CATEGORIES Movie NewsGood morning from Hollywood. Here's what happened last night while you were dreaming of this weekend's new releases. Alexander Skarsgard will briefly trade in his vampire terrorism for eco-terrorism in Brit Marling's thriller 'The East.' Old exorcists don't die, they segue into sequels: Hot young screenwriter Damien Chazelle (he's 25) will write the screenplay for a second 'The Last Exorcism.' The Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle story will finally be made into a movie, for HBO, with Eric Stonestreet starring. And much more ... Read on.
Alexander Skarsgard has another weighty role he can sink his teeth into: The star of TV's 'True Blood' is in talks to join Brit Marling in 'The East,' about a female agent who infiltrates an eco-terrorist group. Skarsgard would play the leader of the group who seeks revenge against unethical corporations. Marling, who has garnered glowing reviews for her 'Another Earth' (which she wrote and stars in) co-wrote the film with Zat Batmanglij, who is directing. Skarsgard plays villains in his next two outings: in Rod Lurie's 'Straw Dogs' remake, which opens Sept. 16, and Lars von Trier's 'Melancholia.' Shooting is scheduled to begin in October and November in Nashville. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Last summer's 'The Last Exorcism' apparently won't be the last after all. Though not a gigantic hit, the low-budget film made enough money to cause the producers to move ahead with a sequel -- with the financial blessings of Studio Canal (who was also behind the first film). Damien Chazelle, a rising Hollywood screenwriter (his 'Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,' which he also directed, premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, he wrote 'The Claim,' which was picked up last October, and just sold a thriller screenplay, 'Grand Piano') has been taped to write the screenplay. The original 'Last Exorcism' was a found footage story about a troubled evangelical minister who agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew; no word on the plot for the sequel. [THR]
The Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle story will finally be made into a movie ... but not for the big screen, where it belongs, but for HBO. And 'Modern Family's' Eric Stonestreet will play the rotund comedian. For those of you who don't know the sad tale of Arbuckle, here's a brief rundown: Arbuckle was a silent film actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter who was incredibly popular during the first two decades of the cinema. But during a wild party at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco during the Labor Day weekend in 1921, one of the female guests, a bit player named Virginia Rappe, became ill and died a few days later. Arbuckle was falsely accused of raping her and, though he was acquitted of the crime, the scandal destroyed his career. The HBO film is titled 'The Day the Laughter Stopped' and will be directed by Barry Levinson. [The Playlist]
'Fast Five' director Justin Lin has signed a two-year production deal with Universal Pictures, which will now be the home of his Barnstorm Pictures. The shingle will develop and produce mainstream tentpole films as well as smaller-budgeted films to give up-and-comers a chance. Lin is set to direct two high-profile projects, another 'Terminator' movie and the Manga-based 'Lone Wolf and Cub.' [TheWrap]
Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville will star as "a pair of battling brothers who attempt to honor their ailing father by taking a troop of boys on a last ditch camping trip that goes wildly wrong" in an untitled comedy from Todd Rohal, who wrote and will direct. The film, which begins shooting this week, co-stars Rob Riggle, Maura Tierney and Patrice O'Neal. [SlashFilm]
Cody Horn, daughter of former Warner Bros. president/COO Alan Horn, has been cast as the female lead in Steven Soderbergh's 'Magic Mike,' a drama about a male stripper (Channing Tatum) who befriends a young dancer (Alex Pettyfer) and shows him how to hustle both on stage and off. Horn will play the sister of Pettyfer who also winds up in a romance with the titular Magic Mike (Tatum). Horn has had a recurring role on TV's 'Rescue Me.' [CinemaBlend]
And, last but not least, Michael Bay's 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' has been digitally transformed into 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience,' and will hit IMAX theaters for a new two-week run Aug. 26-Sept. 8. The film has grossed $348.5 million at the domestic box office and $747 billion overseas.