Screen Talk: Teen musical to spring into action?

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The Independent Culture

Known in Hollywood simply as McG, the former video and music producer and director is in talks to bring the Broadway rock musical 'Spring Awakening' to the big screen.

The single-moniker man, who directed 'Charlie's Angels' and is about to see 'Terminator Salvation' hit summer screens, is developing the rock show with original book and lyrics writer Steven Sater. McG is attached to direct and would act as a producer on the project. It is not yet set up at a studio, though McG's company, Wonderland Sound and Vision, has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Set in 19th-century Germany, the story follows a group of teens discovering their sexuality and dealing with high-wire topics such as masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide.

Set a date...

Journalist-turned-novelist Pamela Wells will see her debut novel, 'The Heartbreakers', turned into a film by United Artists. The MGM-owned studio label, which Tom Cruise has a stake in, snapped up the rights to the book and is developing it with a new name, 'Rules of Dating for Teenage Girls'. The story centres on four best friends and their on-again, off-again dalliances with boys. After several of the girls are dumped, they devise a set of rules they are sure will snag any man and prevent future break-ups.

Out with a bang

Shawn Levy's forthcoming comedy 'Date Night' is attracting a host of talent, with Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Taraji P Henson, Common and Jimmi Simpson all putting their names down for a night out. The newcomers join Steve Carell and Tina Fey in the 20th Century Fox-backed project about a couple whose night turns into much more than dinner and a movie. Mistaken for somebody else, the duo's date takes an entirely new turn in the script by Simon Kinberg and Aline McKenna. The movie starts shooting in LA this month.

Graphic tale ready to start shooting

Remember the buddy cop movies of the 1980s such as 'Lethal Weapon' and '48 Hours'? The studios certainly recall just how successful they were. Universal is backing an adaptation of graphic novel '2 Guns', hiring Blake Masters to adapt a throwback to those movies, with a modern spin. The book, written by Steven Grant with art by Mat Santolouco, follows a DEA agent and an undercover intelligence officer who are unwittingly investigating each other and who steal mob money for the good guys. They realise later that the mob actually got them to swipe $50m from the CIA. Masters created, wrote and directed US television's 'Brotherhood' which followed two brothers – a gangster and a politician – who were often forced to work together.

Let battling commence...

Brad Pitt is not just a pretty face, with his production company, Plan B, an active player in Hollywood. Pitt and company have just hired Alex Tse, the man who co-wrote the adaptation of 'Watchmen,' to tackle the adaptation of 'Battling Boy', the forthcoming graphic novel written and illustrated by Paul Pope. The storyline follows the son of a god who arrives to rid the giant, continent-sized city of Monstropolis of a plague of beasts. Paramount Pictures is backing the plans and Tse's hire. Tse is hot in Hollywood with two other projects at Warner Bros – a live-action adaptation of 'Ninja Scroll' in development with Appian Way and 'The Illustrated Man,' an adaptation of Ray Bradbury stories, in development for director Zack Snyder.