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Robert De Niro Opens His Little Red Checkbook for Mao Movie

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini (De Niro); Getty Images (jacket)

De Niro Plans Mao Pic: Robert De Niro and Tribeca Films will produce a historical epic about the rise of Mao Zedong in China, as told by Western journalist Roy Rowan. Jon Marans and Yuri Sivo will adapt Rowan's book Chasing the Dragon for Universal. Despite our misleading photo illustration, no sign yet that De Niro will play the similarly fiery Chinese leader. [Variety]

Spacek, Woodard on CBS: CBS green-lights television movie Pictures of Hollis Woods, about a 12-year-old orphan and the women who care for her, including Sissy Spacek and Alfre Woodard. We're highlighting this otherwise marginal news because we'd like someone to cast Spacek and Woodard in a real movie, please. [HR]

Seth Green Joins Old Dogs: Seth Green joins the cast of Disney's Robin WilliamsJohn Travolta comedy Old Dogs, from Wild Hogs director Walt Becker. We never thought we'd have to say this, but, Seth Green, couldn't you do better? [HR]

Rubenfeld Sequel Sells: The Death Instinct, Jed Rubenfeld's sequel to The Interpretation of Murder, sells to Geoff Kloske at Riverhead, in a "significant" deal — i.e. more than $250,000 but presumably less than the $800,000 Henry Holt reportedly paid for the first book, a historical mystery starring Sigmund Freud ("the original MILF hunter," hat-tip to the Wizznutzz), which sold well in the U.K. but poorly in the U.S. [Publishers Marketplace]

Glass-Hampton Appomattox Opera Announced: San Francisco Opera announces world premiere of Philip Glass's opera Appomattox. Christopher Hampton writes the book. Finally, the story of the Civil War will be told with endless arpeggios! [NYT]