Deals: Peter Jackson, Anthony Hopkins
-Hey, Peter Jackson, you’ve just won an armload of Oscars and grossed zillions with The Lord of the Rings; you’ve become the highest-paid director in history for your forthcoming adaptation of another pop-cult classic, King Kong; and at this point in your career, you could get any project you want greenlit. What are you going to do next? Adapt a videogame. Granted, it’s Halo, the most popular game series on Xbox, and Jackson is just producing, not directing. Still, you’d think he’d have something more ambitious on his plate, no?
-Having played Picasso and Nixon, Anthony Hopkins will now play Hemingway in Papa, a biopic about the legendary writer’s tormented final years.
-After making the Holocaust funny in Life Is Beautiful, making a comedy about the Iraq War was probably a snap for Roberto Benigni. Called The Tiger and the Snow, the movie includes such potentially hilarious moments as Benigni’s everyman character strapping medical supplies to his body and nearly getting killed by U.S. troops who mistake him for a suicide bomber. Hardy har har! I wonder why the movie, which opens next week in Italy, has no U.S. distributor yet.
-Having depicted the next ice age in The Day After Tomorrow, director Roland Emmerich is going back in time to 10,000 B.C. Do I smell a cameo in this prehistoric project for Raquel Welch?