the industry

George Clooney and Aaron Sorkin’s Plan to Really Annoy Former President Bush

George Clooney, Attorney at Law: Aaron Sorkin will write and George Clooney’s Smoke House will produce The Challenge for Warner Bros., a drama about the trial of Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan; Clooney may also direct and star as Navy lawyer Charles Swift, who fought for a fair trial for Hamdan. Cue the steam spewing from Bill O’Reilly’s ears … NOW! [Variety]

Spike Goes Back to War: Spike Lee has picked up the rights to Brendan Koerner’s book Now the Hell Will Start, which is based on the U.S. Army’s project to ship thousands of purportedly unfit African-American soldiers to India to rebuild the Ledo Road during World War II. Lee is not concerned with making another film about African-American soldiers in World War II so soon after Miracle at St. Anna because, luckily, it turns out nobody actually saw Miracle at St. Anna. [Variety]

Now That’s What We Call Crap: Finally! Beloved musical-compilation series Now That’s What I Call Music! is being pushed as a TV show by American Idol’s Simon Fuller. It has not yet been decided what the format will be, but the program will showcase hit songs and of course will feature some kind of talent search for new Now artists. Now CEO Bob Mercer let it slip that “We’ll probably form our own pop chart,” which will surely set off an escalating beef between them and Billboard that rivals the East Coast–West Coast rap battles of the nineties. [Billboard]

Back to the Minors: Dean Parisot will direct the remake of Slap Shot, the 1977 comedy starring Paul Newman as a past-his-prime minor-league-hockey-player-coach and the Hanson Brothers as some totally sweet enforcers. Apparently, screenwriter Peter Steinfeld has already expressed hesitation about updating Slap Shot, not needing to explain that he often asks himself what mortal man could replicate the magic and wonderment of Ned Braden’s original strip tease. [Variety]

Meltdown TV: The only thing more fun than living through the crumbling of our economy will be living through the surefire upcoming glut of movies and TV shows to explore said crumbling. Right?! Either way, HBO is getting in on the action early, acquiring the rights to an as-yet unwritten book from Joe Nocera of the New York Times and Vanity Fair’s Bethany McLean, who sparked the original Enron investigations with her reporting at Fortune. Sad old-white-guy actors of the world, get your resumes in now! [Variety]

Funeral Humor: Bill Murray and Lucas Black have joined the cast of Get Low, based on the true life story of a Tennessee man in the thirties who orchestrated his own funeral for kicks; Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek are already on board, and Aaron Schneider is directing. Somehow, some way, Murray is playing a funeral worker and not the crazy old coot. Although, the movie doesn’t start shooting until later this week, so perhaps there’s still time to wake on up over there at Zanuck Co.? [Variety]

George Clooney and Aaron Sorkin’s Plan to Really Annoy Former President Bush