the industry

Mel Brooks Assembles Monster Cast for ‘Young Frankenstein’

Mel BrooksPhoto: Getty Images

Frankenstein Announces Cast: Mel Brooks’s presumed monster Broadway hit, Young Frankenstein, announces pretty great cast: Shuler Hensley as the Monster, Roger Bart as Frederick Frankenstein, Megan Mullally as fiancée Elizabeth, Sutton Foster as Inga, and Christopher Fitzgerald as Igor. After a tryout run in Seattle, Susan Stroman–directed show will open on Broadway in November. [Variety]

Nathan Lane Gets Presidential: Nathan Lane will play the President in David Mamet’s political comedy, November, due to open on Broadway in, confusingly, December. [Playbill]

Washington Off Grey’s: Actor Isaiah Washington, whose homophobic slur of a co-star gave Grey’s Anatomy plenty of unwanted publicity this year, will not have his contract renewed by the show. Let that be a lesson to everyone in the notoriously anti-gay acting community. [HR]

Connery Passes on Indy 4: After a long flirtation, Sean Connery declines to come out of retirement to reprise his role as Harrison Ford’s father in Indiana Jones 4. In an aside, producers announce casting of John Hurt, who’s six times the actor Connery ever was. [Variety]

Simpson is Major: Jessica Simpson will star in groaningly-titled Major Movie Star, about an ingénue who mistakenly enlists in the Marines and has to go through boot camp. The joke, you see, is that she is a blonde … and stupid! [Variety]

Leoni Sees Ghost: Tea Leoni joins cast of DreamWorks’s Ghost Town, romantic comedy about a misanthropic dentist (Ricky Gervais) who briefly dies during a colonoscopy and afterward can see ghosts. Recently dead Greg Kinnear asks the dentist for his help breaking up the oncoming marriage of his widow (Leoni). If we know our rom-com architecture, this means that at some point, Tea Leoni will have to make out with Ricky Gervais. Nice. [Variety]

Campbell Unstoppable: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) signs to direct 20th Century Fox’s Unstoppable, presumably pitched as Speed on a train: A train full of toxic chemicals is out of control, and a conductor must race on an adjacent track to avoid a deadly derailment. Variety deadpans, “Fox has the project on a fast track.” [Variety]

U2 Writing Songs with Lanois, Eno: U2 is reportedly in Morocco, collaborating on a bunch of new songs with longtime producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Well, Bono is in Germany at the G8, but when he’s not saving the world and whatnot, he’ll be in Morocco. Luckily, the rest of U2 is totally fine with starving Africans. [Billboard]

Andersen Re-signs with Random: Kurt Andersen signs two-book deal, again with Random House, for a novel and a book of nonfiction. Jennifer Hershey will edit; Suzanne Gluck at William Morris is the agent. [Publishers Marketplace]

Apatow Sued: Canadian author Rebecca Eckler sues Judd Apatow, claiming hit Knocked Up is swiped from her 2004 unplanned-pregnancy memoir of the same name. We’ll let Defamer Commenter Dave J. have the last word on this one: “Wait a minute. My wife’s pregnancy ALSO lasted nine months. Game on, Apatow.” [Variety]

Mel Brooks Assembles Monster Cast for ‘Young Frankenstein’