Screen Talk: Biel's comic romp

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The Independent Culture

It is an accepted universal comedy truth that after marriage, sex stops. However, a project that has attracted Jessica Biel seems to be willing to miss the point to make a joke.

Biel, left, has signed to star in what is billed as a raunchy comedy about a couple who make a pact to have sex every day leading to their wedding so they don't turn into their crusty old parents. There is no talk yet about who may play the crusties in question. The script is penned by rookie screenwriter Julia Brownell. The name of Brownell's first feature script? "F***ing Engaged" of course.

Addicted to love

Gabriel Macht, Hank Azaria and Oliver Platt have signed up for roles in Ed Zwick's romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs. Backed by Fox 2000 and New Regency, the trio join an impressive cast boasting Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Judy Greer and Josh Gad. Charles Randolph (The Interpreter) wrote the script, formerly titled Pharma, which he adapted from Jamie Reidy's non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman. Filming is scheduled to begin in September. Macht stars in the Warner Bros thriller Whiteout. Azaria appeared in Fox's Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, while Platt recently appeared in Universal's Frost/Nixon.

Mad Max Theron

Plans for this century's instalment of the "Mad Max" movies are revving up. Latest is that Charlize Theron, left, and Tom Hardy are in talks to star in the next "Max" outing, script titled Fury Road. Writer-director George Miller is putting it together but it seems Mel Gibson will not be reprising his iconic role Max Rockatansky, the hardened ex-cop in a future beset by gas shortages and marauding gangs. Hardy is set to fill Max's boots with Theron as female lead. The plot is a secret but it's known the movie is set a short while after 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which keeps Mad Max relatively young. It is expected to shoot next summer in Australia with Warner Bros backing.

Storm ahead for Fetters

Warner Bros is putting its muscle behind writer Will Fetters to have the scribe pen an adventure tale entitled Crazy for the Storm. It is based on Norman Ollestad's memoir, published stateside in June by Ecco Press, which has spent more than a month on the Los Angeles Times' best-seller list. Fetters is tasked with adapting Ollestad's coming-of-age drama set in Southern California. He had a complex relationship with his father who pushed him to embrace such extreme sports as skiing and surfing. Ollestad, right, was 11 when a plane carrying the two crashed in the San Gabriel mountains. The crash killed his father leaving Ollestad stranded on an icy peak, where he was forced to use skills his father taught him.

Somerhalder goes gothic

Ian Somerhalder, already a star in the US in The Vampire Diaries, has signed to topline the romantic gothic fairy tale Cradlewood. Directed by Harry Weinmann, the movie centres on an Australian woman living in Boston with the heir (Somerhalder) to an incredible fortune. Their family history is entwined in a legend that tells of a pact made with a demon who ensures that whenever a boy is born into the family, the father is killed. The heir suspects his girlfriend is pregnant, and after strange events occur, he comes to believe he will die if he continues to fall in love. Emma Lung (The Boys Are Back) will play the Australian woman. Cradlewood is based on an original story by Weinmann. Stephen Sewell and John Paul Chapple wrote the script. The project plans to film Boston in Melbourne, Australia.