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”South Park,” James Van Der Beek, and David Cook made news this week

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On the Oct. 8 episode of South Park, cartoon versions of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas raped Indiana Jones — and it looks like no one is going to pay for the crime. In the episode, Stan, Kyle, and the gang are so horrified by Indy 4, they envision Spielberg and Lucas having their way with the pop culture icon. But even though Paramount execs reportedly met to discuss what to do about the episode after it aired (the studio’s corporate parent, Viacom, also owns Comedy Central), at press time it seemed everyone just wanted to let it be. Spielberg saw the show, but neither he, Lucas, Paramount, Comedy Central, or South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone would comment. The last time South Park went after Spielberg and Lucas — in a 2002 episode portraying them as bent on releasing a new version of Raiders of the Lost Ark — Spielberg sent the creators a letter of ostensible praise. Yet, Parker noted in a later DVD commentary, ”We, still to this day, do not know if he was pissed off.”… Director Darren Aronofsky‘s The Fighter, a boxing biopic about pugilist Micky Ward that’s his long-planned follow-up to December’s The Wrestler, is falling on hard times: Brad Pitt, who was attached to play Ward’s half-brother and trainer, recently dropped out of the film. But Mark Wahlberg tells EW he’s still committed to playing Ward and planned to meet with the director ”to try and figure out what we are going to do. I’ve been dying to portray this character. A hardscrabble Irish guy from Massachusetts? It’s like it was tailor-made for me.”… Don Cheadle is in final talks to replace Terrence Howard as Col. Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2. Marvel Studios had no comment at press time. — Adam B. Vary, with additional reporting by Carrie Bell

Welcome home, Dawson! James Van Der Beek will return to his old Dawson’s Creek stomping grounds in Wilmington, N.C., this month to shoot an episode of One Tree Hill that will air in late November. Van Der Beek — who memorably depicted a serial killer on Criminal Minds in 2007 — will play a director who’s interested in making a movie out of Lucas’ (Chad Michael Murray) novel. ”The specter of Dawson’s Creek is always around us,” says Mark Schwahn, who exec-produces Hill on the same production lot in Wilmington that was once used by Creek. ”We’re about to [complete] 128 episodes, which is right around what Dawson’s did,” says Schwahn. ”So I thought it would be cool to get James.” — Lynette Rice

David Cook has been pretty quiet since the American Idol tour wrapped Sept. 13. But with his self-titled debut due next month, the season 7 champ and his carefully applied eyeliner are preparing for another nonstop ride. Mastering on the album was completed in New York last week, with Cook overseeing finishing touches on 12 tracks (11 of which he co-wrote). Days later, he flew to L.A. to film the video for his first single, ”Light On,” directed by Wayne Isham (Bon Jovi, Britney Spears). And now that Cook has assembled a backing band — which includes two members of his former group Midwest Kings — he’ll perform the song on Saturday Night Live‘s Nov. 1 telecast, the final full episode to air before the election. Still no word on whether Cook, who was famously favored by moms nationwide, will also pop up in the show’s recurring ”Cougar Den” sketch. — Shirley Halperin

We’ve got what you want on the HI blog at EW.COM