Leonardo DiCaprio and Jake Gyllenhaal Chase the Same Role

Into whose soulful eyes would you rather stare? Photo: Photos: Getty Images

Clooney and DiCaprio to Head North: Beau Willimon’s Farragut North, about a communications director working for a fast-rising presidential candidate, must be one hell of a play. Not only is it opening on Broadway next year with Mike Nichols directing Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead, but Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to play the same role in a forthcoming film version, with George Clooney in talks to direct. When Nichols and Gyllenhaal are your second-stringers, you’re doing pretty well. [Variety]

Will Smith Rules Empire: Will Smith stars in Columbia’s Empire, directed by Michael Mann from a script by Gladiator’s John Logan. Little is known about the project other than that Will Smith plays a global media mogul … who saves the world from undead alien robot Miami drug dealers! [Variety]

Who Is Chris Pine?: And why is he getting the best roles in town? Virtual unknown Chris Pine is in talks with J.J. Abrams for the role of Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek as well as the lead opposite George Clooney in Joe Carnahan’s film of James Ellroy’s White Jazz. Schedules of both pics overlap, which may force the mysterious Pine to choose between them. In other news, 93 percent of actors are unemployed. [HR]

Madonna's New Record Deal: Madonna is close to leaving Warner Bros. for a $120 mil deal with Live Nation Inc., a concert-promotion firm diversifying into other areas of the music business, which would distribute three of the pop star's albums and promote her upcoming tours. In striking a deal with Live Nation, Madonna would solidify her position as the anti-Radiohead. [Billboard]

Kudrow Books Hotel: Lisa Kudrow joins Don Cheadle and Emma Roberts in Hotel for Dogs, based on Lois Duncan’s 1971 children’s book about orphaned teenagers who secretly house stray dogs. [Backstage]