Director X: It looks like Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) will take Fox's offer and direct X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2. The deal "is close enough that discussion has turned to shooting the sound stage portions of the film in New York so the filmmaker and Hugh Jackman don't have to inconvenience their families." Shooting will probably start in March, first in New York, then in Japan. [Deadline]
The Virgin World: Billionaire Richard Branson's new production company is in negotiations to pick up the script for Columbus, a "300-style" treatment of Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage to America. Part of the reason they signed on was because McG was willing to lend his name to the project as a producer. [Deadline]
Eternal Youths: Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki will join Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Olivia Wilde on the cast of Gattaca director Andrew Niccol's new sci-fi project I'm.Mortal. It's "set in the not-too-distant future where the aging gene has been switched off," and rich people live forever while the masses use "time" as currency to buy things. Galecki "will portray Timberlake's best friend, a screw-up of a father with a drinking problem who wastes all of his family's excess time." [HR]
The March of the Character Actors: James Tupper (Men in Trees) and Clark Gregg (Iron Man, The New Adventures of Old Christine) will round out the supporting cast of Mr. Popper's Penguins, a comedy starring Jim Carrey and Carla Gugino about "a high-powered businessman (Carrey) who inherits six penguins that completely disrupt his life and swanky New York apartment." Tupper will play the "eco-fanatic boyfriend of Popper’s ex-wife Amanda (Gugino)" and Gregg will play "a no-nonsense guy from the New York Zoo."