Screen Talk: Smith's dirty banditry with Bruce

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The Independent Culture

Kevin Smith, king of indie, is rounding up a feast of comic stars for his buddy-action laugh-fest 'A Couple of Dicks'. Seann William Scott and Adam Brody recently signed up for the Warner Bros-bankrolled comedy, joining Bruce Willis, right, and Tracy Morgan. The script, by Robb and Mark Cullen, follows a maverick cop (Willis) and his partner (Morgan) who, tracking a valuable stolen baseball card, tangle with a memorabilia-obsessed gangster and rescue a Mexican beauty who holds the key to millions in drug money. Scott plays a thief known as, uh, the Shit Bandit. Brody is an abrasive detective unhappy with Willis and Morgan. Scott recently starred in Universal's 'Role Models'. Brody next appears in Boaz Yakin's indie drama 'Death in Love' and 'Jennifer's Body', a dark comedy written by Diablo Cody, starring Megan Fox.

Roadkill signed

Actor, writer and director John Stockwell has signed to direct the action comedy 'Roadkill', written by Nick Ball and John Niven. The script details the story of a couple of private eyes who agree to protect a high-end escort being pursued by a female assassin. While on the run, they discover what could be a government conspiracy. The indie project will be produced by Bill Perkins via his Lleju Productions banner. Perkins currently has thriller 'Unthinkable', starring Samuel L Jackson, left, and Michael Sheen, in postproduction. Texas born Stockwell previously directed a host of titles including 'Turistas,' 'Blue Crush,' 'crazy/ beautiful' and 'Middle of Nowhere.'

Date capers

Paramount is honing a romcom named 'Swingles', described as 'When Harry Met Sally ...' with a 21st-century vibe. Cameron Diaz is in line to play the leading lady but the search for a suitable onscreen mate continues. The story focuses on a man and woman whose respective best friends meet and fall in love, leaving them without a wingman/woman for the first time in their adult lives. Despite their antagonism, the two remaining singles decide to join forces to help each other find romantic partners.

Japes with Jake

A foul-mouthed teacher dumped by her sugar daddy who starts to pursue a colleague is the subject matter for 'Bad Teacher', a comedy Columbia Pictures is backing. Jake Kasdan, right, has signed on to direct, based on a script sold to Columbia by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg last August. Kasdan most recently co-wrote and directed 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story' for Columbia and 'The TV Set' and 'Zero Effect'. Writing duo Stupnitsky and Eisenberg have the Sony comedy 'Year One', written with director Harold Ramis, in cinemas this month. They are also writing and producing a third 'Ghostbusters' for the studio.

Hyde's hopes for a return flight

Disney is readying to take to the sci-fi skies again with a remake of the 1986 'Flight of the Navigator', right. The studio has hired Brad Copeland to pen the update for the producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. The original was the story of a 12-year-old boy abducted by aliens who reappears eight years later, the same age and with no memory of what happened. Nasa scientists discover a connection between the boy and a downed spacecraft and try to exploit the youngster, who escapes with the ship and tries to reunite with his family. The movie grossed a paltry $17m on release but became a cult video hit. John Hyde, who executive produced the first one, does the same this time around. Copeland penned 'Wild Hogs' for Disney and is writing 'Nightcrawlers' at Warner Bros. He cut his teeth in TV, working as writer-producer on 'Arrested Development' and more recently on 'My Name Is Earl'.