Screen Talk: Honest Sam

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The Independent Culture

A surprisingly honest admission from a Hollywood star. The beefcake actor Sam Worthington has gone on record to apologise for Clash of the Titans.

The British-born Aussie told Moviefone that he felt that the picture "kind of let down some people." Hmmm. "I think I can act better, to be honest," he added. Which is reassuring given that he is set to reprise the role of Perseus in the rostered Titans sequel, which will begin filming in March 2011, with Liam Neeson again playing the Greek god Zeus. For his part, Worthington is insisting the sequel will be markedly better than the first film. Despite his open and frank assessment, Clash of the Titans has grossed more than $493m since its April release this year.

Funny games

Picture the scene. It's nighttime at Universal and a bunch of execs are huddled around a meeting room table, searching for answers while staring at an Ouija board. The new way to find the next big thing? Well, not exactly. But while most folks are in party mode at this time of year, the suits at Universal are trying to pick a director for Ouija, the studio's planned film adaptation of the classic Hasbro board game about conjuring up spirits of the dead. The director McG presented his vision for the project, which has a script by the Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. But the moniker has competition from other directors and is vying for the gig against The Crazies director Breck Eisner. Not much is known about the plot of Ouija, although it's been described as a four-quadrant supernatural adventure centring on a family.

Gwyneth Paltrow can't stop singing

Gwyneth Paltrow just can't drop the mic. The actress, who's been ramping up a singing career with appearances in Glee in advance of her new country music movie Country Strong, is eyeing up a role in Rock of Ages. It's an adaptation of the hit musical about 1980s rock, to be directed by Adam Shankman. Mary J Blige is on board and now Hollywood is abuzz with whether or not the producers – including Tobey Maguire's Maguire Entertainment – will manage to persuade Tom Cruise to play Stacee Jaxx, the arrogant and charming rock star at the zenith of his career for the project. Cruise is known to have been giving notes on his ideas for the script. Paltrow has an offer for the character Constance – a supporting role in which she'd play a Rolling Stone reporter trying to interview Staxx – but has yet to read the latest draft herself.

Evil think tank

It's an industrial process making movies in Hollywood. And that's never been truer than for Maintenance, a project based on a comic book of the same name. The comic follows the exploits of two janitors who work for TerroMax, Inc, the world's biggest and best evil science think tank. When they're not dealing with toxic spill monsters and menial time machine repairs, they have to contend with their boss, a multitude of mad scientists, jetpack-equipped cavemen, alien repo men, and the cute girl who works at reception. DreamWorks Animation has snapped up adaptation rights from Warner Bros, who decided against it and put it into what the studios call turnaround.

That's shoe business

The actress/singer Zooey Deschanel (above right) is suing a shoemaker, claiming that she's owed $2m from an August endorsement deal she signed with the company. Deschanel claims her agent negotiated an oral $2m deal with Steve Madden for the company to use the actress's name and likeness in connection with shoes and accessories. Deschanel has soul, though. When the company later tried to renegotiate the deal down to $1.5m, Deschanel agreed but the company allegedly never paid her.