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Hoffman Will Take a Gamble on Luck

Dustin Gets Luck-y: Dustin Hoffman will be taking a shot at the small screen. The Oscar-winning actor will star in Michael Mann and David Milch’s HBO horse-racing drama pilot Luck. Hoffman will play an “intelligent, intuitive tough man who has always been involved with gambling” who is released after a four-year stint in prison, and devises a “complex plan” involving the track. Hoffman is returning to TV after decades in film — or, as we like to call it, “pulling a Glenn Close.” [HR]

Momma Returns: Martin Lawrence will star in a third Big Momma’s House film, which will co-star Brandon T. Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief). John Whitesell, who directed the first two films, will return for the third, in which FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) and his 17-year-old nephew Trent (Jackson) go undercover at an all-girls performing-arts school after Trent witnesses a murder. Insiders say that the filmmakers do not want the film to be called Big Momma’s House 3, presumably to trick people into seeing it. [Variety]

Brand Identity: Jason Winer, who recently won a DGA Award for his work directing Modern Family this season, will direct Arthur, a remake of the 1981 comedy, starring Russell Brand in a role originally played by Dudley Moore. Brand will be playing a "boozy playboy" who is in love with a working-class woman, but could inherit a fortune if he marries an heiress instead. Moore was nominated for an Oscar for the role; if Winer can re-create that same outcome for Brand, he is truly a miracle worker. [HR]

McPilot: American Idol alum Katharine McPhee has landed the lead role in the NBC comedy pilot The Pink House. She’ll play Emily, a “down-to-earth Midwest girl” who lives in an L.A. apartment near two guys who have just moved to town. “Her shape is perfectly normal and healthy but puts Emily in a line-up of way-too-thin cliche California beach bunnies,” The Hollywood Reporter says, with no other context, which makes us think Simon Cowell may have started writing for the Reporter. [HR]

Anything But Ordinary: Julie Benz, whose character Rita was recently killed off of Dexter, will join the ABC drama pilot No Ordinary Family, opposite The Shield’s Michael Chiklis, in which they are part of a family that “suddenly finds themselves with new abilities," such as super speed. Having been married to a serial killer for four years, this actually seems like kind of a normal family for her. [HR]

Escort Takes Flight
: DreamWorks has picked up Justin Adler’s script The Escort, to be produced by Tom McNulty, focusing on an “irresponsible airline steward” who must escort a 14-year-old to Boston when the plane is grounded for engine trouble. Have to be honest, not the kind of escort we were expecting when we first glanced at the title! [Variety]

Photo: Max Nash/AFP