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Today in Auteurs: Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Rob Schneider

Photos: Getty Images; Horrible photo illustration: Us

Universal, Focus Sign Three Amigos: Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu sign on with Universal Pictures and Focus Features for five-film deal including films by the Amigos, plus two others: Rodrigo García and Carlos Cuarón. Carlos’s film, Rudo y Cursi, starring Y Tu Mamá hotties Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal, will shoot first. [Variety]

Rob Schneider, Director: Deuce Bigalow star Rob Schneider’s first directing effort, Big Stan, to be acquired by MGM for holiday-season release. Schneider stars as con man who learns kung fu in prep for a short prison stay and becomes a hero to the inmates. David Carradine and Ultimate Fighting champion Randy Couture co-star. This item is too awesome to make fun of. [Variety]

Mike Leigh, Ethan Hawke in New Group Season: Mike Leigh’s London hit Two Thousand Years comes to the New Group in 2007–2008 season, as well as Kevin Elyot’s Mouth to Mouth and Marc Sherman’s Things We Want, directed by Ethan Hawke. Man, remember when it was easy and fun to make fun of Ethan Hawke? Those days sure are past. [NYT]

Tonys Have Little Effect: Tony-snubbed London transfer A Moon for the Misbegotten has recouped its $2.4 million investment, cementing star Kevin Spacey’s box-office draw. Meanwhile, Journey’s End, recipient of six Tony nominations, announces closing date in June. [Playbill, Playbill]

Bart, Christopher to Star in Young Frankenstein: New Mel Brooks musical to star Roger Bart (The Producers) and Christopher Fitzgerald (Encores! Stairway to Paradise). It’s Fran-ken-STEEN, by the way. [Playbill]

Man Man, Ted Leo Jump in the Pool: Free summer concerts at McCarren Pool in Brooklyn include Man Man, Superchunk, Ted Leo, Dan Deacon, and more. (Sun)burn, hipsters, burn! [Pitchfork]

Butler on an Island: Gerard Butler (300) signs on to Nim’s Island, family adventure about a little girl (Abigail Breslin) stuck on a tropical island who helps protect it from developers. Butler eager to act at regular speed, rather than slow motion. [Variety]

House Gets Super Bowl Slot: Fox schedules House in plum post–Super Bowl time slot, hoping brand-new audience of viewers suffering chest pains from nacho-gorging will appreciate the medical drama of Hugh Laurie and company. [Variety]

Jackson as Villain: Samuel L. Jackson is in negotiations to star as mysterious villain The Octopus in Frank Miller’s Spirit movie. Jackson extremely excited about the challenges of phoning in an eight-armed performance. [HR]

Today in Auteurs: Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Rob Schneider