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Let’s play What’s Weirder?…

A) Connie Nielsen (best known for costarring in Gladiator and dating Metallica’s Lars Ulrich) will fill in for Mariska Hargitay for six episodes while she’s on maternity leave from Law & Order: SVU.

B) Lost‘s Matthew Fox is costarring in another plane-crash disaster tale, this one based on a true story. It’s a movie about a West Virginia college football team that tries to rebuild itself after a crash kills several players and staffers. Matthew McConaughey and Fox will play coaches; McG is directing.

C) Marilyn Manson (pictured) plans to make his writng/directing debut in Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. (So reports Production Weekly; click on the link marked ”january thirty-one.”) He’d also play the Alice in Wonderland author, while Angelina Jolie is in talks to play the Queen of Hearts.

D) Rachel McAdams and Thandie Newton are rumored to be the frontrunners for the top Bond girl role in Casino Royale, which has already started shooting but still has yet to cast a female lead and a villain.

(See Gary’s answer after the jump…)

Okay, I’m not terribly vexed about A., which won’t be too different from when Michael Imperioli subbed for L&O: Original Flavor‘s Jesse L. Martin last year while he was filming Rent.

B. sounds like an odd choice for Fox, given his success as a TV leadingman, but he hasn’t proved himself as a movie star yet, so maybe playingsecond banana to McConaughey could be a smart way to get his foot inthe door.

I have mixed feelings about D. — I’m glad 007 producersagree with me on Newton, and while McAdams is a less exotic choice thanI’d make, she is a versatile enough actress to handle whateverridiculousness a Bond plot throws her way.

So I’ll go with C. Not thatManson deserves automatic weirdness points anymore (it’s not 1994anymore), but because this movie sounds like the most bizarre idea fora pop/literature/film hybrid since Michael Jackson announced plans afew years ago to star in a movie about Edgar Allan Poe. Plus, he’lldeserve more props if he can actually get Jolie to sign on (she’salready rocking a Manson-esque goth look), though I suspect she’ll be alittle busy this summer with a new production of her own.

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