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Week in Review...

  • Billy Ray (SHATTERED GLASS) will rewrite and Adam Mazer will direct Universal's THE 11th HOUR, the story of Robert Hanssen, the traitorous FBI agent who sold government secrets to the Soviet Union.

  • Terrence Malick will now direct his script THE NEW WORLD, a New Line drama about Pocahontas and the cultural collision of European explorers and Native American tribes. Colin Farrell has committed to play the explorer John Smith in the project, which has set a July production start date in Virginia. Malick will now direct CHE July 2005 instead of 2004 as previously planned, and figured that project could use more preproduction time for its Bolivian shoot.

  • Filmmaker John Walter (HOW TO DRAW A BUNNY) is teaming with John Malkovich's production company Mr. Mudd on an adaptation of Lawrence Joseph's novel LAWYERLAND, which Walter will write and direct. The company optioned the film rights to LAWYERLAND: WHAT LAWYERS TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LAW from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel chronicles Manhattan lawyers and lawyer-speak in the late 1990s. Book is divided into eight chapters, each devoted to a specific legal specialty and practitioner.

  • Halcyon Entertainment and Dan Redler Entertainment are teaming up to produce Edward Cass' script BREAKBACK for Millennium Films. Action/thriller centers around an inmate at a high-security prison who is forced to break out of prison, pull off a heist and break back in to substantiate his alibi -- all a day before his release.

  • Warner Bros. Pictures has snapped up the script THINGS TO DO BEFORE I DIE for Heyday Films to produce. Written by Cory Helms and Jamie Linden, the script tells the story of a man in his thirties who finds out that he is dying from an inoperable brain tumor. He sets out with his lifelong but estranged friend to fulfill a list of things they wanted to do before they die, a list they made when they were 19.

  • Double Feature Films/Universal Pictures have picked up Casey McCabe's spec script THE GOOD LIFE, described as"a fun female empowerment romantic comedy in the tradition of 9 TO 5 and WORKING GIRL. "

  • Scott Fifer will script two upcoming projects for Miramax: a remake of Oscar-nominated Belgian comedy EVERYBODY'S FAMOUS! and PROJECT: BIGFOOT, a wish-fulfillment family adventure set in the world of monster trucks.

  • Nick Pustay (AMERICAN PRINCESS) will adapt Mission Entertainment's adaptation of Christopher Moore's comedy novel LAMB, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST'S CHILDHOOD PAL. Novel tells the story of Biff, Christ's cantankerous but likable best friend, who is resurrected for the purpose of writing a new gospel to help recapture the youth market that has seen a dramatic decline in recent centuries.

  • Gary Ross' Larger Than Life will produce an animated feature adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Award-winning novel TALE OF DESPEREAUX: BEING THE STORY OF A MOUSE, A PRINCESS, SOME SOUP AND A SPOOL OF THREAD. Universal has acquired the book and set DiCamillo to write the script.

  • Gus Van Sant is set to direct Michael Pitt in LAST DAYS, a film loosely inspired by events in the Northwest rock 'n' roll scene during the mid-1990s, for HBO Films. Lukas Haas is in talks to join Pitt in the project.

  • Writer/producer Curt Johnson (upcoming WEST MEMPHIS THREE) has optioned life rights to develop a feature from the story of 1990s boxing star Tommy Morrison (ROCKY V), who was forced into retirement as a result of testing positive for HIV. In addition to life rights, Johnson secured rights to two ESPN magazine articles by Tom Friend about Morrison in 1998 and 2003, which chronicled not only the heavyweight champion's professional career and his controversial choice to avoid protease inhibitor treatment, but also his tough origins, breaking heads for the Irish mob at 15 and torching the school baseball field after being cut from the team by his coach. Johnson will pen the screenplay and will produce through his Indie Genius Prods. banner with Gigi Gaston.

  • Matinee Pictures has purchased Michael Stokes' horror script NIGHTFALL about two buddies who snatch a woman who turns out to be a vampire queen. Her authenticity is questioned by the kidnappers until her vampire legion sets out to get her back.

  • Steve Conrad will write the adaptation of Chang-Rae Lee's novel ALOFT for producer Scott Rudin. The story centers on an aging baby boomer who must hold together his fractured family.

  • Matt Nix will adapt SENSEI, a novel by author John Donohue, for Freestyle Pictures. It's a crime thriller set in the world of martial arts. It revolves around a Brooklyn cop who has to team up with his estranged brother to solve a series of murders involving martial arts masters across the United States.

  • Mark Frost (TWIN PEAKS) is in final talks with Disney to write ELECTRIC BOY GENIUS for Mayhem Pictures. It's the true story of Ryan Patterson, who before he went to kindergarten was wiring his family's house. By the first grade, Patterson was building complex robots. Under a mentor's encouragement, the boy invented gadgets that would change people's lives, like an electronic sign-language translator.

  • Morgan Creek picked up Ray Wright's script CASE 39, a psychological horror story follows a social worker trying to rescue a young girl from abusive parents but who begins to suspect the girl may not be so innocent after all.

  • Mike Werb and Michael Colleary (FACE/OFF) will script a remake of PET SEMATARY, based on Stephen King's story, for Alphaville.

  • Bernard Rose (IVANSXTC) will direct his script MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA, which is described as a roller coaster horror movie that takes the concept of reality TV to an extreme limit.

  • Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn's family comedy script MAKING DADDY A MAN will be made into a feature by Senator Intl. It's a high-concept comedy is about a teenage girl whose widowed dad fills the role of both mother and father for his daughter.

  • Tim Fywell has come aboard to direct Michelle Trachtenberg in ICE PRINCESS for Disney Pictures. It's about a young girl who realizes her dream of becoming a champion figure skater while battling a disgraced coach, stage parents and three competing ice princesses.

  • Corey Yuen has signed up to direct DEAD OR ALIVE (aka DOA), based on the videogame, for Impact Pictures. J.F. Lawton (UNDER SIEGE) wrote the script.

  • Hideo Nakata (RINGU) will replace director Noam Murro on THE RING 2 for DreamWorks. Ehren Kruger scripted.

  • Ken Kwapis will direct Amber Tamblyn ("Joan of Arcadia") in SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, based on the best-selling novel by Ann Brashares. It's the coming-of-age story centers on four friends during the first summer they are separated from one another. They vow to keep in touch by circulating a magical pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of them perfectly.

  • Jim Krieg is set to write two projects at Warner Bros. Pictures: AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS, a high-concept fantasy script he'll rewrite; and HOME SCHOOL, a pitch from Krieg that he will co-write with scribe Lon Diamond. Set during a teachers strike that closes down the local school, the story centers on a father who becomes a teacher to his own bickering children.

    To

    [ Source: Elston Gunn ]

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