the industry

Chris Rock to Attend ‘Funeral’

Rock the Remake: Chris Rock is onboard to produce, star in, and co-write an urban adaptation of 2007 British comedy Death at a Funeral. It seems a little strange for a movie to be remade so soon after it was released, but given the inaccessibility of the original (it was British), it’s probably safe to assume not many American’s are aware of the Frank Oz–directed version. And since this one won’t need subtitles, they might actually go see it. [Variety]

Brett the Barbarian: Hollywood’s biggest barbarian, Brett Ratner, is in final negotiations to direct an update of Conan, the classic sword-and-sandals fantasy story. Paramount is gunning for a 2010 release and looking to take a “very R-rated approach,” spending around $85 million. Writers Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, who looked to the original Conan pulp stories of the thirties in penning their script, are currently working in some of Ratner’s ideas. So look for a foul-mouthed, street-wise sidekick and a few dozen Porsche explosions. [HR]

Real American Hero: In the next step toward making Avengers a reality, Marvel Studios has signed Joe Johnston to direct First Avenger: Captain America. No writing hires have been made for the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly Army recruit rejected from the military who undergoes an experiment and becomes a superhero. Given Johnston’s experience with the flying-man genre, October Sky and The Rocketeer, he seems like the perfect choice. His shrunken-suburban-kids credentials (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) probably don’t hurt either. [HR]

Dead Inside: Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba will star in The Killer Inside Me, an adaptation of a novel by noir writer Jim Thompson. The film is about a Texas sheriff (Affleck) who turns from an insignificant small-town lawman into a maniacal murderer. A prostitute (Alba) appears somewhere along the way. Despite the title, it’s actually not about tapeworms. [HR

Spoofing Spoofs: Chevy Chase, Burt Reynolds and a slew of other goofs are teaming up to spoof spoof movies in Not Another Not Another Movie. The meta project features Chase as a studio head who quits his job and leaves his screwup brother (Michael Madsen) in charge. Soon a spoof of spoofs gets made by the studio, and Reynolds stars as an actor playing the director of the movie within the movie. Let this be a lesson: Chevy Chase and Burt Reynolds will not stand for mediocre, lazy comedies. Not in their Hollywood! [HR]

Rapaport Does God’s Work: Michael Rapaport has inked a deal with CBS to develop and star in an hour-long project to be produced by Denis Leary’s Apostle Pictures. The story follows the ups and downs of the lives of social workers in New York. This project marks Rapaport’s ninth foray into network TV. After his next one, he gets a free smoothie. [HR]

Chris Rock to Attend ‘Funeral’