Carrey starring in ''Christmas Carol''
Plus: Lance Bass headed to Broadway for ''Hairspray,'' producers mulling a ''Monster-in-Law'' TV series, Rio overcomes security issues and greenlights Live Earth concert, and more...
Carrey playing Scrooge and ghosts
Jim Carrey will star as Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts that haunt him in the Robert Zemeckis-directed adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for Walt Disney Pictures. Zemeckis also wrote the screenplay and will produce with Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey through ImageMovers Digital. The movie will blend computer graphics, live action, and ”performance capture/Disney digital 3-D” animation, which Zemeckis first introduced in Polar Express and used again in the upcoming Beowulf, which stars Angelina Jolie. Carrey will play Scrooge through several periods of his life as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Zemeckis wrote the script specifically with Carrey in mind. (Variety)
Bass said to be joining Hairspray
Lance Bass is reportedly joining the cast of the Broadway production of Hairspray next month as Corny Collins, the Dick Clark-like TV dance show host. The New York Daily News and E! Online both report that the former member of ‘N Sync is set to take over the role on Aug. 14, one day before the production’s five-year anniversary on Broadway. Bass will star alongside Jerry ”The Beave” Mathers, star of the 1950s TV series Leave It to Beaver, pop singers Darlene Love and Tevin Campbell, and Ashley Parker Angel of O-Town. Bass can also be seen in a small role in the Adam Sandler, Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, which opens July 20. (NY Daily News)
Monster-in-Law considered for TV series
Production company Benderspink (A History of Violence, The Ring) is working with New Line to develop a half-hour TV sitcom take on Monster-in-Law, the 2005 romantic comedy feature starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. The concept would be pitched to networks later this year. The project is part of Benderspink’s continued effort to push forward in TV. The company recently reupped its television deal at Fox 21 and is moving ahead on a number of TV projects, including the Monster-in-Law concept, which would be done outside of the Fox 21 deal. Previously announced Benderspink TV projects include HBO’s Preacher, Stephanie Spring at VH1, and a TV version of The Butterfly Effect for Sci Fi Channel. Benderspink is also behind Kyle XY, the ABC Family drama it executive produces via ABC Studios. (Variety)
Rio greenlights Live Earth concert
The Rio de Janeiro leg of the Live Earth climate change awareness tour overcame security concerns and will go ahead as planned this weekend in the Brazilian capital. Rio is the last concert in Saturday’s global, all-day series, following events in London, Sydney, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hamburg, and East Rutherford, New Jersey. Rio officials were concerned about having enough police at the event, which will feature performances from Lenny Kravitz, Pharrell Williams, Jorge Ben Jor, and Macy Gray. Istanbul pulled out earlier this year because of security concerns as well as slow ticket sales, a problem that’s plagued many of the events. (Hollywood Reporter)
Paramount cutting Mighty Heart screenings
Paramount is cutting back on the number of theaters screening the Angelina Jolie movie A Mighty Heart in an effort to give the film a longer run in key markets. Despite excellent reviews, the film has had a disappointing box office showing ($7.6 million since June 22). Paramount has decided to cut back the number of screens from 1,350 to 651 beginning this weekend to give the movie more time to benefit from the positive word of mouth it is generating. The movie recounts the story of journalist Daniel Pearl’s death at the hands of kidnappers through the eyes of his widow, Mariane Pearl. (Variety)
Elizabeth Berkley to star in Lifetime movie
Elizabeth Berkley and Alicia Coppola (Jericho) have been cast as the female leads in Black Widow, a Lifetime telefilm. They will star alongside Randall Batinkoff, Tambi Locke, and Brady Smith in the thriller, which is about Melanie (Coppola), a journalist who suspects that her close friend Danny (Batinkoff), a millionaire real estate developer, has fallen for Olivia (Berkley), a woman who has married and murdered her previous husbands, including a software tycoon (Smith). Locke will play a psychiatrist who introduces Olivia to Danny. (Hollywood Reporter)
Simpsons movie gets creative with tie-ins
Summer tentpole The Simpsons Movie has chosen just four tie-in partners, with Burger King being the only traditional partner buying TV ads supporting the movie. The other three, 7-Eleven, Vans, and Jet Blue, are running nontraditional campaigns, such as 7-Eleven’s transformation of 12 of its stores into ”Kwik-E-Marts,” the convenience store from the Simpsons TV show. The stores are selling real-life versions of fictional product favorites, like KrustyO’s cereal, Buzz Cola, Squishees (Slurpees), pink-frosted Sprinklicious donuts, and a special edition of the Radioactive Man comic book read by Bart. Several of the Kwik-E-Mart-converted stores are reporting a doubling of traffic and sales, according to a company spokeswoman. As for Vans, the company hired 12 underground artists to design 14 different pairs of limited-edition Simpsons-inspired shoes depicting their interpretations of the animated characters. JetBlue is labeling itself the ”official airline of Springfield” and promoting the film through direct mailings, posters, and various other methods at airport locations and through its in-flight entertainment program. Burger King is running TV ads to support The Simpsons Movie and will feature a line of Simpsons toys in kids meals, advertise its Ultimate Double Whopper as Homer’s favorite whopper, and feature in-store point-of-sale materials. (Hollywood Reporter)
Page Six: Kevin Smith had to admit that it was pretty funny when a critic reviewing Die Hard slammed his brief performance by saying he has become ”increasingly, an indie-cred Muppet for studio movies.”
People.com: Nelly Furtado is engaged to sound engineer Demacio ”Demo” Castellon, who worked on her 2006 record Loose.