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Industry Roundup: Helen Mirren Teams Up With Russell Brand

The Queen and the Jester: Helen Mirren will star opposite Russell Brand in Arthur, Warner Bros.’ remake of the 1981 comedy. Mirren will play the longtime nanny of the title character (Brand), a boozy playboy who was portrayed by Dudley Moore in the original. Dammit, now we're going to have to actually see this. [HR]

Eisner's Escape: Breck Eisner (Sahara, The Crazies) is in talks to direct New Line’s remake of Escape From New York. The new version of the 1981 original has been in development for several years; Gerard Butler was originally attached to star but has since left due to creative differences. Considering the story — in which a soldier turned criminal has 24 hours to find the president following the crash of Air Force One — seeing anyone but Kiefer Sutherland play this role is just going to be weird. [Variety]

Portman Gets a BFF: Greta Gerwig, in her first role since her starring turn in Greenberg, has been cast in the upcoming untitled Ivan Reitman comedy opposite Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Previously known as Friends With Benefits, the film explores the question of whether two long-term friends can have a sexual relationship without falling in love. Gerwig will play a “brainy friend of Portman’s character who is the first to recognize signs that Kutcher’s character has become smitten with her friend.” We doubt it took much effort on her part; she probably just had to check out his Twitter. [Variety]

Airbender Joins the Club: Paramount plans to convert M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming The Last Airbender into 3-D in time for its July 2 release, making the team behind The Green Hornet look like complete slackers. [Deadline]

Irons in Hood: Max Irons, Jeremy’s son, has been added to the cast of The Girl with the Red Riding Hood, the Amanda Seyfried-Shiloh Fernandez action film directed by Catherine Hardwicke. No word yet on who he’ll be playing, but if he’s a villain, he can call up pops (who voiced Scar in The Lion King) for some tips, which would be sort of cute. [Deadline]

Airbender Joins the Club: Paramount plans to convert M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming The Last Airbender into 3-D in time for its July 2 release, making the team behind The Green Hornet look like complete slackers. [Deadline]

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images