the industry

Stephen Sommers Has Jungle Fever

Photo: Getty Images

Me Director, You Watch: He’s slayed the Mummy, beaten up Dracula, and stolen most of the Wolfman’s lunch money. Now director Stephen Sommers is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to helm a new adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, with Collateral’s Stu Beattie aboard to write with him. Guillermo del Toro was attached to direct at one point, but he got hairy feet and decided to spend the next four years of his life doing what he’s done for the last eight. Sommers pretty much guarantees the movie will star Brendan Fraser, have a huge opening weekend, and spawn an unnecessary sequel where Tarzan fights Jet Li and his army of terra-cotta monkeys. [HR]

Nathanson Follows Clues: Jeff Nathanson is adapting the first book of Rick Riordan’s kids’ series, The Maze of Bones (part of The 39 Clues), for DreamWorks. As the writer responsible for Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal (cough), his involvement definitely hints that Steven Spielberg might get “directorially committed” sometime soon. The 39 Clues, you may recall, is the multiplatform adventure that offers kids a chance to solve a mystery and win $10,000. To get all the clues, all you have to do is buy $20,000 worth of books, games, collectible cards, and movies. [HR]

Danson Bores HBO: Ted Danson will try his hand at television, as he lands a lead role in HBO’s comedy pilot, Bored to Death, by Jonathan Ames. Series stars Jason Schwartzman as a struggling Brooklyn writer with a drinking problem who pretends to be a Philip Marlowe–esque detective. Danson will play his best friend and quasi-mentor, giving him advice on everything from unsolved cases to unsolvable women, for example, “Don’t marry Whoopi Goldberg.” [HR]

Bruckheimer Goes on Killing Spree: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have picked up the rights to Killing Rommel, Steven Pressfield’s account of a British battalion’s attempt to derail Erwin Rommel’s desert campaign in North Africa. Pressfield will be teaming with Braveheart’s Randall Wallace to write the script, and, let’s hope, teaming with Strunk and White to un-gerund that horrendous title. [Variety]

Millar Wants New Superman?: I scream, you scream, we all scream for Internet rumors! Wanted’s Mark Millar has told G4 that he recently pitched a Superman trilogy to Warner Bros., and if they give him the green light they could start shooting as early as next summer. Two other tidbits from the interview: He claims that Matthew Vaughn has raised $70 million — not 30 —for his independently produced Kick-Ass adaptation, and he says that for directing Superman: The Movie, Richard Donner is “more significant to the world than Gandhi.” [G4 via Moviehole]

Stephen Sommers Has Jungle Fever