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David Cronenberg Set to Do Creepy Things to Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington

Cruise Control: Tom Cruise is in negotiations to join The Matarese Circle, already starring Denzel Washington; the film is an adaptation of a Robert Ludlum thriller and will be directed by David Cronenberg. Cruise and Washington would play two bitter old spies who have spent decades trying to kill each other but must put aside their differences to jointly battle the Matarese, the shady power behind an international conspiracy. We really hope we get to see either Tom Cruise's or Denzel Washington's head explode. [Variety]

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: John Malkovich has signed on as the villainous Southern plantation owner Turnbull in Warner Bros.' post–Civil War flick Jonah Hex. Josh Brolin is already onboard as Hex, an ex-Union soldier and current bounty hunter, whom Turnbull blames for the death of his son. Yesterday we tried to start a Brolin-Hopkins rumor, and this morning we would like to rescind it; a Brolin-Malkovich connection clearly makes much more sense. [Variety]

Alphabet News: ABC has given the go-ahead to three pilots featuring familiar television names: Cougar Town, starring Courteney Cox as a fortysomething mom with a 17-year-old son; a Kelsey Grammer comedy centered around a fired Wall Street type reconnecting with his family; and a Cedric the Entertainer comedy about reserve LAPD police. The news further delays our long-standing desire for a Cox-Grammer-Entertainer half-hour comedy dream team. [Variety]

Freddy's Back, Too: First-time director Samuel Bayer has been brought on board for New Line’s remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, which could begin shooting as early as this spring. Producers point to Bayer’s track record with music videos for giving him a crack at the reboot of the horror classic, including the famous clip for Blind Melon’s “No Rain.” Which makes sense — as we've all realized by now, that bumblebee girl is scary as shit. [HR]

Finding Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, the sort-of remake of the Jules Verne novel being fast-tracked by Disney to be McG’s first post-Terminator project, has a rewriter: Justin Marks, who’s written scripts for the upcoming He-Man, Voltron, and Street Fighter movies, will take a crack at Bill Marsilii’s original. The movie is the origin story of Nemo and his warship, the Nautilus. Wow, warship — that’s one we just do not hear often enough. [Variety]

Poked to Death: Agatha Christie’s classic Ten Little Indians is being remade by Dimension Films as a high-school thriller based around a social-networking site. According to screenwriter T.S. Faull, “Social networking is alluring, but one always takes a risk when engaging on these sites.” The risk of being murdered in a clever, ultraspecific manner as atonement for our past sins? Ah, whatever, we’re in. [Variety]

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