While the likelihood of a sequel to Bridesmaids continues to fascinate Hollywood, the movie's director Paul Feig (above left) is working. He is back at Universal to direct a romantic comedy, The Better Woman. The project revolves around an executive whose boyfriend leaves her for an older woman. The young high-flier searches out the woman to find out what went wrong in the relationship. Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of TV's Gilmore Girls, wrote the screenplay from an idea by Ron Bass and Jen Smolka. Feig is concentrating on The Better Woman after passing on the prospects of directing a planned third installment of the Bridget Jones movie series, tentatively titled Bridget Jones's Baby.
Two faces of Ingrid
Former Bond girl Caterina Murino (above centre) is to star in a movie about the former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. Murino's casting means the independent English-language film In Search of Ingrid, based on two books by Betancourt's former husband Juan Carlos Lecompte, is leading the race to bring Betancourt's story to the screen. The Colombian senator and presidential candidate was kidnapped by terrorists and held in a South American jungle from 2002 to 2008 before being rescued by Colombian security forces; she now lives in France. The movie is being directed by Betty Kaplan who also wrote the screenplay. Lecompte will be played by Valentino Lanus, a Mexican actor and photographer. It puts Kaplan's plans in pole position, ahead of producer Kathleen Kennedy, who acquired rights to Betancourt's book Even Silence Has An End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle, with backing from DreamWorks to develop a script.
With film-maker Ron Howard in Europe at the moment prepping his Formula One racing film Rush, it's been down to producer partner Brian Grazer (above right) to seal a deal for the pair's future film-making ambitions. Grazer and Howard's Imagine Entertainment has carved out a deal with Universal Pictures to continue to make films with and for the studio beyond 2013. Unlike the current exclusive deal, the new pact between the parties is described as a first-look deal. It's a sign of the times when established film-makers such as Howard and Grazer are put on such a footing – which gives the studio the freedom to decline to pledge to multi-million-dollar projects pitched by the pair. Imagine immediately let five staffers go after striking the less- lucrative deal with Universal.
The Warner Bros-backed adaptation of history professor Deborah Harkness's supernatural fantasy A Discovery of Witches has found its writer; playwright David Auburn has been hired to turn the tale into a script. Harkness's book centres on a scholarly woman who is a direct descendant of the first woman executed at the Salem Witch Trials. She comes across a long-lost manuscript that may contain the secret of immortality and is thrust into a position where she and a 1,500-year-old vampire must stop an inter-species war between witches and vampires.