Tom Hanks Prepares to Grow That ‘Da Vinci’ Mullet Again

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Hanks and Howard Break More Codes: Columbia beats the WGA strike, announces a February start date for their Da Vinci Code sequel Angels and Demons. With Tom Hanks and Ron Howard returning as star and director, and with a few more days to go before the strike deadline, the studio hopes to squeeze in a quick Splash sequel as well. [Variety]

Mann, De Niro Turn On Machine: Michael Mann reunites with his Heat star Robert De Niro for the thriller Frankie Machine, based on Don Winslow’s novel about a retired hit man forced to resume his life of crime after he’s set up by other mobsters. De Niro not only can but in fact will play this role in his sleep. [Variety]

Foxx Investigates Zebra Murders: Jamie Foxx signs on to star in a DreamWorks historical mystery based on the memoir The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights, about two black detectives who investigate a series of racially motivated murders that occurred in San Francisco in 1973 and ’74. Pic will offer Foxx the opportunity to simultaneously indulge in his two favorite pursuits: trying for a second Oscar and grimacing behind sunglasses. [HR]

Reuhl to Occupy New Albee Play: Mercedes Reuhl stars in the Signature Theatre Company’s world-premiere production of Edward Albee’s play Occupant, about the acclaimed sculptor Louise Nevelson. Reuhl is so good with Albee’s work that she can open beer cans using only his belligerent wordplay, so this should be one to watch. [Playbill]

Caviezel vs. Nature: Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan will star in Long Weekend, a suspense thriller about a couple on a camping trip who abuse the local wildlife until the wildlife fights back. Do you think Caviezel gets killed by a pack of squirrels? ’Cause that would totally be worth $11 plus the service charge. [HR]

Stars Agree That Movies Rock: Carrie Underwood, Beyoncé, Elton John, Fergie, Mary J. Blige, and Jennifer Hudson will perform on the December CBS broadcast of the first ever “Movies Rock” concert, in which the stars will perform tunes from classic movies to benefit the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Underwood is slated to perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which she will angrily insist in a number of interviews is a country song. [Billboard]