Legendary Pictures -- the production company behind '300,' 'The Dark Knight,' 'Superman Returns,' 'Watchmen' and innumerable other comic-to screen outings, has picked up rights to 'Mass Effect,' an Electronic Arts-BioWare sci-fi video game that debuted in 2008 and already has spawned a sequel. According to HeatVison, the game is set in the year 2183 and follows a human soldier as he travels across the galaxy, encountering a host of alien species and mysterious space beacons. No cast, director or timetable has been set, but Mark Protosevich, who wrote 'I Am Legend' and worked on 'Thor,' is in talks to write the script.
Jerry Bruckheimer and the folks at Disney have dug deep into their pockets to come up with a figure approaching $3.5 million to a buy a pitch by writers Terry Rossio and Bill Marsilii, called 'Lightspeed.' That's a lot of dough for an outline, but the pair have quite a record: they sold 'Deja Vu' in 2004 (for mid-seven figures) and Rossio wrote the three 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films, worked on the 'National Treasure' films and 'Shrek.' According to Variety, the story centers on a young pilot who joins the Earth Interstellar Racing Team and takes his ship on a perilous journey across the galaxy on the brink of war.
Sam Rockwell is in talks to join the cast of 'Sweet Baby Jesus,' a comedy about a guy named Joe who accompanies his pregnant teenage girlfriend Mary to Bethlehem, Maryland, where the town starts to get the feeling that it's witnessing the Second Coming. British pop sensation Pixie Lott has been cast as Mary and, as announced Monday, Bette Midler will play an innkeeper and Kim Cattrall will play Mary's mother.[DeadlineHollywood]
Up-and-coming British actor Dominic Cooper ('An Education') will play American industrialist Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark (Iron Man) in the 2011 film 'Captain America: The First Avenger.' That might account for Captain America's shield making an appearance in 'Iron Man 2.' [TheWrap]
Andy Garcia, Mario Van Peebles, Luke Goss and Aidan Quinn are set to star in 'The Exodus of Charlie Wright,' an indie crime drama about a discredited Los Angeles billionaire financial whiz (Quinn) who escapes to Tijuana one step ahead of a Mexican gangster (Garcia), a federal agent (Van Peebles) and thugs sent by a former client (Goss). The project begins shooting next week in Mexico and Los Angeles [THR]
'The Vampire Diaries' star Nina Dobrev has joined the cast of 'Deathgames,' an independent action movie about a young man (played by Kellan Lutz) who is kidnapped and forced into the savage world of a modern gladiator arena, run by a shady businessman, played by Samuel Jackson. Dobrev would play Lutz's wife. Also cast are James Remar as a mysterious character named Tall Man, and Derek Mears as a fighter named Brutus Jackson. [HeatVision]
'Hitman 2,' Fox's sequel to it's 2007 video game adaptation, has just got its director and writer: Daniel Benmayor and Daniel Casey, respectively. Timothy Olyphant starred in the original as a genetically altered elite assassin, but it's not clear whether he will return for the sequel. Benmayor is a Spanish commercial director with a low-budget horror movie, 'Paintball,' under his belt; Casey wrote the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival grand jury prize winner 'The Death of Michael Smith.' [HeatVision]