the industry

Liam Neeson to Throw Lightning Bolts at Ralph Fiennes

Face-off: Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes will face off as rival Greek deities in the Clash of the Titans remake. Neeson will play Zeus, the king of the gods, who has a tempestuous streak, while Fiennes will play Hades, the king of the underworld with plans for world domination. This is exciting news for many, but confusing news for the majority of the U.S. population, which thinks Neeson and Fiennes are the same person. [HR]

More Expendables: Brittany Murphy has joined the cast of The Expendables as Mickey Rourke’s girlfriend, a singer; David Zayas (Dexter) is on board as well, as the South American dictator a team of mercenaries must overthrow. The Sylvester Stallone–written-and-directed action movie, also featuring Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren, began production this week in Brazil. Which is really too bad, because we want to see this thing right now. [HR]

Love Story: David O. Russell isn’t afraid of commitment: After signing on to direct an adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook last week, Russell has now also attached himself to the romantic comedy Aaron and Sarah. The plot revolves around a nerdy guy and a popular chick who meet as freshmen and, over the course of high school, fall in love. Wow, how the hell is this going to be a David O. Russell movie? [Variety]

Olive Branch: Longtime pals Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci have set up a first look deal with Lionsgate TV for their new production company, Olive Prods. The company, which plans to develop scripted programs for broadcast and cable networks, also includes producer Wren Arthur. Commenting on the deal, Lionsgate TV’s Kevin Beggs said, “Steve and Stanley are brilliant actors,” and he then said something nice about Arthur ‘cause he felt he had to. [Variety]

Madsen vs. Olympics: Virginia Madsen is producing the documentary Fighting Gravity, about female ski jumpers’ battle for the right to compete in the 2010 Olympics; Alex Mar, an editor at Rolling Stone, will direct. Ski jumping is the last Olympic sport in which only men can compete. We very much support this fight, which is why we believe Madsen and co. shouldn’t just settle for the winter version: female ski jumping in London in 2012! [Variety]

Simon Says: Laurie Metcalf (of Roseanne and, more important, of The Norm Show) will star in two upcoming Neil Simon Broadway productions, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound. The plays are part of an autobiographical Simon trilogy (along with Biloxi Blues), with the character of Eugene being the Simon stand-in. Metcalf will play the mother, Kate, in both productions. [Variety]

Liam Neeson to Throw Lightning Bolts at Ralph Fiennes