Snyder directing Bradbury adaptation
Plus: ''Dancing with the Stars'' announces new season's 12 celebrity contestants, CBGB founder dies, Ben Affleck in talks to join ''Not That Into You,'' CBS sending Katie Couric on tour of Iraq and Syria, and more...
Snyder directing Illustrated Man
Director Zack Snyder (300) is on board to helm The Illustrated Man, a movie adaptation of the classic Ray Bradbury collection of short stories, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Snyder will also produce with his wife and partner Deborah Snyder via their production company, Cruel and Unusual Films. Illustrated is a collection of unrelated stories, originally published in 1951, linked by a storyteller whose tattoos come to life and predict the future. The stories include The Veldt, about two parents whose children trap them inside an artificial nursery that re-creates the African savanna, and Marionettes Inc., in which a man attempts to escape his unhappy marriage by replacing himself with a robot to fool his wife, only to discover that his wife left a while ago and he had been living with a robot version of her. Warner previously adapted the stories for a 1969 movie, which starred Rod Steiger in the title role. Snyder is currently in pre-production as the director of Watchmen. (Hollywood Reporter)
Wayne Newton, Marie Osmond doing DWTS
ABC has announced the 12 celebrity contestants set to participate in the upcoming fifth installment of Dancing with the Stars. They are: Wayne Newton, Marie Osmond, Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls, singer/actress Sabrina Bryan, NASCAR driver Helio Castroneves, Dallas Mavericks owner/movie producer Mark Cuban, former 90210 star Jennie Garth, model/actress Josie Maran, All My Children star Cameron Mathison, professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, model Albert Reed, and actress Jane Seymour. The show returns Monday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. (Variety)
CBGB founder dies at 75
Hilly Kristal, founder of the legendary New York City punk club CBGB, died on Tuesday (Aug. 28) of complications from lung cancer. He was 75. Kristal opened the famous Bowery nightspot in 1973, giving it an acronym representing the music he initially planned on featuring: country, bluegrass, and blues. It wound up being a breeding ground for New York’s 1970s underground punk movement, launching the careers of Blondie, Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Patti Smith. It stuck around until October 2006, when it closed after a dispute with the landlord. Kristal is survived by his son Mark Dana Kristal, daughter Lisa Kristal Burgman, and two grandchildren. (New York Times)
Affleck in talks for Not That Into You
Ben Affleck is in talks to join the cast of the ensemble comedy He’s Just Not That Into You, which is being produced by Drew Barrymore. He would play the boyfriend unwilling to commit to Jennifer Aniston’s character. In addition to Aniston and Barrymore, the movie also features Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, and Justin Long. It is an adaptation of Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s best-selling book on how men and women often misconstrue the intentions of the opposite sex. Affleck most recently appeared in the ensemble action movie Smokin’ Aces, and his Gone Baby Gone, for which he wrote the screenplay and directed, opens in the fall. (Variety)
CBS sending Couric to Iraq, Syria
CBS will send Evening News anchor Katie Couric on a 12-day trip to Iraq and Syria just ahead of the Sept. 15 deadline for Gen. David Petraeus’ status report on the war, which could determine the future of America’s presence in Iraq. The trip will mark Couric’s first trip to Iraq, following in the footsteps of NBC anchor Brian Williams, who visited last spring. The announcement comes days after an Iraqi translator working for CBS was killed in Baghdad. CBS said the translator was found dead following his abduction just hours after leaving work at CBS News’ Baghdad bureau. Until now, CBS has relied on Iraq correspondent Lara Logan for its coverage. Executive producer Rick Kaplan said sending Couric has helped secure high-level interviews with reclusive politicians and alleged terror leaders. Since joining CBS last September, the Evening News has fallen to an average of 6.1 million viewers a night, compared with ABC’s Gibson in first place with just over 8 million viewers, and NBC’s Williams, who is averaging 7.9 million viewers. (Variety)
Bon Jovi producing book adaptation
Jon Bon Jovi and his music managers Jack Rovner and Ken Levitan have optioned Jessica Blank’s novel Almost Home for a film adaptation. The book is about a group of homeless teens in Los Angeles struggling to find themselves. Disney’s Hyperion Books for Children will publish it on Oct. 23. The project will mark Bon Jovi’s first time behind the cameras. He previously acted in Pay It Forward, U-571, The Leading Man, and several TV shows. (Variety)
Goodman voicing Paul Bunyan
John Goodman has been cast to voice Paul Bunyan in the CG-animated family feature Bunyan & Babe for Exodus Film Group. Eddie Griffin will voice Babe the Blue Ox. The story sees Bunyan teaming with two kids to rescue Babe from an evil circus owner. Jim Rygiel, who won three Oscars for his special effects work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, makes his feature directorial debut with Bunyan. Goodman has previously voiced characters in Disney/Pixar’s Monsters Inc. and Cars. He next will be heard in the DreamWorks/Paramount animated comedy Bee Movie, which releases in November, and is working on Warner Bros.’ live-action version of Speed Racer. (Hollywood Reporter)
Casting set for indie Made for Each Other
Danny and Christopher Masterson, Patrick Warburton, Bijou Phillips, Sam Levine, and George Segal are starring in the indie comedy Made for Each Other, which is being directed by Daryl Goldberg (Unholy). Christopher Masterson plays a man stuck in a sexless marriage who has a one-night stand. He decides the only just way to make things right is to get his wife (Phillips) to cheat on him, and with the help of his best friend (Levine), sets out to find the right man (Warburton) to sleep with her. Danny Masterston (That 70s Show) plays a divorce attorney. (Variety)
The Rock in talks for Witch Mountain
Dwayne ”The Rock” Johnson is in talks to star in Witch Mountain, Walt Disney Pictures’ modernized remake of its classic 1975 adventure movie Escape to Witch Mountain. The Rock would play a Las Vegas cab driver picks up two siblings, endowed with paranormal powers, who are on the run from a group of men who want to exploit their abilities. Andy Fickman (She’s the Man) is on board to direct. Shooting is slated to start in March 2008. (Hollywood Reporter)
Morrissey embarking on U.S. tour
Morrissey will launch a six-week U.S. tour starting in Las Vegas on Sept. 21. The jaunt will include multiple nights in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, wrapping Nov. 2 at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Morrissey canceled several summer dates in the U.S. after he contracted a viral infection. (Reuters/Billboard)
Rush & Molloy: Kate Moss is back together with Pete Doherty. The two have been holed up together in a $4,000-a-night suite at the Mayfair hotel for five days.
Ben Widdicombe: The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, an animal-rights campaigner, is considering filing a lawsuit against handbag designer Hogan, which has named one of its leather bags after her.