Plus: Whitaker, Biel starring in indie ''Powder Blue,'' ''300'' author Miller making solo directorial debut on ''The Spirit,'' Underwood, Chesney win top honors at CMAs, and more...
Kutcher, Diaz teaming for romantic comedy
Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz are in talks to star in What Happens in Vegas…, a romantic comedy Julian Farino is directing for 20th Century Fox. Farino is a director for Entourage and has also helmed episodes of HBO’s Big Love and Rome, and NBC’s The Office. Vegas is about two strangers who wake up after a night of debauchery in Las Vegas to discover that they are married. When one of them wins a jackpot with the other’s quarter, the duo try to undermine one another in order stake claim as the rightful owner of the prize money, falling in love along the way. Dana Fox (The Wedding Date) wrote the screenplay. Kutcher recently starred in The Guardian, and Diaz most recently was featured in The Holiday. The actress will next reprise her role as the voice of Princess Fiona in Shrek the Third,, which opens this weekend. (Hollywood Reporter)
Whitaker, Biel to star in Powder Blue
Forest Whitaker and Jessica Biel will star in the indie drama Powder Blue, which Whitaker is producing with Linh Bui, Tracee Stanley-Newell, and Eleven Eleven Films’ Bobby Schwartz and Ross M. Dinerstein. Whitaker will play a suicidal ex-priest, and Biel will portray a stripper with a terminally ill son. Timothy Linh Bui (Green Dragon) wrote and directs the film, which begins shooting in July. Whitaker will next be seen in The Great Debaters opposite actor-director Denzel Washington for MGM/Weinstein Co. and Vantage Point for Columbia Pictures. He will also voice a character in Where the Wild Things Are for Warner Bros. (Hollywood Reporter)
300 author Frank Miller lands first solo directing project
Frank Miller, author of the graphic novels adapted into the features 300 and Sin City, will direct a live adaptation of Will Eisner’s comicbook series The Spirit for Lionsgate. Miller also wrote the script. This will be Miller’s first solo directing project, following his co-direction of Sin City with Robert Rodriguez. The Spirit is about a man who fakes his own death so he can fight crime from the shadows of Central City. His nemesis is the Octopus, who kills anyone who sees his face and is looking to wipe out the entire city. The start date for production on The Spirit will work around production on the Sin City sequel that Miller is making with Rodriguez. (Variety)
Underwood, Chesney win top honors at CMAs
Kenny Chesney won his third straight entertainer of the year award at the 42nd annual Country Music Awards, and Carrie Underwood took home top female vocalist, album of the year for Some Hearts, and video of the year for ”Before He Cheats.” Brooks & Dunn won their 14th vocal duo award as well as the Home Depot Humanitarian Award, and the vocal collaboration award for ”Building Bridges,” with Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow. George Strait picked up three awards: song and single of the year for ”Give It Away” and a producing credit in the single category. Brad Paisley won top male vocalist, and Rascal Flatts took home best group. (Hollywood Reporter)
William H. Macy starring in TNT’s Family Man
William H. Macy will script and star in the new TNT series Family Man. The story is about a man who organizes charity drives by day and cracks the safes of major corporations by night. Events will unfold through a series of flash forwards, with Macy’s character seen in prison in the future. Macy will pen the script with longtime writing partner Steven Schachter, who will also direct. (Variety)
Arthouse acquires documentary on Warhol lover
Arthouse Films, in association with Curiously Bright Entertainment and Netflix’s Red Envelope Entertainment, has acquired North American theatrical and DVD rights to Esther B. Robinson’s documentary A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Andy Warhol Factory. The movie tells the story of Williams, Warhol’s onetime lover and a member of the artist’s ’60s-era entourage, who disappeared at age 26. Robinson uses footage shot by Williams and Williams’ niece, and features interviews with Warhol colleagues such as Billy Name, Danny Fields, Brigid Berlin, Paul Morrissey, and Chuck Wein. Factory won the Teddy Award at February’s Berlin International Film Festival and was named Best New York Documentary at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. (Hollywood Reporter)
Craig Lucas directing Perry, Swank comedy Motion
Director Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss) has been tapped to helm Laws of Motion, a comedy featuring Matthew Perry and Hilary Swank. The story is about an uptight professor (Perry) struggling with his career and his free-spirited brother and sister. Swank will play a supporting role as the perfectionist neighbor of Perry’s character. Shooting is slated to start this July for a fall 2008 release. (Hollywood Reporter)
Tom Dey developing 2012 for Nickelodeon
Director Tom Dey will re-team with the writers of his movie Failure to Launch to develop, and possibly direct, the family action-adventure movie 2012 for Paramount’s Nickelodeon Movies. The story is about a family that goes on vacation in December 2012, just as the Mayan calendar is coming to a close. Over the decades, people have predicted that the world will end when the ancient calendar ceases on Dec. 21, 2012. (Variety)
24 renewed through 2009
Fox has renewed 24 for two more seasons. Sutherland is already contracted to star through the 2008-09 season under a deal he signed last year. (Hollywood Reporter)
Cuban’s HDNet producing more Sports Team
Mark Cuban’s HDNet announced it will produce and finance 15 more episodes of the improv comedy series Action Sports Team, which will debut on the network in the fall. The half-hour show follows a hapless team of reporters who cover the national sports beat. The cast, which is comprised of alumni members of Chicago-based improv comedy groups Improv Olympic and Second City, interacts with real-world professional and amateur athletes, managers, sports enthusiasts, and celebrities. (Hollywood Reporter)
IN THE GOSSIPS
People.com: Grey’s Anatomy‘s Kate Walsh confirmed that she is engaged to boyfriend Alex Young, a production co-president at Fox, showing off her flashy engagement ring at EW’s upfronts party on Tuesday (May 15).
Page Six: A national poll by HCD Research shows that 69 percent of Americans believe Paris Hilton’s 45-day jail sentence is an appropriate punishment.
Cindy Adams: Once he’s finished launching his own brand of limoncello and new Italian restaurant in South Beach, Danny DeVito says he’d like to try his hand at Broadway.
Rush & Molloy: Bruce Willis, 52, is dating Playmate Tamara Witmer, who at 23, is five years older than his daughter Rumer.