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Screen Talk: Miley's mileage

The transition from little girl family star to lady actress looking for grown-up material is an oft-trodden but rocky road for many of Hollywood's finest.

Next up for the long walk to serious adulthood in showbiz land is Miley Cyrus (above left). A Disney princess for years, she is now eyeing an adaptation of Lisa McMann's young-adult paranormal-thriller novel Wake as her vehicle to the world of grown ups. Christopher Landon, the co-writer of Disturbia, is adapting the book for the screen. Wake is the first of three novels by McMann about a 17-year-old girl named Janie who has the unwanted ability to become sucked into people's dreams. Not surprisingly, she sees things she would rather not see.

He won't be back yet

Overheard recently in Los Angeles, but not from the mouth of Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Your script, give it to me." It seems that plans for an animated Terminator movie are on hold due to a messy rights situation. Pacificor, the franchise-rights holder, recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Hannover House, the firm that announced the animation last week. Pacificor says it did not "license or authorize" the movie, called Terminator 3000, and wants co-producers Hannover and Red Bear Entertainment to stop talking it up. Eric Parkinson, the CEO of Hannover House, maintains that he gained animation rights to the franchise as part of his compensation package when exiting as CEO of Hemdale, the company that produced the first Terminator film.

Lucky breaks

The TV star Sarah Wayne Callies (above centre) is breaking out the typewriter after a successful move to film acting. The actress, a series regular on Fox's Prison Break, has adapted Campbell Geeslin's children's book Elena's Serenade, about a girl who crosses the Mexican desert to become a glass-blower, for the big screen. Her adaptation has been given the Hollywood thumbs-up, attracting an option deal from the producer Cameron Lamb. Callies' star is on the rise; her movie resumé is expanding also. She just wrapped turns in a trio of indie movies including the horror thriller Faces in the Crowd.

Ideas are currency

The global financial crisis hit Hollywood as much as any other industry: credit was hard to come by, big buck investors were laid low and corporations started keeping things simple. What better breeding ground for a movie script idea? The writer J C Chandor has come up with Margin Call, a script he will direct based around employees of an investment bank over a tumultuous 24-hour period during the 2008 financial collapse. Simon Baker, of The Mentalist fame, is set to star alongside Britain's own Paul Bettany (above right). Baker will portray a ruthless, high- powered securities broker who oversees characters played by Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci and Zachary Quinto and drives his colleagues to win by any means necessary. Bettany will play a top-tier trader, unabashedly unafraid even as the crisis deepens. Just don't mention it sounding very like Wall Street all those years ago. Greed is, after all, good.

A blaze of Charisma

What a name for an actress. Charisma Carpenter, named after a perfume by her mother, is aiming to build up her movie roles after regular turns on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Veronica Mars. After an outing in The Expendables alongside Sly Stallone, Jason Statham and co, Carpenter is now lined up alongside Ty Olsson to star in Crash Site. The film details the story of a family vacation in the woods, during which a couple must fight their way back to civilization through injuries, creepy critters and wild animals after their Jeep crashes. Jason Bourque is directing.