Thursday, August 11, 2011

Early Edition: 'World War Z,' 'Lone Ranger' Face Off; Sony Sets Up 'Terrorist Search Engine'; 'Father of Invention' Arrives

There's going to be a clash of the acting titans on Dec. 21, 2012, pitting Brad Pitt against Johnny Depp. That's the day that Paramount has dated its Pitt-starring 'World War Z' post-apocalyptic zombie film; it also happens to be the same day that Disney has scheduled 'The Lone Ranger,' starring Depp and Armie Hammer. Also on that day: Fox's Tobey Maguire drama 'Life of Pi.' And -- get this -- that's only a week after the release of Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' which opens Dec. 14. This makes it quite a holiday present for moviegoers who -- if past seasons serve as an example -- will support all four films. Merry Christmas, 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter] The war against terrorism is such a fertile ground for stories that we're surprised there haven't been more tales about the heroic men and women who track down, capture and prosecute those who want to take down our world with violence. One interesting project -- reported in Deadline -- sounds interesting, however: 'The Terrorist Search Engine,' about a baby-faced counter-terrorism expert witness named Evan Kohlmann (called "the Doogie Howser of terrorism"), who culled through videos, messages and websites around the world to unearth terror threats. The project, set up at Sony for producer Scott Rudin -- with Jesse Eisenberg possibly attached to star -- has been given to Oren Moverman ('The Messenger,' the upcoming cop drama 'Rampart') to adapt from the New York Magazine article about Kohlmann. We'll keep you posted on this one. Anchor Bay Films has picked up the comedy 'Father of Invention' -- which has languished since it debuted as an official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film stars Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham and Virginia Madsen, and tells the story of Robert Axle, an eccentric inventor turned ego maniacal infomercial guru who loses it all when one of his inventions maims thousands of customers. After eight years in a maximum security prison, Axle is ready to redeem his name and rebuild his billion dollar empire. But first, he must convince his estranged 22-year old daughter to let him live with her and her quirky, over-protective roommates. [Deadline]

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