Screen Talk: Drawing in talent

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The Independent Culture

Hollywood loves a comic book adaptation.

After all, storyboards don't need drawing, just printing out. Feted British director Edgar Wright of 'Shaun Of The Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz' fame is embarking on a big screen adaptation of a series of graphic novels with a movie entitled 'Scott Pilgrim vs the World'. Based on the cult favourites by Bryan Lee O'Malley, the film is about to start shooting and is assembling an impressive cast for the job. Michael Cera, best known as the young father-to-be in 'Juno', takes on slacker Scott Pilgrim. He meets the woman of his dreams but finds he can only win her heart by battling and defeating her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, is Pilgrim's dream date,

Basket case
The upcoming movie 'Freestyle', billed as a project set in the competitive world of "urban freestyle basketball", will be "more street, less Hollywood". It has the backing and interest of the National Basketball Association and has enlisted the social networking site Bebo to create a competition to find players for the lead roles in the UK-set film. Written and directed by Kolton Lee, an ex-professional player, the movie details the story of a female basketball player who has to convince her mother not to make her give up her hoop dreams.

Widow to wolf
Emily Blunt, who shot to critical and public acclaim in the indie title 'My Summer of Love', will be hard to miss in 2009. She is due to start shooting 'Iron Man 2' opposite Robert Downey Jnr and has a duo of high profile films awaiting release this year. She dons period dress as 'The Young Victoria' and appears opposite Benicio del Toro in 'The Wolf Man'. She is also returning to low budget movies with David Riker's 'The Girl'. The $5m project details the story of a woman from Texas who embarks on a life-changing journey with a Mexican girl.

It's Hammer time again...
Remember Hammer Films? More attempts have been made to resurrect the British horror stable in the past 10 years than paddles have been applied to chests in 'ER'. But the latest attempt has some serious backing and is already making movies. Owned by HS Media, backed by $100m of private equity, the team insists the new generation of titles will be more psychological thriller than coffin creakers. The label has secured Oscar-winner Hilary Swank to star in 'The Resident', as woman who is stalked by her landlord. Above: 1964's 'The Evil of Frankenstein'.

Stars out for Poliakoff
Buzz is building around Stephen Poliakoff's (left) movie '1939'. The buzz – aside from the fact it comes from Poliakoff's pen and is directed by the man himself – stems from the who's who of hot actors lined up. Backed by BBC Films and Talkback Thames, the film counts David Tennant, Bill Nighy, Julie Christie and Maggie Smith in its cast. Hugh Bonneville, Christopher Lee and Jenny Agutter are also listed.