Screentalk: Fanboys fear star man's next move

Our contact at The Hollywood Reporter gives us the insider gossip from Tinseltown

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The Independent Culture

Film-maker JJ Abrams set Hollywood abuzz with the likelihood of him swapping his next job spec from Trek to Wars. He's nearing a deal to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, a change of heart having said he wasn't interested. Fanboys are unhappy he's set to leave the world of Star Trek, as he finalizes Star Trek into Darkness.

Rolling in the aisles again

The original cast of the 1999 comedy The Best Man have been invited back to renew vows for a sequel. Taye Diggs, Nia Long (above), Morris Chestnut, Harold Perrineau, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Monica Calhoun, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall will reprise their roles. Malcolm D Lee returns to direct.

Warriors fight for a franchise

Commercials director Nic Mathieu, whose ads are known for their inventive CG effects in the US, is in line to direct Robotech, a Warner Bros big-budget adaptation of a 1980s Japanese cartoon series featuring giant mechanical warriors (above). The alien-invasion drama is being eyed as a potential franchise for the studio.

Scream man's out of the shadows

But writer-producer Kevin Williamson (above), the man behind the Scream franchise, has sorted out relations with the Weinstein Co over rights to a film project called Shadows. The pair reached a confidential agreement that means Williamson maintains control over the destiny of his project.

Refugee film role attracts Reese

A movie based on the real life story of a refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the US with three other boys is coming together. Reese Witherspoon (above) is in talks to star in The Good Lie as the brash American helper. Philippe Falardeau is set to direct from a screenplay by Margaret Nagle.

Dickens given a gothic new twist

There are plans for an ultra-modern gothic future action project using Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (above) as the starting point. CBS Films has optioned the screenplay Olivia Twisted, by former Buffy the Vampire Slayer stuntman Michael Roberts. The story centres on a young woman named Olivia, part of a gang of street kids.