Costner to star in indie comedy
Plus: Common lands two movies, ''Museum'' director tapped to develop ''Overachievers,'' and more...
Costner producing, starring in indie comedy Swing Vote
Kevin Costner will star in the indie comedy Swing Vote, about a man who becomes the center of the country’s attention when it is revealed that his single vote will determine the outcome of a presidential election. Joshua Michael Stern will direct, and Costner will produce with partner Jim Wilson through their new company Treehouse Films. ”Treehouse will give me [the] opportunity to shepherd projects from the ground up, with the goal of aligning partners of a like mind,” Costner said to Variety. ”Swing Vote fits right into that mold.” The movie is set to start shooting in July. (Variety)
Common lands two movie roles
Hip-hop artist Common is set to do two new features: the Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie movie Wanted for Universal Pictures, and the Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker drama The Night Watchman for Fox Searchlight. The Timur Bekmambetov-directed Wanted is about a white-collar worker (James McAvoy) who discovers he is the son of an evil supervillain. When his father is assassinated, he inherits his powers and joins the other supervillains (Freeman, Jolie, and Common, who will play ”The Gunsmith”). For Night Watchman, which will be directed by David Ayer (Harsh Times), Common will play Coates, a heroin dealer from Belize posing as an undercover police officer. The story is about a disgraced cop who discovers corruption inside the police department and sets out on a mission to redeem himself. Common made his feature debut in Smokin’ Aces and next appears in the Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe film American Gangster. His upcoming album, Finding Forever, comes out this July. (Hollywood Reporter)
Universal taps Museum director to develop Overachievers
Universal Pictures has acquired The Overachievers, an adaptation of Alexandra Robbins’ nonfiction book about high school students preparing for the SATs, and set it up with Night of the Museum director Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps. As with all 21 Laps projects, Levy could also direct. The book, Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, chronicles the lives of students in a Bethesda, MD high school as they navigate the SAT and college-application process. They become obsessed with success and contend with illness, physical deterioration, cheating, obsessed parents, and emotional breakdowns. The movie adaptation will likely turn it into a character-driven teen comedy. (Hollywood Reporter)
Del Toro, Cuaron, Inarritu team for five-movie deal
Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade 2), Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) have teamed up with Cuaron’s younger brother, Carlos, and Passengers director Rodrigo Garcia to shop for a combined movie deal at a major studio. They are seeking a deal that gives each director one project, with the combined budget totaling $100 million. The group is reportedly already in early talks for a deal with Universal, which released Children of Men and del Toro’s Hellboy 2. (Variety)
NBC renews Medium
NBC has given early renewal to Medium, which will get a fourth season this fall. The drama is averaging a 3.0 rating/8 share among adults 18-49 this season and 8.5 million viewers overall in the Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot. (Hollywood Reporter)
NBC files papers supporting lawsuit against YouTube
NBC has filed a friend of the court brief opposing YouTube’s attempt to have a copyright infringement suit dismissed. The suit was filed by Los Angeles News Service operator Robert Tur claiming the viral video site allowed unauthorized access to his video footage of the beating of Reginald Denning, from the 1992 L.A. riots. ”Many of NBCU’s most valuable copyrighted works have been copied, performed, and disseminated without authorization by YouTube and other similarly operated websites,” the filing said. ”NBCU has a strong interest in preserving the strength and viability of all of its legal rights and remedies in response to such conduct.” MTV parent Viacom filed a copyright infringement suit against YouTube in March for more than $1 billion in damages, and on Friday (May 4), English soccer’s Premier League filed suit against Google and YouTube, claiming copyright infringement. (Hollywood Reporter)
Fox renews Talkshow, Mad TV up in the air
Fox has picked up Saturday late-night comedy Talkshow With Spike Feresten for a second season. The show, hosted by Feresten, a former Seinfeld writer, mixes elements of a talk show and comedy sketches. It will continue to air in the midnight-12:30 a.m. slot, unless Fox cannot reach a deal for a 13th season of Mad TV. Sources say negotiations for Mad are not going well. (Hollywood Reporter)
Warner taps Disturbia writer for The Flock
Christopher B. Landon is set to write psychological thriller The Flock for Warner Independent Pictures. The story is about three teens, accused of practicing witchcraft, who endure terrifying consequences as a result of the ensuing hysteria and scapegoating. (Variety)
Intrepid acquires graphic novel The Expendable One
Intrepid Pictures has acquired rights to the superhero satire graphic novel The Expendable Ones, by writer Jason M. Burns and illustrator Bryan Baugh. It was published through Viper Comics last year. The story is about a suburban everyman who accidentally injects himself with a serum that allows his body to heal from any injury. He tries to help some locals with the aid of a police radio, but when the CIA recruits him to find a serial killer, he finds he is in over his head. Intrepid has hired Shane Kuhn and Brendan Cowles to write the screenplay. The duo are currently writing the video game-inspired action film Twitch for Sony Pictures, and they are set to make their directorial debut with the Lionsgate horror film Drive-Thru. (Hollywood Reporter)
Paris Hilton rehires publicist
Paris Hilton has rehired veteran publicist Elliot Mintz. Hilton fired Mintz last week, blaming him for getting her into trouble with the law. The socialite has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving on a suspended license and violating terms of her probation stemming from a drunken driving incident last year. Hilton is currently appealing the sentence. (Reuters)
National Lampoon buys Drunk University website
National Lampoon has acquired the college humor website Drunk University. The company plans to develop new projects and possibly build feature movie projects around the 5-year-old site’s brand. The company’s first fully-financed in-house production, National Lampoon’s Bagboy, starring Brooke Shields, Dennis Farina, and Larry Miller, is due out this year. (Variety)
Ananda Lewis to host TV Guide Network reality show
Former BET and MTV personality Ananda Lewis has been tapped to host TV Guide Network’s upcoming reality show America’s Next Producer. The 10-episode series features contestants competing for a cash prize, a production office in Hollywood, and first-look deal with TV Guide Network. They will be joined each week with a celebrity guest judge. Lewis previously hosted her own talkshow, The Ananda Lewis Show. (Hollywood Reporter)
IN THE GOSSIPS
Page Six: Brittany Murphy and boyfriend of a few months, screenwriter Simon Monjack, sneaked off to Las Vegas for a secret wedding over the weekend.
Rush & Molloy: Rosie O’Donnell wants to be the new host of The Price is Right, but sources say Bob Barker won’t let that happen.
People.com: A judge has revoked David Hasselhoff’s child visitation rights after he saw a videotape in which the actor was extremely drunk.