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Week in Review...

  • Alphaville is in final talks with the Ripley Entertainment Inc. to produce a series of adventure movies based on the popular 1930s explorer who spawned the Ripley's Believe It or Not! comic strips, chain of museums and television shows. Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander are on board to wrote BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

  • Jim Fall will direct the English-language remake of Thai comedy-thriller 6IXTYNIN9 to be produced by Bohemian Films and Shadowcatcher Entertainment. John Patrick Nelson adapted the project from the original screenplay by Thai helmer Pen-ek Ratanaruang.

  • Disney has acquired the pitch BILLION TO ONE from scribes Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger for Licht Entertainment to produce. The comedy is about an unlucky man whose luck finally turns when he wins a billion-to-one lottery jackpot.

  • Baldwin Entertainment Group has optioned film rights to Julia Butterfly Hill's THE LEGACY OF LUNA: THE STORY OF A TREE, A WOMAN AND THE STRUGGLE TO SAVE THE REDWOODS and set David S. Ward (THE STING, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE) to write the script. The story recounts Hill's two years of living in a 1,000-year-old California redwood, dubbed Luna, as a way of bringing attention to the cutting of ancient redwoods and the damage from deforestation. She climbed up the 200-foot tree in December 1997 and didn't come down until 738 days later after reaching an agreement with the landowners to protect the tree and the surrounding area.

  • Fox 2000 has tapped John Woo to direct and produce HE-MAN, a live-action pic based on the characters in Mattel's MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE line of action figures. Adam Rifkin will adapt the screenplay.

  • Barbara Kopple is attached to direct a film for producer Steve Jones' Bee Holder Prods. about Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the advocate of doctor-assisted suicide who is serving a 10- to 25-year prison term. Jones has secured story rights to an unpublished biography on which Kevorkian is cooperating with Neal Nicol, his assistant of 25 years, and Harry Wylie, a longtime friend.

  • Nick Pustay has been hired to adapt Elizabeth Swados' novel DREAMTECTIVE for Fortress Entertainment and producer David Permut. It's a teen fantasy about a teenager who discovers she can enter other people's dreams.

  • Mama Keita will direct an English-language version of his film LE FLEUVE (THE RIVER), with a script penned by Kim Watson. It's about a young street hustler who commits a brutal murder and flees Brooklyn for Jamaica. There, a young prostitute thrusts him into an unfamiliar world where he finds love but can't escape his violent past.

  • Michael Corrente will direct Robert Duvall and Dustin Hoffman in THE BERKELEY CONNECTION for Iridium Entertainment. Marshall Brickman wrote the script for the buddy comedy. Jennifer Connelly will also star. Corrente is also developing an adaptation of the Mike Stanton investigative book THE PRINCE OF PROVIDENCE, which is being scripted by David Mamet. Book is the story of Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, who was brought down in a corruption scandal and sent to jail. Corrente will tackle both projects after he finishes directing NAILED RIGHT IN.

  • David Benioff (TROY) will write WOLVERINE, a spinoff focusing on the signature character from the X-MEN series, for Twentieth Century Fox. Benioff will write with the expectation that a deal will be made for Hugh Jackman to reprise his role as the title character. Twentieth Century Fox will develop WOLVERINE while simultaneously prepping its third installment of X-MEN.

  • Stephen Susco (THE GRUDGE) is writing PROM NIGHT for Original Film and Newmarker Films. Pic takes as its jumping-off point the 1980 pic of the same name starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

  • Sam Kieth will direct FOUR WOMEN, based on his own DC Comics graphic novel, for City Lights Pictures and Intrinsic Value. Pic tells the story of four women who go on a road trip through the desert and get stranded when their car breaks down. Terror ensues after they are picked up by two men in a truck.

  • Erik de Castro (HIT THEM HARD) is directing the Brazilian crime thriller FEDERAL for EuropaCopr, BSB Cinema, Lumiere and Riofilme. The story centers on police chasing a drug lord based in Brazil's capital. Selton Mello, Carlos Alberto Riccelli and Eduardo Dussek will star.

  • Richard Loncraine (WIMBLEDON) will direct Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany in THE WRONG ELEMENT for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures. The action thriller, penned by Joe Forte, is about a security chief for a global bank whose family is kidnapped.

  • James Vanderbilt will adapt former counter-terrorism chief Richard A. Clarke's book AGAINST ALL ENEMIES for producer John Calley and Columbia Pictures.

  • Colin Goldman has written SCHOOLED from a story by himself and Jeff Ahlholm to be produced by Wolfgang Petersen and Deep River Prods. The project centers on a lifelong underachiever who is forced into the role of truant officer at a troubled junior high school and rises to the challenge of saving both school and students.

  • Tom Tykwer is in talks to direct THE INTERNATIONAL for Columbia Pictures. The screenplay by Eric Singer revolves around an obsessive Interpol investigator pursuing a powerful international banker involved in money laundering, weapons, drugs and terrorism.

  • Director Paul W.S. Anderson, producer Jeremy Bolt and their Impact Films are developing the video game adaptations D.O.A. and DRIVER, as well as a low-budget supernatural thriller titled THE DARK. Additionally, Screen Gems, Impact's partner on the RESIDENT EVIL films, is working with Anderson and Bolt on developing a third film for the franchise.

  • Paramount picked up the comedy spec DEAL BREAKER, by Samantha Goodman and Andrew Stern, for Peter Segal (THE LONGEST YARD) to direct and to produce with partner Michael Ewing, along with Peter Principato and Paul Young. High-concept story centers on a troubled PR exec who's failed to keep his promises and is given a final shot at redemption with the condition that he'll have to relive his broken promises if he doesn't make good on them.

  • Universal has optioned the Michelle McGrath script CHIP ON THE OLD BLOCK for Shady Acres to produce. The comedy concerns an embittered man who returns to his hometown and teaches the younger generation the "real man's" way of life.

  • Nia Vardalos, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have optioned Laura Zigman's tentatively titled new novel A WILDERNESS OF MONKEYS for Vardalos to star in and adapt. Vardalos will play a hotshot publicist who quits and becomes a stay-at-home mom. Three years later, her husband loses his job and she must undertake the unenviable task of helping a screen legend recapture career momentum.

    -Elston Gunn (via

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