the industry

James L. Brooks to Take Chance on Little-Known Actress

Brooks and Witherspoon to Answer Life’s Big Question: Reese Witherspoon has signed on to star in a new comedy written and directed by James L. Brooks. The plot is being kept under wraps, but the project does have a working title: How Do You Know? Brooks’s first movie since Spanglish is being described as an ensemble film, which will have at least three major characters (the general requirement for most ensemble films). [Variety]

Better Than the Super Bowl?: Jack Black is coming to Scranton for the post–Super Bowl episode of The Office. Titled “Stress Relief,” the episode will follow the Dunder Mifflin crew as they try to secretly watch a bootlegged movie at work. Black and other “Hollywood Stars” star in the film. That’s all we know, but it’s hard to believe that a former Lackawanna County volunteer sheriff’s deputy would allow piracy to happen in his place of work. [HR]

Like Baby Mama, Only Not Funny: Jennifer Lopez is bringing her ample acting abilities to CBS Films’ comedy Plan B. Written by Kate Angelo, the rom-com centers on a single woman who resorts to artificial insemination only to meet the man of her dreams on the same day of her positive pregnancy test. Here’s a plan B for you, Jennifer — stick to music. [Variety]

Frankly, My Dear: Lionsgate has nabbed the rights to Loving Frank, a historical novel about Frank Lloyd Wright. John Burnham Schwartz will write the script that tells the pre-WWI story of Wright’s affair with Chicago socialite Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who, we can only hope, looks nothing like her grandson Dick. [Variety]

Peter Morgan Can’t Be Stopped: Peter Morgan is preparing to wrap up his Tony Blair trilogy (The Deal and The Queen being the first two) with The Special Relationship, which will also mark his directorial debut. Michael Sheen will be back to play Tony Blair in the story about the PM’s relationship with Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2000, which was nothing like a certain other relationship Clinton had between 1997 and 2000. [Variety]

Adult Toons: Big Vision Entertainment and Chambers Bros. Entertainment have acquired the animated film rights to the Cheech and Chong library. The two companies will use the bits to pull together Cheech and Chong’s Smokin’ Animated Movie, proving once and for all that cartoons are for stoners, not children. [HR]

James L. Brooks to Take Chance on Little-Known Actress