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Industry Roundup: Anthony Hopkins to Make Life Difficult for Liam Hemsworth

Nights Time: Anthony Hopkins is in final negotiations to play the villain in Arabian Nights, an upcoming adventure flick directed by Chuck Russell. Written by Russell and Barry P. Ambrose, the film follows a young commander (Liam Hemsworth) who joins forces with the fun trio of Sinbad, Ali Baba, and the Genie from the magic lamp to rescue queen Scheherazade. Hopkins would play Pharotu, an evil sorcerer who killed Sinbad’s beloved, a mermaid, and is "looking to amass more magic for himself." Since Hemsworth clearly has a penchant for on-set romances, you just know Miley isn't going to let Hems and Hop get any alone time. [Heat Vision/HR]

Gun Show: Lionsgate will distribute Machine Gun Preacher, a “fact-based drama” directed by Marc Forster. Gerard Butler will play Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker who, after finding God, targets rebel forces kidnapping children in Sudan and Northern Uganda. Michelle Monaghan will play Childers' wife, Lynn. Michael Shannon is also in talks to play a close friend of Childers who “stayed with his wife” while he was off in Africa. We hope for Shannon’s sake “stayed” doesn’t mean what we think it might mean, because we have a hunch Gerard Butler is not a guy you want to cross like that. [Deadline]

Great Scott: R&B singers Maxwell and Jill Scott will be heading out on a twenty-show tour starting May 21. Maxwell will close the show every night, but he is hoping the two will collaborate during the run. As Maxwell puts it: "I think it would be great to create something special like that because she's just so good, you know? ... I'm sure we'll be hanging out and, y'know, she'll probably teach me what to do on stage, vocally. I could probably benefit from her wisdom." Aww. [Billboard]

One, Two, Three: Doug Liman has officially signed on to direct The Three Musketeers, with shooting set to begin this fall. Lionel Wigram will be producing, and the film will reportedly be marked by the same “modern period style … he brought to Sherlock Holmes.” Which means we're in store for lots of homoerotic banter between the musketeers while a pretty love interest pouts in a corset! [Deadline]

Chase Is On
: Deadline is reporting that NBC will give a series pickup to Jerry Bruckheimer’s procedural drama Chase, created by Jennifer Johnson, tomorrow. Assuming it gets the series order, it will be the sixteenth consecutive pilot directed by David Nutter to get picked up, a distinction which has earned him the nickname “the pilot whisperer.” We bet that growing up, Nutter didn't think he would one day have a widely used nickname that didn't involve his last name. [Deadline]

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images