Jim Sheridan will direct 50 Cent in LOCKED AND LOADED for Paramount Pictures and MTV. Written by Terence Winter, the project tells the story of an orphaned kid who turns away from crime and lands a successful musical career.
Disney Co. grabbed Barry Stringfellow's pitch BREAK A LEG about an ambitious but unruly high school soccer coach who gets axed from his job for politically incorrect behavior. The only job he is able to get after being fired is to coach a dismal team at a performing arts high school.
Writer Josh Olson (David Cronenberg's upcoming A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE) will first come on board an untitled Willie Nelson Western, which Steven Bing is producing for New Line Cinema. Details are being kept under wraps, but it's described as a twist on the classic Western revenge story. Olson will then segue into New Line's ALONE, the tale of an agoraphobic high schooler who, after learning that her house is haunted, must either overcome her phobia or die.
Revolution Studios has picked up the musical screenplay pitch ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (THE COMMITMENTS), which will utilize classic Beatles songs. Gross Entertainment will produce. It's a love story about a British boy and an American girl set against the backdrop of the social upheaval of the 1960s. Although not about the Fab Four, the musical will use their songs to drive the narrative, with the actors singing and dancing to the classic tunes.
Jonathan Liebesman (DARKNESS FALLS) will direct DEAD ASLEEP for New Line Cinema. Penned by Carter Blanchard, the story centers on a small town that becomes infested with a species of killer bugs that come out at night. They burrow inside their victims' bodies, killing people from the inside.
John Woo will direct THE RED CIRCLE, an updated remake of the Jean-Pierre Melville-directed 1970 French pic LE CERCLE ROUGE for Paramount. Jeff Pinkner will script the action thriller for Lion Rock Prods. The original noir tale starred Alain Delon and centered on a thief who is released from prison the same day a murderer escapes police custody. The outlaws pair up and commit a heist as a relentless cop closes in.
Wes Craven has purchased Marshall Moseley's spec WILD CARD for Dimension to finance. Craven will develop the screenplay with an eye to direct. Script was one of the three finalists in the most recent Project Greenlight screenplay competition. It concerns a con-artist couple who target a wealthy mark only to see things go horribly wrong.
Producer David Permut (FACE/OFF) has acquired the rights to the screenplay GOODBYE DALI, penned by Yaniv Raz and veteran actor Allan Rich, a comic look at Rich's relationship with the Spanish painter. It's based on Rich's real-life friendship with Dali, follows Rich's struggles and misadventures as a young art dealer in commissioning original works from the flamboyant and eccentric artist. The surrealist drags the young man all over Spain in a game of bait and switch.
Brian Dannelly (SAVED!) is in talks to direct ARMY GEEK for Fox 2000. Dannelly and his writing partner, Michael Urban, also are working on the script written by Joe Wein. Depth of Field is producing. It's a coming-of-age tale about a directionless high school graduate who eventually becomes a man at an Army boot camp where he's whipped into shape by his female drill sergeant.
Judd Apatow will make his feature directorial debut on THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN for Universal Pictures. Apatow co-wrote the script with Steve Carell (ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND OF RON BURGUNDY), who will star in the comedy.
Keenen Ivory Wayans will direct LITTLE MAN for Revolution Studios and also will handle writing and producing chores along with Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who will star in the film. Shawn Wayans will star as a man anxious to be a father who mistakes an extremely short-statured, baby-faced criminal on the run as his newly adopted son.
Pamela Gray (A WALK ON THE MOON) has been hired to adapt Judy Blume's novel DEENIE for Disney. Blume's bestseller concerns a young woman's struggle to define herself independently from the dreams and expectations her parents have for her.
Constantin Film will start filming its adaptation of children's book DER RAUBER HOTZENPLOTZ (HOTZENPLOTZ THE THIEF) in May. Gernot Roll (NOWHERE IN AFRICA) will direct and Armin Rohde will star.
Tim McCann (REVOLUTION #9) will direct ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER, a remake of the 1946 classic for indie banner T.H.E.M.E. Entertainment. Original pic tells the tale of a mobster sent to Hell who is given a few more days on Earth by the Devil to try and redeem himself. Todd Baker penned the adaptation and will produce.
Director Nanni Moretti (THE SON'S ROOM) has begun pre-production on IL CAIMANO (THE CAIMAN).
Roger Avary (PULP FICTION) is writing a bigscreen adaptation of the Konami vidgame franchise SILENT HILL, with Samuel Hadida producing and financing the project. Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) is on board to direct the supernatural thriller for Hadida's Davis Film Prods. and Konami Corp. The filmmakers aim for a March start date.
Columbia Pictures has acquired Barry Levy's political thriller VANTAGE POINT for Original Film to produce. The RASHOMON-style thriller is about the assassination of the president, told from five different perspectives.
Catherine Hardwicke (THIRTEEN, LORDS OF DOGTOWN) is set to helm VIVALDI for Columbia Pictures. The feature about Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi will be produced by Imagine Entertainment. Kevin Lund and TJ Scott are in negotiations to pen the project, which revolves around the forbidden romance between the young composer, who was a priest, and his muse, which inspired his masterpiece "The Four Seasons."
Michael Mayer has signed to direct Fox 2000's MY FRIEND FLICKA from a script by Larry Konner and Mark Rosenthal. Based on the classic novel by Mary O'Hara, the film centers on determined teenage girl whose father gives her the horse of her dreams. It's set against the backdrop of a modern, working ranch in Wyoming.
Darren Star ("Sex and the City") is in talks to direct the romantic comedy 100 WEDDINGS for Working Title Films. Written by Ellen Simon and Erin Cramer, the story follows a cynical war reporter who gets demoted to the wedding beat, where she has to cover 100 weddings before she can get her old job back. Along the way, she finds love.
New Line Cinema has tapped Gotham playwright David Lindsay-Abaire to write the bigscreen adaptation of German author Cornelia Funke's fantasy novel INKHEART. It's about a girl whose father has the power to bring characters from books to life by reading aloud. When a villain from a rare children's fable kidnaps the man, his daughter and a group of friends, both real and fictional, have to rescue him.
Dean Parisot is attached to direct a remake of THE LAVENDER HILL MOB for Odd Lot Entertainment. Produced by the Ealing Studios in 1951 and directed by Charles Crichton, the original featured Alec Guinness as a mild-mannered bank clerk who comes up with a plan to steal a fortune in gold bullion from his employer. David Sussman will adapt the screenplay. Ealing contract writer T.E.B. Clarke penned the original script, which won an Academy Award. Guinness' role earned the actor the first Oscar nom of his career.
Mike Jones is adapting Michael Simmons' young-adult novel POOL BOY for East of Doheny. Michael Schultz (WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED) will direct. Story is about a rich, arrogant 15-year-old named Brett Gerson. When his dad is jailed for insider trading, Brett's forced to take a summer job assisting the old guy who used to clean his swimming pool.
David Schneider and Drew Daywalt will pen the bigscreen adaptation of the vidgame title HUNTER: THE RECKONING for director Uwe Boll and producer Shawn Williamson. Story follows a group of men and women who become aware of supernatural monsters preying on humanity and are imbued with special abilities to combat them.