Etan Cohen (not to be confused with Ethan Coen) is one of Hollywood's hottest writers and Ben Stiller's go-to guy for scriptwriting, having worked with the comic actor on Tropic Thunder, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Stiller's latest project, The Incredible Mr Limpet.
Cohen also wrote the upcoming Men in Black III. Now, he's in talks to make his directorial debut on Paramount's horror-comedy Boy Scouts vs Zombies. The script centres on a troop that must save a group of girl scouts from zombies with designs on spoiling their camping trip. This time, Cohen didn't write the script – Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki did.
Hollywood is abuzz with chat that producer and director Michael Bay is doing something small-scale. Of course, it's all relative when it comes to the man behind the Transformers movies, with their $200m-plus budgets. Bay is set to direct the $35m dark comedy action thriller Pain and Gain. Scott Rosenberg is polishing a script based on the true story of a group of bodybuilders in Miami Beach who headed a kidnapping and extortion ring that went awry. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson will star with Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Anthony Mackie and Bar Paly.
Life is to imitate art again in Hollywood, only this time it's life imitating comic-book art. The story of how Nicolas Cage lost a rare comic book featuring the first appearance of Superman is to be the subject of a film backed by Lionsgate. Action No 1, a heist comedy from writers and Reno 911! creators Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, revolves around a group of nerds who attempt to steal Cage's copy of Action Comics No 1, the landmark 1938 comic that introduced the world to the Man of Steel. The theft of Cage's comic made real-world headlines in 2000; it remained missing until 2011, when it was found among the contents of an abandoned storage locker and auctioned for a record $2.1m in November. According to Hollywood, to comic-book fans the story of the theft and recovery is as thrilling as any high-art heist. Cage is not in the film although it was written with him in mind. Watch this frame.