A couple of weeks ago Moviefone reported that director Steven Soderbergh was interrupting his plans for retirement by tackling a couple movies. Among them was 'Magic Mike,' a story about a male stripper who befriends a young dancer and shows him how to hustle both on stage and off. The film is based on Channing Tatum's pre-acting life as an exotic dancer, and Tatum is set to star as the older man. Now Deadline reports that Soderbergh has picked 21-year-old newcomer Alex Pettyfer ('I Am Number Four,' 'Beastly') for the role of the younger man, meaning that he will, essentially, play the young Channing Tatum while the real Channing Tatum will play his mentor. Only in Hollywood.
This one should set goosebumps crawling up your arms: Variety reports that Drafthouse Films, Timpson Films and Magnet Releasing are teaming to produce 'The ABCs of Death,' a 26-chapter anthology film in which each episode will have its horror action predicated by a letter of the alphabet -- A for Asphyxiation, B for Butchered, etc. Directors will be assigned a letter at random, and then will have to come up with a chapter during a set period of time -- six months, six weeks and six days after production starts in June. Twenty-five directors have been picked; a 26th will be chosen as part of a global contest. Directors include Jason Eisener ('Hobo With a Shotgun'), Nacho Vigalondo ('TimeCrimes'), Ti West ('The House of the Devil'), Srdjan Spasojevic ('A Serbian Film'), Angela Bettis ('Roman') and Ben Wheatley ('The Kill List').
File this under more young adult novels being made into movies: CBS Films has tapped 'The Wackness' director Jonathan Levine to helm 'Legend,' the first book in a proposed trilogy by Marie Lu that takes place in a dystopian future where North America is split into two warring nations. Naturally, the governments are run by totalitarian leaders, who need to put down a home-grown, Robin Hood-type rebel by hiring a teenage prodigy to hunt him down. The book hasn't even been published yet, but everyone is anticipating the best; Penguin has set a Nov. 29 release date for a heavy print run and Lu has already started working on the second installment. Obviously there's hopes for yet another young-adult hit franchise series. CBS Films expects to release 'Legend' in late 2012 or early 2013. [TheWrap]
There's social media everywhere, slowly but surely taking over the world -- or so it seems. Even the classics aren't immune: Director Gary Ross ('The Hunger Games') and producer Nina Jacobson have teamed up for a pitch by John Whittington that puts a contemporary spin on Cyrano de Bergerac, the famed lover with a big nose who is forced to woo the woman of his dreams on behalf of another suitor who has looks but lacks a way with words. The twist, according to The Hollywood Reporter: The story is told via social media.
Stephenie Meyer's 'The Host' is really taking shape. Moviefone recently reported that Saoirse Ronan would be starring in the sci-fi film that was being adapted by Andrew Niccol from the 'Twilight' maven's novel. Now it turns out that Niccol will be directing as well. In Meyer's book, alien parasites called "Souls" have invaded human bodies and taken over everyone's consciousness, conquering the world. Ronan will play Melanie, one of the remaining "wild" humans who is captured by the aliens and implanted by a Soul who has wandered from world to world taking over bodies. Wanderer, as he's called, attempts to get Melanie to give up the last remaining humans on Earth, but finds that her willpower is hard to crack and eventually co-exists with her, connecting with her old life ... and old boyfriend. It's kind of a futuristic alien-human menage a mind trois. [Deadline]
And, last but not least: Here's more nyuk nyuk nyuk casting for the Farrelly brothers' modern-day take on 'The Three Stooges': Craig Bierko has been cast as Mac, one of the heavies trying to exploit the Stooges. He joins Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Will Sasso as Curly and Sean Hayes as Larry Fine. Production on the Fox film is set to begin this month. [Deadline]