Gus Van Sant Drinks the ‘Kool-Aid’

Gus Van Sant Photo: Getty Images

Van Sant on Acid: Gus Van Sant will direct a film of Tom Wolfe's seminal New Journalism tome The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters driving cross-country in 1964. Lance Black (Big Love) will write. [Variety]

Menaker Out, Andersen in at Random: Editor-in-Chief and literary star Dan Menaker leaves Random House to focus on own writing and teaching. Kate Medina and Jennifer Hershey are promoted internally, and New York's Kurt Andersen joins the house as an editor-at-large. [PW]

Janney, Neuwirth Work 9 to 5: Dolly Parton and Patricia Resnick's 9 to 5 musical will workshop at the end of June. Cast includes Allison Janney and Bebe Neuwirth, who will stage a deadpan-a-thon for your viewing pleasure. [Playbill]

Gaines Joins Pygmalion: Boyd Gaines joins Roundabout Theater revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in October. Gaines's Journey's End co-star Jefferson Mays plays Henry Higgins, so we guess Gaines will play Eliza Doolittle. [Playbill]

Murray Trapped in Ember: Bill Murray signs to star in City of Ember, film based on YA novel by Jeanne DuPrau about a city trapped in darkness. Gil Kenan directs, Caroline Thompson writes for Walden Media. [Variety]

Tim Story Into Losers: Tim Story (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) will direct adaptation of Andy Diggle's comic book series The Losers, about a team of assassins turned on by the U.S. government. Jamie Vanderbilt will write, based on first draft by Peter Berg, who was initially attached to the project. [Variety]

Big Brother Nights on Showtime: CBS will produce Big Brother: After Dark, unedited feeds of video from the Big Brother house from nine to midnight every night. Show will air on ShoToo, Showtime's companion network. "Profanity and nudity will be allowed," says Variety, "but the feed will be interrupted if houseguests say anything slanderous or that violates music copyrights." Violating music copyrights: the final frontier in provocative television. [Variety]

Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris Cruise: Live-music cruise company announces February Caribbean cruise featuring music from Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller. Freelance music writers angling for a free cruise race to get their pitches in first. [Billboard]