the industry

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Talks to Star in World’s Most Ridiculous Film

And the Oscar for Craziest Movie Goes To…: Steven Soderbergh is planning a 3-D live-action rock opera about Cleopatra, with songs by Guided by Voices and a script by bassist-author James Greer, and he’s hoping for Catherine Zeta-Jones to headline with Hugh Jackman as Marc Antony. With a budget of $30 million, he’ll be shopping it around for financing and distribution, also carrying one of those Men in Black memory erasers so he can zap any studio exec who brings up 1963’s Mankiewicz debacle. [Variety]

Alice Takes the Gloves Off: Because no weird movie would be complete without him, Crispin Glover will play the Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland for Disney. His character is put on trial for stealing the Queen of Hearts’s tarts, but we think he’s being put on trial for 1991’s Rubin and Ed (is it wrong that we secretly love that movie?). [HR]

Columbus’s Believe It or Not: Chris Columbus is in negotiations with Paramount to direct Ripley’s Believe or Not!, a project that’s been floating around since, oh, let’s just say “way before you were born.” Tim Burton was set to direct it last year with Jim Carrey as newspaper columnist–explorer–maker-upper-of-stories Robert Ripley, and although the plug was pulled right before production, Carrey remains attached to the film. All we really want to know is this: Who’s going to play this guy? [Variety]

McG Reinvents Spy Genre: Warner Bros. has picked up Jon Stock’s upcoming spy novel, Dead Spy Running, for McG to direct, hoping to launch a franchise character that “reinvents the spy genre” by giving us the origin story of a newly trained spy. We hate to nitpick the definition of “reinvention,” but wasn’t Casino Royale the origin story of a newly trained spy? [HR]

The Hunt for Di Bonaventura: Paramount has hired Mace Neufeld and megaproducer Lorenzo di Bonaventura to “come up with a Jack Ryan original ASAP,” as they’ve officially abandoned the original reboot idea, By Any Means Necessary. Neufeld has been involved in every Jack Ryan movie since The Hunt for Red October, and he won’t rule out the possibility of an “older” Ryan, obviously looking to capitalize on Harrison Ford’s “old-ness.” [Moviehole]

Tweens Go Crazy for Skateland: Shiloh Fernandez, Twilight’s Ashley Greene, X-Men 3’s Haley Ramm, and Vantage Point’s James LeGros are lacing up for Anthony Burns’s eighties drama Skateland. Story centers on a teen without any future prospects after his small-town roller rink shuts down. Kind of like Olivia Newton-John after Xanadu. [HR]

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Talks to Star in World’s Most Ridiculous Film