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If Sean Penn Can’t Do It, Josh Brolin Can

Brolling Along: Josh Brolin will replace Sean Penn in Cartel, the drama Penn left in June when he decided to take a personal break from the movie biz. Brolin will play a man caught up in the world of Mexican drug cartels, seeking to protect his son after the brutal murder of his wife. Anyone read too fast, see Carvel instead of Cartel, and then get excited for a full-length ice-cream-cake adventure? [Variety]

More Abrams: The bidding war sparked by a new J.J. Abrams spy spec script, which went to market last week, appears to favor NBC, of all networks. Co-written by Josh Reims, the untitled series revolves around a married spy couple. It also comes fresh on the heels of Fox picking up an Abrams half-hour comedy, which should show the networks something — don't fight over the Abrams candy, J.J. brought enough for everybody. [HR]

Crazy Like a Foxx: Jamie Foxx has joined Due Date, the Todd Phillips comedy starring Robert Downey Jr., as a father racing home to be with his imminently birth-giving wife, and Zach Galifianakis, the slacker with whom RDJ is forced to hitch a ride. Foxx will play Downey’s character's buddy, who once dated his wife and surreptitiously still keeps in touch with her. We hope working with Galifianakis will be the career break Foxx has so long been looking for. [HR]

Flav HS: Flavor Flav is pulling a Billy Madison and shopping a reality-TV series in which he’ll return to high school, from which he dropped out in tenth grade, to get his diploma. In light of recent VH1 shenanigans, producer Eric Ortner is careful to point out that this is a “message-driven” exploitative reality-TV show. Also, we guess we should have taken Flav seriously when he told us about this last week. [HR]

Ramones Rock: Fox Searchlight is in talks to pick up a Ramones biopic based on the upcoming memoir I Slept With Joey Ramone, written by Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh along with Legs McNeil. The project has been gestating sans studio for a while, so the pickup would make it more of a reality. Rights for the band’s music are also being discussed, making this sound like the best movie since Rock n’ Roll High School. [HR]

Photo: Getty Images