the industry

Confusing: ‘Office’ Actress Joins NBC’s ‘Office’ Non-Spinoff

Don’t Call Her Karen: Rashida Jones has joined the cast of the mysterious NBC sitcom starring Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari that is not, repeat, is not, an Office spinoff. Given NBC’s insistence that this new show isn’t an Office spinoff, it makes perfect sense to cast a former actress from The Office. [Variety]

Mutant Drama: X-Men will finally get the melodramatic treatment it’s long been calling for when Josh Schwartz writes X-Men: First Class, which will focus on a much younger group of superpowered mutants. The man behind Gossip Girl and The O.C. is expected to “inject a next-gen sensibility” to the franchise. Can’t wait to see Wolverine’s Twitter. [HR]

Writing America: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, of Chronicles of Narnia fame, have been nabbed by Marvel to write its upcoming superhero flick Captain America. Paramount is expected to release the film in 2011 with a lot more talking lions than the original comic books. [Variety]

Kung Fu Prince: It’s not dead after all! John Stevenson, director of Kung Fu Panda, has been tapped to bring He-Man to life. The Joel Silver–produced flick will have He-Man fighting both his arch nemesis, Skeletor, and technology, all within a 300-style world. As long as the original live-action He-Man, Dolph Lundgren, gets a cameo, we’re in. [Latino Review]

Heaton in The Middle: ABC has given the green light to The Middle, a sitcom starring Patricia Heaton. The show will tell the story of a middle-class, midwestern family through the eyes of the mother. The pilot was originally set for 2006–2007 with Ricki Lake starring, but the network preferred Heaton. It’s basically the story of Ricki Lake’s life. [HR]

Yay, Love: Warner Bros. has struck a deal for the film rights to Nicholas Sparks’s latest best seller, The Lucky One. Producer Denise Di Novi will tackle the adaptation, the fourth time she’s worked with a Sparks novel. Published only last month, the book tells the story of a Marine who survives three tours in Iraq. While deployed, he carries around a picture of a woman he’s never met, and when he returns to the States, sets out to find his good-luck charm in the flesh. Sounds like Hollywood has finally learned its lesson when it comes to Iraq-war movies: if you don’t want it to flop, make it a sappy love story. [Variety]

Confusing: ‘Office’ Actress Joins NBC’s ‘Office’ Non-Spinoff