Screen Talk - Fury frenzy

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The Independent Culture

Hollywood has always been good at striking innovative deals, but a new agreement with Samuel L Jackson is unprecedented.

On the back of his surprise appearance as Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D. spy, at the end of 'Iron Man', Jackson has sealed a nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios to play Fury in a series of Marvel comic adaptations. The cameo sent internet chatter into a frenzy – and there's money in buzz. The deal include 'Iron Man 2', 'Thor', 'Captain America', 'The Avengers' and a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie. And watch out for Mickey Rourke, who is in talks to play a villain in one of the films.

Who'll throw first?

The board game may have been displaced by computers, but there's play left in the classics. Universal Studios and Hasbro are partnering up to develop movies based on US board games. Projects include 'Clue', (based on Cluedo), with Gore Verbinski in talks to direct. Several other game properties have big names attached – Ridley Scott for 'Monopoly' and Kevin Lima for 'Candyland' (Ethan Coen writing) – with 'Ouija Board' set to be produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes.

Déjà vu, Arnie?

Who says good ideas have to be new? There are plans to develop a version of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action movie 'Total Recall'. Now that the muscle man is running California, Columbia Pictures feels the time is right to retell the story, based on Philip K Dick's 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale'. With the Schwarzenegger-led hit grossing a memorable $261m worldwide, Columbia will hope for a case of déjà vu.

From Marty to Milo

Film-maker Robert Zemeckis – the man who brought us a myriad hit family movies, including the 'Back to the Future' franchise and most recently 'Beowulf' – just loves performance-capture technology. His next project will see him employ the technique again in Walt Disney Pictures' 'Mars Needs Moms', set to star Seth Green. Simon Wells will direct the tale, based on the children's novel by Berkeley Breathed. It follows Milo, who stows away on a spaceship to rescue his mom after she's kidnapped by aliens.

Innocence found

Hollywood loves a crusading, working-class, single mother, so Hilary Swank is likely to attract plaudits for her starring role in 'Betty Anne Waters'. Directed by Tony Goldwyn, the film details the story of Waters, whose brother is imprisoned for murder. To prove his innocence, she earns a law degree and uses DNA evidence to get him released, after 18 years. Swank stars alongside a glittering cast including Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall and Juliette Lewis. Loren Dean has also just joined the indie drama, now shooting in the USA, as the resentful husband of the title character.