the industry

Tip Your Hat to Mayor Gandolfini

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Hizzoner Gandolfini: James Gandolfini will play the mayor of New York City in Tony Scott’s remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 for Columbia Pictures. He joins John Travolta, whose character takes a packed subway car hostage. As you may remember, the original movie is a bucket of badass from the very first frame, but this one could go either way. Pray for the director to be Enemy of the State’s Tony Scott and not Deja Vu’s Tony Scott. [Variety]

HBO Pays for Call Girl: Darren Star’s Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl has been green-lit to pilot at HBO. Based on Tracy Quan’s semi-salacious memoir, show examines how “power, sex, and money collide through the eyes of a group of Manhattan’s highest-paid escorts.” It’s unclear what could have sparked public interest in such a project. [HR]

Jovovich Gets Away: Milla Jovovich (star of like twelve Resident Evil movies) has joined Steve Zahn in David Twohy’s A Perfect Getaway. Jovovich and Zahn play a honeymooning couple who meet up with hikers who turn out to be killers. Getaway will be a nice break for the zombie-slaughtering Jovovich, who must be excited to battle good old-fashioned human killers for a change. [HR]

Package for DreamWorks: Lars Jacobson’s action-thriller spec, C.O.D., has been purchased by DreamWorks for Enchanted producer Barry Josephson. Story follows a “New York City bike messenger who becomes a puppet in an assassin’s deadly game.” The game? Milton Bradley’s Hungry Hungry Hippos (Deadly Edition). [Variety]

Vantage Joins a Gang: Paramount Vantage has optioned Sudhir Venkatesh’s book, Gang Leader for a Day. Emmy-nominated Sopranos writer Michael Caleo will adapt for Hustle and Flow’s Craig Brewer to direct. True story follows a professor who researched a crack-dealing Chicago gang, got to know them, and even led them for a day. Must have been April 24: Take Your Scared-Shitless Economist to Work Day. [Variety]

Heder and Shepard go to Rome: Idiocracy’s Dax Shepard (“Ow, my balls!”) and Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder are joining Disney’s romantic comedy When in Rome. Heder and Shepard will play suitors who compete for the love of a Manhattan real-estate agent (Kristen Bell), after she takes a coin from a magical Roman love fountain. Hilarious one-upsmanship montages ensue. [Variety]

Tip Your Hat to Mayor Gandolfini