the industry

Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Fulfill a Dream

King: Steven Spielberg will produce a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic for Dreamworks. The studio is the first one to ever acquire the life rights of MLK, who copyrighted his books and famous speeches during his life and whose estate is controlled by his son, Dexter. For what will surely not be the last time that someone involved with this film sort of inappropriately quotes MLK to describe a friggin’ movie project, Dreamworks CEO Stacey Snider explained the reasoning behind a major biopic happening just now by saying “all progress is precarious.” [Variety]

Spain-ward Bound: Colin Firth and Kevin Spacey will star in an adaptation of George Orwell’s Catalonia, to be directed by Hugh Hudson(Chariots of Fire.) In the book, Orwell recounts his travels to Barcelona alongside his wife, where he joined the Anarchist Brigade and fought in the Spanish Civil War; his relationship with his charismatic commander, Georges Kopp, is the primary focus of the work. Meaning if you need Kevin Spacey, he’ll be out back practicing his Catalan. [Variety]

Sherri Goes Solo: Sherri, a multi-cam sitcom starring The View’s Sherri Shepherd, will be Lifetime’s second original comedy. Shepherd, who will continue her work on The View (thank God), will play a single mother and paralegal and actress (classic combo). Can this actually just be a spinoff of her 30 Rock character instead? We’re sure that getting Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan to make regular appearances on a Lifetime show will be a breeze. [Variety]

Are You Ready For Some Football, Jon?: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is joining ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast booth this fall, where he’ll be the color guy alongside play-by-play man Mike Tirico and commentator Ron Jaworski. He’s replacing Tony Kornheiser, who’ll continue hosting PTI. Said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice-president of production, “Jon is one of the best football minds in the game.” Oh yeah, Norby? Then why did he something, something, we assume, famously screw up some high-pressure situation something, something, something? [Variety]

Brill’s Back: Steve Brill, the director of forgotten Judd Apatow–produced, Seth Rogen–co-written flick Drillbit Taylor, has sold an untitled comedy pitch to 20th Century Fox. The idea is that a rich older couple loses all their money in a Ponzi scheme and is forced to move in with their loser son. How much of Brill’s phone calls being returned has to do with the fact that maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to get old friend Judd back in the producer’s chair? Still, that concept doesn’t sound that bad, although you should probably not listen to us seeing as we kind of liked Drillbit Taylor. [Variety]

Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks Fulfill a Dream