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Gore Verbinski Tired of Piracy

Retired Pirate: While Pirates of the Caribbean 4 is still tentatively scheduled for 2010, Gore Verbinski, who directed the previous three installments, is no longer involved. Instead, his next directing project will most likely be video-game adaptation Bioshock; also, his production company, Blind Wink, is the one behind the new Clue movie. The split sounds amicable: said Verbinski, “I am eternally grateful to Jerry [Bruckheimer], Johnny [Depp] and the rest of the creative and production team.” And why wouldn’t he be, considering the fact he can now send his kids to college on horses made of thousand-dollar bills. [Variety]

Chan in Battle: Jackie Chan has announced the details of his next project, Big Soldier, which he wrote and will produce and star in. The action flick, which has been shooting in China’s Yunnan province and Beijing, will take place in the Warring States Period (we all remember our early Chinese history, yeah?), with Chan playing the titular soldier and Chinese actor Lee Hom as his second-in-command. Presumably some shit goes down. [Variety]

Old Love: Borat and Religulous director Larry Charles is in final talks to direct Winter’s Discontent. The plot follows a sexually frustrated widower who moves into a retirement community with his best pal, "looking to get laid." This sounds awesome. [Variety]

Academy Is in Session: Race to Witch Mountain’s Mark Bomback will adapt Dark Horse Comics’ Umbrella Academy for the big screen. The comic-book series — about a split-up band of superheroes who reunite to carry out the world-saving instructions of their adoptive father, an alien disguised as an entrepreneur, after his death — was written by My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way. See an excerpt! [Variety]

Who?: Alex O’Loughlin, formerly of vampire detective show Moonlight, will play the lead opposite Jennifer Lopez in romantic comedy The Back-Up Plan. The plot concerns a single woman who turns to artificial insemination, only to meet the man of her dreams the day her pregnancy results come back positive. O’Loughlin is also starring opposite Kate Beckinsale in Whiteout. Isn’t it weird when studios decide some random dude is gonna be a big star? [HR]

On the Run: A&E has announced a new program, The Fugitive Chronicles, a docu-drama that will tell the biggest fugitive stories of the last twenty years from the point of view of both parties involved in the chase. Each episode will feature a high-level cinematic reconstruction of the events that will apparently make those America’s Most Wanted dramatizations look even crappier than they already do. [HR]

Photo: Getty Images