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Headline News More Actors Land on Mars

English-bred actors are headed to Mars: Samantha Morton, Dominic West and Polly Walker have joined JOHN CARTER OF MARS.

The HollywoodReporter notes, Andrew Stanton is set to direct the film based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book series.

Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe round-out the cast. MARS involves a Civil War vet who is mysteriously transported to Mars, during that planet’s wartime.

Headline News 28 Weeks Helmer gets Bioshocked

Variety reports 28 WEEKS LATER director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in talks to direct BIOSHOCK, Universal’s adaptation of the Take-Two Interactive video game.

Gore Verbinski, the film’s previous helmer, will remain as producer through his U-based Blind Wink shingle. BIOSHOCK, written by John Logan, takes place in the underwater city of Rapture, where a pilot crash-lands near a secret entrance and becomes involved in a power struggle.

Headline News MGM Ousts Sloan as CEO

MGM made a bold move this week to tackle its $37B debt. The struggling lion removed Harry Sloan as CEO and appointed Stephen Cooper. Sloan has worked the past four years to nurture MGM back to life as a major studio player.

Variety reports Cooper, also named Vice Chairman, begins work immediately tackling such issues as the fate of MGM’s library, the James Bond franchise and a pivotal stake in THE HOBBIT movies.

Headline News DreamWorks Secures $825M

Restructured in 2008 as a private production company, DreamWorks has concluded rounding-up a total $825M in corporate financing for the ‘new’ film company.

The HollywoodReporter notes that sum includes $325M JP Morgan-led bank syndication, a matching amount from DreamWorks principal Reliance Big Entertainment and a $175M commitment from (distribution) partner Disney.

Headline News Hannah Montana, The Simpsons Season 12 and more on DVD/Blu-ray

HANNAH MONTANA: The Movie (DVD/Blu-ray)Disney/Buena Vista/2009/102 min/Rated G/SRP: $44.99Director: Peter ChelsomCast: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily OsmentVfx: CIS Hollywood

Video codec MPEG-4 AVCVideo resolution 1080pAspect ratio 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1French: Dolby Digital 5.1Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles:English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs:BD/DVD ComboThree-disc setDigital copy

Summary:

Headline News Oobermind Expands Voice Cast

Variety reports OOBERMIND (DreamWorks Animation) has brought three new superheroes onboard. Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are set to lend their voices to the comedy, set for release in 2010.

Ferrell replaces Robert Downey Jr. (due to scheduling conflicts) in the title role of a super villain who imagines that all of his dastardly dreams come true after defeating a good-guy rival, named Metro Man (voiced by Pitt).

Headline News Screenwriters Shift to Video Games

As game players grow more sophisticated, plotlines are becoming increasingly vital for success. Key game developers are recruiting Hollywood screenwriters and established authors to perform such duties.

Variety reports Chris Morgan (WANTED, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: Tokyo Drift) is the latest scribe to make the shift, signing with Red Eagle Games, as the story director for a series of upcoming games based on Robert Jordan's THE WHEEL OF TIME books.

Headline News New Writer for More Spider-Man Movies

Sony Pictures Entertainment has landed screenwriter James Vanderbilt to pen SPIDER-MAN 5 and SPIDER-MAN 6, reports Variety.

Vanderbilt was the first writer onboard SPIDER-MAN 4. Director Sam Raimi then brought in playwright David Lindsay-Abaire to rewrite his script and Gary Ross to perform final rewrites, before the 2010 shoot begins.

Headline News Darabont Walking Dead with AMC

Variety reports AMC is close to finalizing a deal with Frank Darabont to write/direct a TV series based on Image Comics’ THE WALKING DEAD.

Gale Anne Hurd (Valhalla Motion Pictures) and David Alpert (Circle of Confusion) will exec produce. Robert Kirkman penned THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel series. Numerous editions have been published since 2003.

Headline News Warner Builds Blockbuster Using Legos

Warner Bros. and producer Dan Lin (SHERLOCK HOLMES) have acquired theatrical rights for a Lego movie, notes the HollywoodReporter.

The studio has tapped Dan and Kevin Hageman to pen the desired script, described as a live-action/CG hybrid involving “a movie set in the world of Lego.” Themes of childlike wonder and teamwork will be explored -- similar in tone to TOY STORY.

Headline News Huston Onboard for Twilight’s Eclipse

TWILIGHT’s third film in the saga, ECLIPSE, has cast Jack Huston in the role of Royce King II. Jack is nephew to stars Anjelica and Danny Huston. ECLIPSE, under the direction of David Slade (30 DAYS OF NIGHT), will shoot in Vancouver, B.C. this fall.

The HollywoodReporter notes Huston joins Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Bryce Dallas Howard in Summit’s third film installment. Huston, as Royce King II, is a human character from the Great Depression era.

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