SHORT TAKES

Eddie Murphy

  • Eddie Murphy is going to vacation in Fantasy Island. The actor-comedian is in serious negotiations to play several roles (a la The Nutty Professor and Coming to America) in the big screen version of the TV show that ran from 1978-1984 with Ricardo Montalban. Sony is the studio behind the project and the tone is meant to be very family-oriented. 
  • The Halcyon Company will bring back the Terminator series sans Arnold Schwarzenegger. The company has finally purchased all the rights from Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna and plan to bring Terminator 4 to the big screen by the middle of 2009. Terminator 4 will be based on a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who also penned Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

  • Tim Roth has joined the cast for the new Hulk film opposite Ed Norton and Liv Tyler called The Incredible Hulk. Roth will play a mercenary who evolves into The Abomination, a being spawned by gamma rays that ends up being more powerful than the Hulk. The Incredible Hulk starts shooting in
    Toronto in July and is set as a tentpole summer movie event for 2008.

  • Chicago rapper Common is gearing up his Hollywood invasion in two movies. He will join the Morgan Freeman-Angelina Jolie movie called Wanted about supervillains who rule the earth. In it he plays a super-assassin that trains a white collar worker and transforms him into the world’s greatest hit man. Next, he is also poised to begin production on The Night Watchman with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker where he plays a drug dealer posing as an undercover cop.

SHORT TAKES

 Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code.

  • Tom Hanks is close to returning to reprise his Robert Langdon role in Angels and Demons, the prequel to The DaVinci Code. Akiva Goldsman is yet to turn in his adaptation which also has director Ron Howard waiting in the wings. Inside sources say the movie is slated for a January '08 shooting date.

  • Oscar winner Forest Whitaker is in final negotiations to star in The Great Debate with Denzel Washington. Washington is a professor who forms a small debate team and takes them to the national championships beating Harvard along the way. Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers.

  • Philip Roth’s novella Dying Animal is lining up a stellar cast. Peter Sarsgaard, Dennis Hopper and Deborah Harry join the picture headlined by Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz about an erotic affair between a professor and a student with startling consequences. The film starts shooting next month in Vancouver.

  • David Mamet is delving into the world of Jujitsu when he starts shooting Redbelt in Los Angeles starting in May. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a jujitsu master conned by an underbelly of movie stars and show promoters and has to get back into the ring to regain his honor. Mamet has been running the show The Unit on CBS over the last year.

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