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Industry Roundup: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Takes On Two Thrillers

JG-L Doubles Up: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in final negotiations to star in Premium Rush, a "chase thriller" directed by David Koepp, and the actor is also in talks to take on the lead in Looper, a sci-fi thriller which would reteam him with Brick director Rian Johnson. In Rush, Gordon-Levitt would play a New York City bike messenger who picks up an envelope at Columbia University and is subsequently chased by a "dirty cop" ... who apparently wants that envelope really, really badly. In Looper, which is “set during a future in which time travel has been invented” and men are sent back in time to assassinate criminals, Gordon-Levitt would play a man who is sent back in time … to kill himself. Apparently it takes not one but two mindless thrillers to get over being dumped by Zooey Deschanel. [Heat Vision/HR]

Spielberg Bets On Horse: Steven Spielberg’s next directing project will be the drama War Horse, based on a 1982 young-adult novel by Michael Morpurgo which was recently adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford. Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) and Richard Curtis (Pirate Radio) will write the film adaptation. The story follows the “epic tale” of a friendship between a boy and his horse, who face trials and tribulations during World War I. With Scorsese taking on Hugo Cabret and now this, it would appear the unlikely "children's book/legendary director" project is having its moment. [Risky Business/HR]

First Pick: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) is in final talks to direct the origins film X-Men: First Class for 20th Century Fox. Though it wasn’t looking hopeful that there would be an agreement between the two camps after talks broke off last week, discussions reportedly resumed today. The film will look at the friendship between Professor Xavier and Magneto as they open a school for mutants, and promises to feature lots of young mutants using totally inappropriate swear words. [Variety]

Rockwell to Fight the Aliens: Sam Rockwell is reuniting with Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau for another comic-book adaptation in the upcoming Cowboys and Aliens. Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, and Harrison Ford are already signed on for the graphic-novel adaptation, in which cowboys and Indians join forces against the alien enemy. Rockwell will play a bar owner named Doc who joins in the crusade against the aliens. Rockwell's recent work makes him especially qualified for the film, having ventured to space (as an astronaut in Moon) and having appeared in a movie called Gentlemen Broncos. [Heat Vision/HR]

First Pick: Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) is in final talks to direct the origins film X-Men: First Class for 20th Century Fox. Though it wasn’t looking hopeful that there would be an agreement between the two camps after talks broke off last week, discussions reportedly resumed today. The film will look at the friendship between Professor Xavier and Magneto as they open a school for mutants, and promises to feature lots of young mutants using totally inappropriate swear words. [Variety]

White's Weather: Jack White will go out on tour with his band the Dead Weather this summer, playing dates across the U.S. through early August in support of their new album, Sea of Cowards. Let's hope they leave their record player at home when they're out on the road, though. [Pitchfork]

White's Weather: Jack White will go out on tour with his band the Dead Weather this summer, playing dates across the U.S. through early August in support of their new album, Sea of Cowards. Let's hope they leave their record player at home when they're out on the road, though. [Pitchfork]

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images