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Week in Review...

  • Ann Peacock will adapt Nicholas Sparks' NIGHTS IN RODANTHE for Warner Bros. and Di Novi Pictures. It tells of a doctor's life-altering romance that begins when he stops at an inn on his way to see his estranged son.
  • Hans Bauer and Craig Mitchell sold the pitch MOTORCADE to DreamWorks. It's about an attack on the president of the United States and his motorcade during a visit to Los Angeles.
  • Playtone picked up Jeanne DuPrau's young adult bestseller THE CITY OF EMBER, and are negotiating with Caroline Thompson (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS) to adapt it for Gil Kenan to direct. In the futuristic sci-fi fantasy adventure, Earth's citizens have moved to underground cities when the planet's atmosphere grows too toxic. The focus is on two teens: One longs to be a messenger because the job will allow her to venture above ground, while the other dreams of working underground to repair a generator whose failure will doom the city's power supply.
  • Takashi Shimizu is already prepping THE DEATH, his next feature for the J-Horror Theater series for Lions Gate and producer Taka Ichise. Plot details are being kept under wraps. Shooting will start in March in Japan and in Japanese.
  • Ali LeRoi, Alyson Fouse and DeRay Davis will write an untitled urban sketch comedy feature for New Line Cinema. Rat Entertainment and Next Entertainment are producing. The project will be a sketch comedy movie that will spoof pop culture ranging from movies and television to politics and sports, with a central story that connects all the sketches together.
  • Daniel Clowes (GHOST WORLD) will write BACKYARD RESISTANCE for producer Scott Rudin and Paramount Pictures. The project revolves the true story of three kids who made a shot-by-shot remake of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. They began the project while on summer vacation in 1982, finishing it seven years later, shooting on a VHS camcorder and using backwoods Mississippi locales.
  • Single Cell Pictures partners Michael Stipe and Sandy Stern have optioned John Krokidas's script SLO-MO about a writer whose New Yorker articles have made him a stud among the literati, who cannot wait for the upcoming book that will cement the scribe as an important author. The pressure has blocked him to the point where he has fallen into a parallel reality that operates on a much slower clock than the real world and makes it impossible for him even to communicate. Krokidas will also direct.
  • James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo are in Ohio shooting the feature documentary OHIO: AN AMERICAN VOTE. The duo went to Ohio when they heard reports that Republicans were sending more than 3,000 observers to challenge voters. Stern and Del Deo (THE YEAR OF THE YAO) are co-directing and co-producing through their Endgame Entertainment.
  • Peter Webber will direct BEHIND THE MASK, the Hannibal Lecter prequel being scripted by author Thomas Harris, for producers Dino and Martha De Laurentiis.
  • Andrew Bergman will write a modern-day adaptation of the 1940 comedy I LOVE YOU AGAIN for New Line Cinema. Story concerns a dull businessman who suffers a blow to the head, snapping him out of a heretofore-undiagnosed nine-year amnesiac haze and revealing his true persona as a charming swindler.
  • Eric Bernt (ROMEO MUST DIE) is set to direct VEGAS BABY for Insomnia Entertainment. Kal Penn and Jonathan Bennett will star in the road-trip tale of five pals who travel to Vegas for a bachelor party. Kathy Griffin and Vincent Pastore make cameos.
  • Fabian Bielinsky will direct EL AURA for Davis Films Prods., Patagonik Film Group and Tornasol Films. Ricardo Darin stars as a taxidermist with delusions about planning the perfect crime.
  • Brett Morgen (THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE) will direct ADDICTION, INC., the story of scientist Victor DeNoble, the key witness in the current conspiracy and fraud case against tobacco giant Phillip Morris. DeNoble designed a "safe" cigarette for Phillip Morris, but his invention was allegedly suppressed by the big-five tobacco companies.
  • Tony Grisoni adapted BROTHERS OF THE HEAD, based on the Brian Aldiss novel, is directed by Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton. Shot in quasi-documentary style, it purports to reveal the (fictional) story of conjoined twins who became punk rock stars in the 1970s.
  • Russell Mulcahy is in final talks to direct the family film RUSSELL in Australia for producer Martin Brown. It's a family adventure about a poacher who gets trapped in a koala's body and shipped to the London Zoo after falling under an Aboriginal spell. Befriending a feisty 10-year-old girl who likes to cry wolf gives him the chance for redemption. Simon Kelton penned the script, with a polish by Jim Piddock.
  • Nick Palumbo (upcoming MURDER-SET-PIECES) will direct SINISTER, described as an "adult fairy tail" with a "Brothers Grimm feel."
  • Erik MacArthur will direct BOTTOM'S UP from a script he wrote with Nick Ballo for Paul Walker and producing partner Brandon Birtell's newly formed production company Blue Collar Films will produce with Half Moon Bay and Cameo FJ Entertainment. The project is a satire about a seemingly witless Midwestern bartender whose machinations in Hollywood shock those he encounters. Walker will make a cameo appearance. Production is scheduled to begin January in Los Angeles.
  • Stephen Susco will write THE GRUDGE 2 for Senator International and Ghost House Pictures.
  • David Frankel will adapt and direct the fashionista comedy THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, based on the Lauren Weisberger novel, for Fox 2000 Pictures and producer Wendy Finerman. Story concerns a small-town girl who takes a job in New York working for the imperious editor of a fashion magazine.
  • David Goyer will direct the English-language remake of THE INVISIBLE for Spyglass Entertainment and DreamWorks. Pic, written by Mick Davis, is based on the Swedish supernatural thriller about two young teens whose real selves are invisible to others. One teen's untimely death renders him literally invisible. The other is metaphorically invisible due to the neglect she's endured since the death of her mother.
  • David Gordon Green and Danny McBride will write an untitled comic vehicle for Seann William Scott. Scott will produce with his Identity Films partner Graham Larson for Universal. The new comedy focuses on a slacker who applies for a job as a summer camp counselor so he can relive his youthful glory days of panty raids and food fights. But the camp has become a haven for young brainiacs who've come for intellectual growth.
  • Michael Shapiro is in talks to direct STREET at MGM. Story follows a group of street basketball players recruited to play for an NBA team whose owner has slashed player salaries. Scribes Matt O'Neil and Chris Parker penned the script.
  • George Tillman Jr. is in negotiations to direct SIX SHOOTERS for producer Laurence Mark at Columbia. Action adventure pic is based on a script by John Enbom. Story takes place in the waning days of the Civil War, when Jefferson Davis loaded the entire gold reserves of the South aboard trains during the siege of Richmond to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. A couple of Union soldiers are bent on making off with the gold.

    - Elston Gunn
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