Denzel Washington Rides the Subway, Just Like You

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Denzel Counts 1, 2, 3: Columbia Pictures, ever a maverick risk taker among studios, rolls the dice on the pairing of Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott on an action movie, specifically a remake of the 1974 thriller The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3. Also attached is edgy scribe David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Spider-Man), making this one of the most daring projects to emerge from Hollywood in decades. [Variety]

Kingsley Reads Will: Ben Kingsley’s production company nabs the rights to Christopher Rush’s novel Will, about William Shakespeare’s imagined deathbed meeting with his lawyer to settle his estate. Oh, we get it — Will! The double meaning! The wordplay! It’s positively Shakespearian! [HR]

Roth Explores Origins: Eli Roth, the exploiteur behind the Hostel film franchise, will write and direct an episode of Heroes: Origins, the spinoff to the hit NBC drama Heroes. In related news, NBC Standards and Practices is currently hiring additional personnel. [HR]

Bateman Gets to Play: Jason Bateman joins Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in Universal’s adaptation of the British miniseries State of Play. [Variety]

Jackson and Mac Are Soul Men: Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac star in Soul Men, a comedy about two estranged soul singers on a reunion tour, from the writing team behind Man of the House and Intolerable Cruelty. They’re kidding, right? They must be kidding. They have to be kidding. [Variety]

Dre to Detox from Hip-Hop: Dr. Dre announces that his forthcoming 2008 release, Detox, will be his final album. While this news may dismay Dre’s fans, it’s worth noting that the good doctor waited until Jay-Z and 50 Cent had rendered hip-hop retirement vows utterly meaningless before making this statement. [Billboard]