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Aaron Eckhart to Save Los Angeles From Aliens

L.A. Story: Aaron Eckhart has landed his first lead action role, in Jonathan Liebesman's Battle: Los Angeles, a sci-fi flick about a Marine platoon battling an alien invasion in the streets of L.A. Eckhart will play the platoon leader. Originally set to be a Los Angeles–based Cloverfield, Liebesman now says he wants it to be more like "Independence Day meets Black Hawk Down." Poor Los Angeles. Will it ever get catastrophe porn it can call its own? [HR]

Tarantino Gets His Spaghetti: Quentin Tarantino has tapped legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone to score his Nazi-killing adventure, Inglourious Basterds. Morricone says that he may not be able to score the entire movie, as Tarantino is rushing to get it done, but he couldn't pass up a chance to finally be involved in a film with his favorite actor, B.J. Novak. [Variety]

NBC Gets With the Dance Program: Lord of the Tight Pants Michael Flatley will host a new dance show on NBC. Modest VP of alternative programming, Craig Plestis, says the untitled show "makes every other dance show seem like amateur hour." The premise brings together professional dancers from eight different counties who will exhibit different dance styles. Flatley will Riverdance on the faces of the losers. [HR]

Bean Town Brian: Brian Dennehy has come on board to star alongside Donnie Wahlberg on TNT's drama pilot Bunker Hill. The crime show will deal with a Boston cop (Wahlberg) patrolling the dangerous and corrupt streets he grew up on. Dennehy will play a former mob boss and current florist, who threatens his enemies with thorny rose stems. [HR]

Guillermo's Wooden Boy: Guillermo del Toro has teamed up with the Jim Henson Co. to develop a creepy, stop-motion Pinocchio movie. Del Toro, who will produce, is currently working on the screenplay with Gris Grimly, illustrator of a 2002 version of Pinocchio and the director of the upcoming version. Pinocchio may be a kid's story, but don't expect a kid movie. Del Toro says the script is "perverse and spooky [with a] semi-necrophilia vibe." It's unclear where the necrophilia part comes in, but we'll let you see it and you can tell us later. [Variety]

Xander Returns: Writing team Michael Ferris and John Brancato are in early talks to bring Vin Diesel back to the xXx franchise with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. The script from the two writers, whose credits include Terminator Salvation and Terminator 3, would reunite Diesel with the franchise, which brought in Ice Cube for its sequel. [Variety]

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