the industry

Buttering Up Jennifer Garner

On a Roll: Jennifer Garner will star in the comedy Butter, based on first-time screenwriter Jason Micallef’s Black List–approved screenplay. The plot follows a young girl in the Midwest with a talent for butter sculpting who faces off against the wife of the retiring champion in the annual sculpting competition. Said Micallef: “I wanted to do a political satire and I was looking for some venue that people take very seriously but is also ridiculous — like politics — but at the same time is really visual.” We’re sold. [HR]

Flying High: Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Bryan Cranston have signed on for Red Tails, executive producer George Lucas’s Tuskegee Airmen drama. They bolster an already solid cast that includes two Wire alums (Tristan Wilds and Andre Royo) plus Method Man and Ne-Yo. A bit worrisomely, though, it seems Lucas has already figured out the high-level technology he will obsess over at the cost of the script or the direction, saying “We’re working on techniques that will give us the first true look at the aerial dogfighting of the era.” At least he knows that you do not make a Tuskegee Airmen movie without Cuba Gooding Jr. [Variety]

Live With Harrison and Diane: Diane Keaton and Jeff Goldblum have joined the J.J. Abrams–produced comedy Morning Glory. The plot revolves around an aspiring news producer (the previously cast Rachel McAdams) who tries to reconcile her morning show’s feuding anchors (Keaton and the previously cast Harrison Ford) in order to save the program; Goldblum plays McAdams’s boss. A comedy that takes place on the set of a news show? It’ll never work. [Variety]

Pacino Children’s Movie: Betsy and the Emperor, the adaptation of Staton Rabin’s 2004 children’s book that was previously set up at Warner Bros., has been resurrected by Killer Films. It stars Al Pacino, who has been attached to the project since its inception. The story revolves around a 14-year-old girl who meets Napoleon after his exile on St. Helena. Thank God, because, seriously, if we had to sit through one more Elba-era-exile Napoleon flick … [HR]

Should Really Be Called Soldiers on Horses: Jerry Bruckheimer has acquired the rights to Doug Stanton’s upcoming book Horse Soldiers, about an elite combined Army and CIA unit that snuck into Afghanistan after 9/11 on horseback and helped Afghan soldiers take the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. In the most disappointing news we’ve heard all morning, it is not at all about a secret government program to train horses to shoot guns. [Variety]

Crichton’s Leftovers: Two posthumous Michael Crichton books will be published this year. The first is Pirate Latitudes, found in Crichton’s files and to be released November 24 with a first run of a million copies; that book, set in Jamaica in 1665, revolves around the infamous pirate Hunter and his plan to raid a Spanish galleon. The second is a technological thriller that will be based on notes Crichton left and will be completed by an as-yet-unnamed author. Those sound cool, we guess, although we are a little disappointed neither is about a fleet of renegade scientists who bring a best-selling sci-fi author back from the dead … with terrifying consequences. [Variety]

Buttering Up Jennifer Garner