Screen Talk: Repeat performance

Hollywood insiders are arguing among themselves over a change in date for the town's biggest love-in party, the Oscars.

One of the drivers behind the desire for change is those heart-rending, tearful, sincere thank-you speeches everyone knows and loves. It seems the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a gripe that may cause even the most committed Oscarphile to gasp incredulously. What is it? There are too many other awards shows muscling in ahead of the Academy awards which, get this, means Oscar winners have to REPEAT THEIR LINES from acceptance speeches already as they pick up precursor nods. Strange though this onset of repetitive boredom is, it is being taken seriously enough for inner-circle Academy folk to be considering holding the world-famous movie awards earlier. Next year's 83rd Academy Awards date of 27 February will not change, but there might be date changes ahead for 2012.

Bad day at the office

New Line's plans to make its workplace murder comedy Horrible Bosses is hurrying up. The Seth Gordon-directed picture, long in gestation, has Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudiekis and now Kevin Spacey (above left) on board to star. Positions looking to be filled included a master manipulator, a sexually aggressive dentist and a weaselly scion. Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston as two of the three bosses, and Jamie Foxx as a scam artist also shore up the cast. Bosses focuses on three best friends who, frustrated by their jobs, come to the conclusion that the only solution is to kill one another's bosses.

Sound return

Hollywood loves a local hero. Which is good given the town's penchant for celebrating them with a sequel without anyone else from outside the US border aware of the first outing. Remember Diary of a Wimpy Kid, starring Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris? Officially, it's called a sleeper hit because it was made for a modest $15 million and went on to collect almost $64 million from the US box office. Those figures mean Fox 2000 is quickening the pace on Diary of Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules having secured the return of Gordon, Zahn and Harris. Animation director David Bowers will make his live-action debut after the first Wimpy outing director Thor Freudenthal turned down the honour of shooting the sequel. Scripted by Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, Diary 2 again focuses on put-upon kid Greg Heffley, who this time around must deal with the punishments inflicted by his older brother, Roderick. For those that didn't see the first, that is.

One big happy family

Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer and Rashida Jones are lined up set to star opposite Paul Rudd in My Idiot Brother, a comedy being directed Jesse Peretz. Brother centres on an idealistdealing with his over-bearing mother who crashes at the homes of his three ambitious sisters and brings truth, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives while also wreaking havoc. Deschanel, Banks and Mortimer will play the sisters. And Deschanel's character is bisexual to give Peretz two comedic sides to play with.

The light stuff

Warner Bros is already starting development on a sequel to Green Lantern, months before the first is scheduled to storm into cinemas. The studio has hired Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, all of whom worked on the Lantern screenplay, to write a treatment for the second instalment. The trio has also been hired to draft the treatment for the big screen incarnation of The Flash. Martin Campbell is directing Lantern now, with Ryan Reynolds starring as the emerald ring-wielding DC Comics superhero who is part of an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.

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