Ricky Gervais to Play a Fat, Sweaty Loser (His Words, Not Ours!)

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Flanimal Kingdom: Ricky Gervais’s children's book series Flanimals — about a world of “creatures so ugly and misshapen they become cute and endearing” (?) — is getting the big-screen treatment. Gervais will voice the lead character, a short, fat, sweaty loser on some kind of life-altering mission. So what did Ricky have to say about taking on this role? "It will be great to play a short, fat, sweaty loser for a change." Classic. [Variety]

Big's Back: Breathe easy, world — Chris Noth has signed on for Sex and the City 2, and has apparently squeezed a seven-figure check out of the whole deal. That’s a good thing, seeing as the movie already has a release date for next year, and all. So he’ll be a zombie Mr. Big, then? Because he, like, totally — SPOILER ALERT — got comically crushed to death by a pile of falling bricks at the end of the first one. [Variety]

No, Thank You: MTV announced a whole lot of stuff at its up-front presentation yesterday, most notably the official word that Lauren Conrad is not coming back to The Hills. Also, a bunch of new shows: The Alexa Chung Show, a talk show with some central Twitter element; DJ and the Fro, a Beavis and Butt-head–style (this will not be anything like Beavis and Butt-head) animated show; Disaster Date, a hidden camera ... yeah, you get it; and The Stylist, a reality competition pitting junior assistants and celebrity stylists against each other. That last one makes our Top Cable Guy pitch sound like the fucking Wire. [Variety]

Flop the Nuts: Steve Schirripa will host poker show Face the Ace for NBC. The concept is that a contestant picked via the Internet goes head-to-head against a pro, without prior knowledge of who it is, in no-limit hold ‘em. If he wins, he can take his money and go home, or put his money up against another random pro; if he wins again, he can go up against a third, most powerful pro, for a million-dollar payoff. Sounds kind of cool, right? And just in case you maybe feel like it now, here’s the final hand from Rounders. [Variety]

Art Thieves: Phoenix Pictures — currently in postproduction on Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island — will adapt Seymour Reit’s book The Day They Stole the Mona Lisa. The crime in question occurred in 1911; the painting was missing from the Louvre for two years before a carpenter in Florence surfaced with it. The movie will focus on the thief that boosted the Mona Lisa, who apparently — wait for it — got her while she wasn’t looking. [Variety]