Entertainment News: The Week in Recap 2/8/13

By February 8, 2013

Star Wars: Little bit of Star Wars news before leading to the wider realm or Disney… An Australian radio host claims “on good authority” that John Noble will once again be teaming with JJ Abrams to play the villain in Episode VII. Also, while we mourn the death of Yoda’s creator, we can look forward to his creation being the star of the first Star Wars spin-off.

Disney: While ex-Disney chum Henry Selick, the master behind A Nightmare Before Christmas, finally gains traction on a new project, his old home is eyeing the young adult novel ‘Matched’, to be directed by John Chu. The Wreck-It Ralph producers are seeking out Tron and Mario cameos for the original’s inevitable, and most welcome, sequel, meanwhile Disney’s archive director has a not so revealing, but nonetheless interesting look into Brad Bird’s box concerning the the now tentatively titled George Clooney-starring Tomorrowland.

del Toro: Genre fandom’s golden child has just teamed with the Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild co-writer to make a new Secret Garden adaptation, and while his long-gestating Pinocchio adaptation with Gris Grimly looked dead for for a second, it would appear things aren’t as bad as we all thought for a bit… here’s to looking up!

Marvel: Since I’ve been talking about it for weeks now, I only feel it right to first mention that Star-Lord has finally found an actor, and the lucky winner of the seemingly endless casting call? Parks and Rec’s Chris Pratt. Do with that what you will. I’m excited. Technically speaking, Fox still holds sway over some solid Marvel properties, and their overseer Mark Millar this week had some pretty interesting, if not altogether wholly expected things to say about Kitty Pryde and the sentinels in Days of Future Past, which it would seem will take place in 1973. On the flip side, he also came out throwing punches at the DC universe and its great challenges in its relative incapability to gain a foothold among the whole comics-in-film boom that’s been afoot for quite some time now. Back to proper Marvel? Okay! If you’re a fan of the Hulk, even passively, I would highly recommend this article and video which contain ridiculous scoops and potential spoilers for Marvel’s next few years.

Deals: Star Wars/Star Trek’s own JJ Abrams will e producing adaptations of both Half-Life and Portal. Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin has further solidified his relationship with pay cable provider HBO with a two year overall deal, while HBO’s unlikely-but-totally-likely main competitor for the next few years, Netflix, is developing a series framed around the real-life exploits of real-life drug kingpin Pablo Escobar which, if you’re anybody, you already knew all about due to Entourage (terrible joke, I know). A Farmville adaptation is being helmed by the stature/talent-appropriate Bret Ratner, while his action contemporary Michael Bay (I really don’t know who I am more apathetic about…) discusses Transformer 4, with Forbes, of all publications! Chuck Palahniuk’s ‘Haunted’ is getting adapted by a foreign dude, and ‘Syndrome E’ is being adapted by Black Swan scribe Mark Heyman. More hitters than missers, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are making a series debut on a new James Caan-starring show, while Jack Reacher’s Christopher Mcquarrie further solidifies his relationship as Tom Cruise’s go-to director… this time for Mission Impossible 5. Judd Apatow wants to follow his daughters into college on film… let’s hope they’re still up for it when the time comes, and a second version of the Hercules myth is being produced, the only advantage of this latest will be it having the benefit of it tentatively coming out first.

Casting: Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage has yet another star vehicle coming his way, while his former co-star Sean Bean will be boardin the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending. Meanwhile, their present/former employer HBO has cast two young leads for Mike Judge’s amazing-sounding Silicon Valley, and once-former employee Kevin Dunn is back, this time co-starring with their familiar Woody Harrelson. Keith David, one of cinema’s true badasses, who co-starred in the Wachowski’s poorly received Atlas Shrugged, has been cast in a pilot for Fox. Paul Walker is rebooting the Hitman franchise, while the Batman himself will be joining Jesse Pinkman and Howard Stark in the Need for Speed adaptation. Johnny Depp will be playing the long-on-the-run and recently captured Whitey Bulger in a new film by Barry Levinson, while Colin Ferrell will play a serial killer, opposite Anthony Hopkins, and Jeremy Renner will play disgraced journalist Gary Webb in what’s sure to be a most tragic tale. SNL alumni Kristen Wiig and Tina Fey have new films lined up. The former is now confirmed for Anchorman 2 and the latter is set to play a sister to an as yet uncast female by the makers of Pitch Perfect… here’s hoping they get Rosmarie DeWitt… Two more women-related news items? Okay, you got it! The beautiful and underrated Charlize Theron (we all know she won an Oscar, but still) is looking to replace Amy Adams in Gillian Flynn’s ‘Dark Places‘ and Felicity Jones is set to star against Oscar nominees Jonah Hill and James Franco in a new drama, [of course] based on a true story. In the most interesting and exciting casting news of the week, Robin Williams has been cast in the new pilot by the always enjoyable David E. Kelly for CBS, while fellow stand-up Kevin Pollack has joined the Beverly Hills Cop series set up at the same network. NBC is race-swapping Ironside for a more timely and legitimate series, casting Blair Underwood. John Leguizamo is hoping that the third time is in fact a charm, with his third pilot at ABC pilot in a year, and Jeffrey Tambor is throwing his considerable comedic talents behind Amazon’s The Onion Presents: The News.

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Jacob Hayman
Jacob's stomach often hurts and his mind often races. He prefers a good drink and chat to most other things in life, his OkCupid is far more active than his Twitter, and Brazil, Gremlins 2, Magnolia, Pather Panchali, and Roman Holiday are his favorite films. He lives in Los Angeles, where he was born and raised, and constantly considers taking up welding.