Steven Spielberg Takes Up Piracy

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Crichton Goes On: Steven Spielberg will adapt Michael Crichton's posthumous adventure novel Pirate Latitudes, which hits bookstores on November 24. Set off the coast of Jamaica in 1665, it tells the story of a raid on a Spanish galleon filled with treasure in Port Royal. Spielberg and Crichton go way back, of course, so expect the director to pay tribute to his old friend with some rasta velociraptors. [USAT]

Schwartz Does Comedy: Gossip Girl’s Josh Schwartz is co-writing a multi-camera comedy for CBS, along with Chuck producer Matt Miller. The untitled project will revolve around a newly married twentysomething couple, picking up right after their honeymoon, and was partially inspired by Schwartz's and Miller's recent weddings (not to each other). But how long can Josh possibly hold off before people start gleefully betraying each other and glamorously OD'ing? [HR]

Town Expanding: Speaking of Gossip Girl, Blake Lively has joined the cast of the Ben Affleck–directed crime flick This Town. Chris Cooper is in talks to join as well, playing the father of Affleck's career-criminal character. Lively will play the sister of Jeremy Renner's character, who is part of Affleck's crew, as well as Affleck's troubled ex-girlfriend. Not to cast doubt on the abilities of Miss Lively, but isn't she a little out of her league alongside Cooper, Renner, Jon Hamm (playing an FBI agent), and, honestly, even Affleck? [HR]

Indie Thrills: Hayden Christensen has joined the indie thriller Vanishing on Seventh Street, and John Leguizamo and Thandie Newton are in talks to do the same. The flick revolves around a once-thriving city where shadowy forms are causing residents to disappear; Newton would play a desperate nurse, Leguizamo a subway operator, and Christensen a reporter, only one that tells the truth this time. [HR]

Swinging Around: Martin “original Jim/Tim from The Office” Freeman and Mandy “Mrs. Ryan Adams” Moore are set to star as a husband and wife in the romantic comedy Swinging With the Finkels. Jonathan Silverman and Melissa George are also in the film, as another married couple, as is Jerry Stiller, most likely as someone who yells about things. No word on whether the swinging in the title refers to what one would assume it would refer to or if the Finkels just love tire swings. [HR]

Heathers-Off: Fox is eyeing a TV-series remake of 1989 mass-murder comedy Heathers, to be scripted by Mark Rizzo and exec-produced by Sex and the City’s Jenny Bicks. There’s no word on what exactly will be updated, but the basic elements and characters will be there. Loyal readers of Vulture’s the Industry may recall hearing about a musical version of Heathers starring Kristen Bell. We’re not sure where that’s at in development, but we can only assume that the race is now on for one of the two Heathers remakes to fake the other’s suicide. [Variety]