Although there has been a lot of talk lately regarding Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, the sure-fire director may have another project lined up that’s a bit more grounded. Paramount, in part of a first-look deal with Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures, is looking to land him as a producer and director for The General, a George Washington picture scripted by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (both of Tower Heist). Variety reports that The General is said to be in the vein of Unforgiven and not a straightforward historical drama. Aronofsky is also reportedly eyeing The Weinstein Co.’s Judy Garland biopic, Get Happy, with Anne Hathaway set to star. We’ll have to wait and see whether or not Paramount seals the deal or if other studios will get a shot at the Oscar-nominated director.
The Old West just got a new TV series treatment in the form of Hell on Wheels on AMC. Now HBO, who already delved into the drama with Deadwood, is heading back to the saloon. Deadline has word that Akiva Goldsman, the writer behind films like A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend and more than a dozen episodes of Fringe, has set up a new two-year overall at HBO which begins with an untitled Western drama series about Doc Holliday. Accepted screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage will write the series which is inspired by Mary Doria Russell’s novel Doc and also executive produce with Goldsman. In addition, Ron Howard is attached to direct the pilot if the series is ordered. Guess that gestating Dark Tower adaptation really got Howard and Goldsman deep into the Western genre.
A big focus of the series will be a story from Holliday’s life never before told on the screen: a love triangle between the gunslinger, his prostitute wife Kate Elder and his best friend and Old West icon Wyatt Earp. For a rundown of Russell’s novel, check out the synopsis and review of the book after the jump.
Taylor Lautner is attached to star in Fox 2000′s adaptation of the Catherine Fisher young adult novel, Incarceron. Lautner will play Finn, a seventeen-year-old jailed in Incarceron, “a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness.”
Lautner recently filmed Abduction, a thriller directed by John Singleton. Production on parts one and two of Breaking Dawn — the final two chapters in The Twilight Saga — dominate his immediate future. And a film based on the Hasbro toy Stretch Armstrong is on the books at some point. Incarceron sounds cool enough that I hope it leapfrogs over Stretch in Lautner’s queue. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Fisher’s novel.
In an ongoing attempt to make historical figures seem cool, Warner Bros. has bought a pitch from screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage that would recast 13th century explorer Marco Polo into a hero of fantastical adventures. While the film would not be a biopic, Polo had an interesting life of traveling Asia for 24 years with his father and uncle, eventually meeting the ruler of the Mongol empire, Kublai Khan. Polo was also known for his penchant to fuck with blind people who were calling out his name (I have no other explanation as to how the popular swimming pool game began).
Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) is attached to direct. He’s also on board to helm the adaptation of the Depression-era drama, Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.
Variety notes that this is Cooper and Collage’s third consecutive reimagination of a classic story purchased preemptively. They’ve already sold the story of Moses re-imagined in the style of 300 and a reinvention of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov.
The 1956 Cecil B. DeMille classic “The Ten Commandments” is fantastic but it could have been so much better if it had used speed-ramping and buckets of blood. Oh, and maybe a Jewish actor as Moses. It now looks like we might get two out of three as 20th Century Fox has just made a pre-emptive acquisition of a pitch to tell the story of Moses in the style of Zach Snyder’s “300″. Hit the jump to murder some firstborn sons but in a really cool way.