Screen Talk: A scene-stealer

 

Seth Gordon, the man behind the camera for the comedy hit Horrible Bosses, has been signed by Universal to direct comedy Identity Thief. The script is about a man who has his identity stolen by a woman and the project has Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman attached to star. Steve Conrad wrote the initial draft and Craig Mazin is currently rewriting the screenplay. Gordon, whose background is largely in documentaries, made the studios sit up and take notice with that thing every in Hollywood chases. A cheap hit. Bosses made $117 million domestically and $209 million worldwide.

A hot date

An industry insider recently described Hollywood as being star-starved when it comes to up-and-coming talent. It seems there is much hand-wringing going on over just who is going to replace the old-school box-office draws such as Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and even Johnny Depp. Now while many argue they don't need replacing just yet and with fanatical fanbases building for Twilight stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, it's not urgent. But Aussie star Joel Edgerton (above left) is one such name who is whispered around town as one of the brightest up-and-comers. And he's set the chins wagging, not for say his latest role choice, but for the fact he's sold a screenplay. One that he has written himself. His script, One Night Stand, has sold to New Regency, one of LA's established production banners. A drama with comedic elements, the script is described as an honest look at a man and a woman in the aftermath of a one-night stand. Edgerton is not attached to star.

Big names prepare for battle

Director Peter Webber has found his general for his upcoming post-Second World War ~historical epic Emperor. Tommy Lee Jones (above centre) has signed to star as legendary General Douglas MacArthur in the film alongside Matthew Fox. Set in Japan amid the uncertainties and tensions immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of war, the film promises to be high on drama and big on acting. Fox plays General Bonner Fellers, a member of MacArthur's staff and a leading expert on Japan. He's charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: Whether or not Emperor Hirohito should be tried and potentially hanged as a war criminal. It will also have a love story as Fellers searches for a Japanese exchange student he met and fell in love with years before while on American soil.

On another planet

The Joseph Kosinski-directed sci-fi project, tentatively called Horizons, backed by Universal and starring none other than Tom Cruise, has been looking for ladies for a while. But Hollywood is declaring the casting of Brit Andrea Riseborough (above right) to star opposite Cruise as a real sign she has arrived on American casting radars. Riseborough has signed alongside former Bond baddie and Russian model Olga Kurylenko for the picture. There has been much chat about Riseborough breaking into US movies after her turn in Madonna's W.E. She also has Shadow Dancer, with Clive Owen, and Welcome to the Punch with James McAvoy awaiting audiences.

Northern exposure

All eyes in Hollywood are facing north at the moment as the fallout from the acquisition of Canadian Twilight studio creator Summit by Canada's major Lionsgate continues. Lionsgate has named Summit's big names Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger as co-chairs of its enlarged motion picture group in the wake of the $412.5 million leveraged buyout of Summit. Friedman and Wachsberger will oversee Lionsgate's domestic and international feature film acquisition, production and distribution business, and its home entertainment releases of theatrical feature films.

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