After taking some well-earned time off following the series finale of the long-running drama House, M.D., it looks as if Hugh Laurie is ready to jump back into television. Deadline reports that Laurie is in negotiations to star in NBC’s drama pilot Crossbones. The action-adventure series comes from Luther creator Neil Cross and takes place in 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence. The story follows pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, as he reigns over “the rogue nation of thieves, outlaws, and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown, part marauder’s paradise, this is a place like no other on earth – and a mounting threat to international commerce.”
Cross wrote the script and will executive produce alongside Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, and Ted Gold. Laurie is poised to star as the legendary pirate Blackbeard in the 10-episode run, a role for which he’ll be using his native British accent. Pirates are apparently in this pilot season, as Michael Bay is developing a pirate series of his own for Starz called Black Sails.
It looks like after a decade wading in motion-capture films, Robert Zemeckis’ next film will be the live-action drama Flight. The Back to the Future director first entered negotiations to helm the flick back in April, but no one was certain which project he would choose as his next. He’s flirted with the time-travel films Replay and Timeless, and there’s always the ever-elusive Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sequel. Now 24 Frames reports that Zemeckis has firmed up Flight as his next project, with Denzel Washington expected to close his deal to star shortly and filming aimed for the fall.
The plot of Flight centers on an alcoholic/drug addicted pilot who saves a flight in distress, becoming an American hero in the process. The newfound fame comes with an investigation by the FAA to see whether drugs played a factor in the distress, while Washington’s character attempts to turn his life around. Hit the jump for more on Flight and Zemeckis’ other non-motion-capture projects in the works.
After a decade devoted to motion capture, Robert Zemeckis is looking to return to live action for his next film. Disney’s cancellation of the mo-cap Beatles ode Yellow Submarine surely was a wake up call. Zemeckis needs time, though, to ease back into the land of the living. The director flirted with Superman and a Wizard of Oz remake, and the time travel tale Timeless remains a possibility. And Zemeckis could always revive the Who Framed Roger Rabbit sequel that exists in a constant state of development.
Paramount has added another option, Flight, and it sounds damn promising. The script by John Gatins (Coach Carter) centers on an alcoholic/drug addict pilot. And Denzel Washington is “loosely attached” to star. Details after the break.
Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black III has had an unorthodox production schedule. The film started shooting in November with an incomplete script, scheduled a hiatus from December to mid-February to fix the rest of the script, and then pick back up and finish the movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures took this bizarre route because they wanted to take advantage of tax breaks in New York City and spring weather.
However, the hiatus has now passed and the script still isn’t finished. As we reported last week, screenwriter David Koepp (Spider-Man) has been brought in to fix the script by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) and later Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour 2). But THR reports that those re-writes aren’t going smoothly as the project is caught between Sonnenfeld, producer Walter Parkes, and star Will Smith. Hit the jump for more details.
Writer Richard Matheson has no shortage of fans and Hollywood continues to show its fascination with the author as Parkes/MacDonald Productions have optioned Matheson’s Earthbound in hopes of bringing it to the silver screen, according to THR. Parkes/MacDonald Productions recently partnered with Imagenation Abu Dhabi in October 2009, and this is the first film from the tandem. THR gives this description of the novel:
“Earthbound centers on a married man who starts an affair with a young stranger, only to realize that she may actually be the ghost of a long-dead woman driven by something much more than earthly passion.”
More after the jump:
DreamWorks has successfully made a pre-emptive bid to secure the film rights to the book Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, due out March 30 of this year. THR describes Poop as a “witty guidebook” authored by Beverly Hills-based pediatrician Scott W. Cohen. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will produce the film and have tapped Four Christmases scribes Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson as screenwriters.
Optioning Poop was a savvy move by DreamWorks because it is the first in a planned series of books about the joys and misadventures of child-rearing. Apart from the Look Who’s Talking trilogy, the baby genre is not known for sequels but this material should prove to be an exception. No word yet on whether or not the film will be 3D but considering the kind of excretory action it is sure to provide I would be surprised if Parkes/MacDonald do not jump on board the 3D craze.
While this project has the potential to channel Father of the Bride (the remake) and be a fun, slice-of-life comedy it does not pass the onion test. That is to say, if reports on a movie would not appear out of place in The Onion, making that film may be a poor decision. Or a poop decision. It works either way.