CATEGORIES Movies
One of the most buzzworthy projects of the year -- the American adaptation of the blockbuster Swedish film 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' -- may just have nabbed its lead. According to TheWrap, Daniel Craig is close to taking the star role in the David Fincher-directed crime thriller based on the book by the late Swedish novelist and journalist Stieg Larsson (Larsson's 'Millennium Trilogy,' which includes 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' and 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest' has sold over 25 million copies around the world). While Brad Pitt was reportedly interested in the lead, Craig is close to a final deal. Several actresses have expressed a desire to play the female lead -- the girl with the dragon tattoo, a computer hacker recruited by a journalist (Craig) to find a woman who has been missing for 40 years -- including Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman. The movie will begin shooting in October for a December 2011 release. One of the most buzzworthy projects of the year -- the American adaptation of the blockbuster Swedish film 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' -- may just have nabbed its lead. According to TheWrap, Daniel Craig is close to taking the star role in the David Fincher-directed crime thriller based on the book by the late Swedish novelist and journalist Stieg Larsson (Larsson's 'Millennium Trilogy,' which includes 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' and 'The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest' has sold over 25 million copies around the world). While Brad Pitt was reportedly interested in the lead, Craig is close to a final deal. Several actresses have expressed a desire to play the female lead -- the girl with the dragon tattoo, a computer hacker recruited by a journalist (Craig) to find a woman who has been missing for 40 years -- including Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman. The movie will begin shooting in October for a December 2011 release.

Hollywood's motto has always been that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- especially when that imitation means money. With Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland breaching the $1 billion mark worldwide, every studio worth its salt wants to make new 3D versions of fairy tales (Disney itself is already planning a reimagining of 'Cinderella'). The latest: Relativity Media has acquired 'The Brothers Grimm: Snow White,' an edgy 3D re-imagining of the German folk tale written by Melisa Wallack ('The Dallas Buyer's Club,' 'Bill'), according to Deadline Hollywood. One of the producers of the project is Brett Ratner, who told Deadline Hollywood: "This is not your grandfather's Snow White. Melisa went back to the 500-year-old folk tale and put in some of the things that were missing from Walt Disney's film. His dwarves were miners, and here they are robbers. There is also a dragon that was in the original folk tale. Walt made one of the great movies of all time, but ours is edgy and there is more comedy. The original, made for its time, was soft compared to what we're going to do."

On the comic book front: Neal McDonough is in talks to join the cast of Marvel's 'The First Avenger: Captain America' as 'Dum Dum' Dugan, a member of the Howling Commandos, an elite squad of soldiers that battle the Nazis alongside Captain America during World War II, according to Variety. Joe Johnston is directing the Paramount film, which stars Chris Evans as Captain America and Hugo Weaving as the villain Red Skull. The studio has set a July 22, 2011 release date for the actioner. ... Jeremy Renner ('The Hurt Locker) is in negotiations to join Marvel's 'Avengers' as the bow-and-arrow-carrying hero Hawkeye, one of the later members of the superhero fighting team, according to HeatVision. The film, being directed by Joss Whedon, already includes Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Don Cheadle as War Machine.

What's next for James Cameron (after 'Battle Angel,' that is)? According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, the rumors that it will be an 'Avatar' sequel just might prove correct. Cameron told the eighth annual All Things Digital conference in the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Wednesday, that his next movie, which will come down the pike in three to four years, could also be "some other big film" that uses 3D. He wants to take 3D technology to its limit with whatever project is next, he said.

British actor James D'Arcy has taken the lead in 'W.E.,' Madonna's second directorial effort, a romance that juxtaposes the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson -- that led to Edward's abdication of the throne to marry the American divorcee in 1936 -- against the romantic travails of a modern couple. Madonna, who directed 'Filth and Wisdom' in 2008, wrote the screenplay with Alek Keshishian, who directed the singer in 1991's "Madonna: Truth or Dare." Andrea Riseborough plays Simpson while Abbie Cornish and Oscar Isaac play the modern couple. The film begins shooting in England in July. [Variety]