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Scorsese directing George Harrison doc

Plus: Robert Redford to direct adaptation of Richard A. Clarke’s memoir, Eric McCormack tapped for TNT pilot, NBC bringing back ”Knight Rider,” and more…

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Martin Scorsese
Joe Kohen/WireImage.com

Scorsese helming Harrison documentary
Martin Scorsese will direct an as-yet untitled documentary about former Beatle George Harrison. Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58. The Harrison family will supply materials from its archive to help tell the story of the guitarist’s Beatles career as well has his later years, which included a successful solo music career and movie production — Harrison’s Handmade Films made Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Time Bandits, among others. Scorsese will also focus on Harrison’s Eastern spiritual pursuits. The director also will produce with Harrison’s widow Olivia and Nigel Sinclair in a co-production between Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods., Harrison’s Grove Street Prods., and Sinclair’s Spitfire Pictures. Surviving Beatles bandmates Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will likely participate, as well as the Beatles’ Apple Records, which counts Olivia Harrison as a partner. The documentary will be constructed for theatrical release with interviews and early production set to begin later this year. The film will take several years to complete. (Variety)

Redford directing Richard A. Clarke movie
Robert Redford will direct the movie adaptation of Richard A. Clarke’s memoir Against All Enemies, which is being financed by Capitol Films. Columbia Pictures was originally attached to the project with Paul Haggis directing, but it backed out last month in part because of an overabundance of Iraq-themed movies. The story centers on Clarke, the counterterrorism adviser to three presidents, who wrote in his book that the Bush administration prioritized Iraq above threats from Al Qaeda both before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. Vince Vaughn was at one time considering the role of World Trade Center security chief John O’Neill, who died in the Manhattan attacks. Sean Penn considered playing Clarke but reportedly balked over salary. Redford’s last project was United Artists’ just-wrapped Lions for Lambs, which he directed and stars in, about the Bush administration’s war on terror. Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep also star in that film. (Variety)

Will & Grace‘s McCormack tapped for TNT pilot
Eric McCormack, who won an Emmy for his role as Will in NBC?s Will & Grace, has landed a leading role in the TNT drama pilot Truth in Advertising. The story is set at a high-pressure, multimillion-dollar advertising agency where executives must prove themselves every day or lose their jobs. McCormack will play Mason McGuire, VP and art director at the Chicago agency. He is a nice guy, but when he is promoted to creative director, he is forced to cultivate his inner shark. Tom Cavanagh (Ed, Love Monkey) is in final negotiations for the other lead, the highly emotional and creative Conner, Mason?s partner, friend, and copywriter who is always looking for ways to mix in plenty of pleasure with the business. The pilot is set to shoot in October. (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC bringing back Knight Rider
NBC is bringing back Knight Rider, the 1980s show starring David Hasselhoff as the owner of an indestructible, talking supercar, with Doug Liman set to produce a reworked version of the action-drama series. The network will produce a two-hour pilot with plans to air it as a telepic later this season. If that is successful, a new Knight Rider series could be on the air as early as next fall. It will largely stay true to the original series’ premise of a man fighting for justice behind the wheel of his supercar named K.I.T.T. Knight Rider originally aired on NBC from 1982 until 1986, with Hasselhoff starring as the smooth, leather-clad Michael Knight. A spinoff show, Team Knight Rider, aired in syndication during the 1997-98 season. (Variety)

Transformers sequel set to screen in 2009
Paramount and DreamWorks are holding June 26, 2009, as the date for Transformers 2 with director Michael Bay expected to return for the sequel. Transformers, starring Shia LaBeouf, has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide. Bay is in the final stages of negotiation to return, and if he does, LaBeouf is expected to return as well. DreamWorks and Paramount are hoping to at least begin production on the sequel before a possible strike, though they may not finish it until afterward. (Variety)

Elfman tapped for indie film Six Wives
Jenna Elfman will star in the indie feature The Six Wives of Henry Lefay for writer-director Howard Michael Gould. The story is about a man (Tim Allen) whose wife and five ex-wives — ranging in age from 25 to 55 — fight over his will when they believe he is dead. Elfman will play one of the wives, a small-town diva. Also on board are Elisha Cuthbert (24), who will play Allen’s daughter, who has never married, as well as Andie MacDowell, Spanish actress Paz Vega, Kelli Garner (Dreamland), and S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order) who will all play spouses. Shooting is already underway. Elfman recently signed on to star in the upcoming TV series Literary Superstars, which is slated to shoot in December. (Hollywood Reporter)

Casting begins in FX’s transsexual pilot
Joseph Fiennes (Running With Scissors), Blythe Danner (Huff), and Robert Wagner (Austin Powers) have been cast in Ryan Murphy’s untitled transsexual drama pilot for FX. The hour-long show (formerly known as 4 oz.) is about a family man named Bob (Fiennes) who decides to get a sex change. Danner and Wagner will play Bob’s parents, Bunny and Scotch. Bob’s wife and kids have yet to be cast. Murphy co-created the project with Nip/Tuck’s Brad Falchuk. He will also direct the pilot and executive produce along with Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner. Production is scheduled to start next month. (Hollywood Reporter)

Arts Alliance, Red Envelope acquire Confessions of a Superhero
Arts Alliance America and Netflix’s Red Envelope have teamed to acquire Confessions of a Superhero, a documentary produced by Half Nelson‘s Jamie Patricof. The film, a big hit at last March’s South by Southwest, chronicles the struggling actors who pay the bills by playing superheroes on Hollywood Boulevard. Newcomer Matt Ogens directed and produced. The movie will start screening in New York on Nov. 2, and then head to DVD in January. It will also screen at AFI next month. (Variety)

Weisman directing The Miracle of St. Anthony
Sam Weisman (George of the Jungle, Mighty Ducks II) will direct The Miracle of St. Anthony for Walden Media and Jordan Kerner. The movie is about high school basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr. and his efforts during the 2005 season to transform the toughest, least-engaged players at St. Anthony High School in a downtrodden Jersey City neighborhood. Hurley will also consult. To date, his teams have gone on to win 22 state and two national championships. (Variety)

Snoop, Talib Kweli to appear on new Hi-Tek record
Talib Kweli, Snoop Dogg, Gorilla Zoe, Estelle, and newcomer MC Riz are slated for guest appearances on hip-hop producer Hi-Tek’s new album, Hi-Teknology, Vol. 3: Underground, which is set to relase in November via Babygrande. Hi-Tek is going in a more mainstream direction with this release, which he describes as ”poppy, upbeat, and a little corny, but still hot.” The producer also says he’s talking with Kweli about recording a follow-up to their 2000 collaboration Reflection Eternal: Train of Thought. (Billboard)

CELEBRITY NEWS

Page Six: Mark Cuban and Donald Trump are once again publicly blasting each other with stinging insults. After Trump called Dan Rather a ”loser” for filing a $70 million lawsuit against CBS, Cuban, who hired the former anchor to host Dan Rather Reports on his HDNet, fired back on Access Hollywood saying ”Donald Trump is a first-class idiot!” Next up was Trump, who told Page Six, ”Mark is a total loser. This all started in 2004, when he tried to do a show, The Benefactor, which was a copy of The Apprentice, and it was a total disaster.”

Time: Jerry Seinfeld tells writer Jess Cagle he has never watched former co-star Julie Louis-Dreyfus’ show, The New Adventures of Old Christine.

AP via Yahoo!: David Beckham flew to Britain on Thursday (Sept. 26) because his 59-year-old father was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.

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