, a reality show focusing on older models, and The Story Of…, a retrospective about fads and trends popular with boomers. The network also announced that it has acquired more recent series, like Scrubs and Just Shoot Me, to complement its traditional airing of older shows. (Variety)
Original Transformers movie re-releasing in UK
The original 1986 animated Transformers: The Movie is being re-released for a limited run in the UK. Metrodome Distribution will give the movie a two-week run in London starting May 4. The re-release aims to tap interest generated by Paramount Pictures International’s upcoming release of the live-action version of Transformers in UK theaters in July. (Variety)
Higgins joins Hurwitz’s ABC pilot
John Michael Higgins has been tapped to star as a newly elected Congressman in ABC’s comedy pilot In the Thick of It for writer/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz. Higgins was recurring on Hurwitz’s last series, Arrested Development. (Hollywood Reporter)
Sly Stone’s sister hints at a possible reunion
Rose Stone, sister of Sly and Freddie Stone, says that Sly is still continuously working on new music and that a band reunion is imminent. Epic/Legacy has just reissued remastered versions of the group’s first seven studio albums. (Billboard)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Cindy Adams: This year’s Tribeca Film Festival will include two Leonardo DiCaprio-produced movies, and the directorial debuts of Mary Stuart Masterson and Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst.
Liz Smith: Director Tim Burton has given Sacha Baron Cohen permission to sing in a rap-style because the actor had trouble singing for his role in the movie adaptation of Sweeney Todd.
Rush & Molloy: Sources say Paul McCartney is thinking of investing in a Michael Jackson Las Vegas show.
Ben Widdicombe: Bruce Willis made out with Courtney Love at an Amy Winehouse show in Los Angeles.