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Screen Talk - Hammer falls on Bazooka shoot

It seems storyboarding can never get too small for Hollywood. Plans are coming together to draw up a big-screen adaptation of 'Bazooka Joe', the comic strip that comes with Bazooka bubble gum.

The former Disney chief Michael Eisner has hired an unknown writer by the name of Mark Hammer to pen a script based on the chewy comic strip through Eisner's production banner Tornante Co. A graduate of film school in Orange County, Hammer wrote a spec script entitled 'Sonny Takes to Peru', which made the studio rounds but ultimately did not sell. The unwanted spec, however, turned into a strong writing sample that got him into meetings, as well as representation at management outfit the Safran Co. Execs at Tornante liked the spec and brought in Hammer, who gave them his winning take on 'Bazooka'. Used as an advertising device for the gum since the 1950s, 'Joe' wears an eye patch for reasons never explained and has child-friendly misadventures.

A sure-fire hit

Tom Selleck, of 'Magnum, PI' fame, has signed to star alongside Catherine O'Hara as an over- protective father to her adoring mother of a freshly retired hitman played by Ashton Kutcher. The project, 'Five Killers,' also stars Katherine Heigl as the hitman's love interest whom he hangs up his guns for. The story follows her and the hitman, who find their suburban bliss ruptured years later when he finds out there's a hit out on him. Still a regular on US television, Selleck's latest big-screen turns were in 'The Love Letter' and 'In & Out'.

A nice ring to it

The Israeli movie 'A Matter of Size' is to get a US makeover after Dimension Films grappled English-language remake rights to the project. The tale centres on an overweight Israeli restaurant employee who is turned on to the world of sumo wrestling by several co-workers at the Japanese eatery where he works, and discovers his weight can actually be an advantage. The original comedy drama unspooled at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC last month and was a breakout among attendees and media alike.

Time for the hot tub

Lyndsy Fonseca has splash-landed in the United Artists-bankrolled time-travel comedy 'Hot Tub Time Machine', now shooting in Vancouver. Fonseca will play Jenny, the girlfriend who slipped away from John Cusack's character in 1987 and whom he revisits when he and some friends accidentally travel back in time via their jacuzzi. Fonseca, repped by ICM and Management 360, just completed shooting 'Kick-Ass' opposite Nicolas Cage. 'Hot Tub', which is scheduled for a February release stateside, also stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Lizzy Caplan. The screenplay was written by Josh Heald and Steve Pink is directing.

David Logan hammers it out

British writer David Logan is a busy boy in Hollywood. Paramount has hired the scribe to rewrite 'Sebastian Knight' and Articulus Entertainment has brought Logan aboard to adapt the Irish novelist Ken Bruen's 'Once Were Cops.' Centring on a Bond-like CIA agent who has a one-night stand with a woman while on vacation in Monaco, 'Knight' details the agent having to deal with her neurotic behaviour as the smitten lady begins to stalk him. The 'Cops' project follows two unbalanced New York police officers cutting their way through the city's criminal underworld. Logan recently did a rewrite on 'Hammer Down' for DreamWorks and has an original screenplay, 'The Rip,' in development with Universal and Working Title.