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Mel Gibson Getting Into Puppetry

New Beaver: First it was Steve Carell, then it was Jim Carrey, and now it’s Mel Gibson attached to star in The Beaver, the comedy from Black List–topping screenwriter Kyle Killen (see our review of the script here). Gibson will play a depressed toy-company CEO who starts communicating with, and through, a beaver puppet he wears on his hand with Jodie Foster — pardon us, The Beaver director Jodie Foster — playing his wife. Sounds weird, we know, but the last time we saw Gibson and Foster work together was Maverick, and that turned out pretty goddamned well for everybody. [Variety]

Queen Bee: Nicole Kidman will produce and star in Little Bee, an adaptation of the Chris Cleave novel. The book revolves around an incident on an African beach, in which a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan named Little Bee runs into a vacationing British couple who have wandered off the grounds of their resort. Smart money is that Kidman will play the wife in the couple, but here’s hoping Kidman will do some range-flexing as the title character. [Variety]

Lohan in Charge: Lindsay Lohan and Kristi Kaylor, her partner in her fashion line, have started a production company, Unforgettable Prods. Tentatively in the works is Faux Real, an Entourage-type show set in the world of fashion, a game show called That’s What Friends Are For, and a “docu-cause” that will be produced with a charitable organization to be named later. But this will be no stodgy regular production company — according to Kaylor, “Lindsay is 23 years old, and she’s so plugged in to mobile media.” Go ahead and consider that one career rescued. [THR]

Knight On: Zooey Deschanel is joining Your Highness, the increasingly awesome-sounding David Gordon Green–directed, Danny McBride– and James Franco–starring medieval comedy. Franco and McBride play two princes — one lazy (McBride), one heroic (Franco) — on a quest to save their father’s kingdom; Deschanel will play Belladonna, Franco’s virginal bride. The movie starts shooting this month in Northern Ireland, at which point Franco should have even more choice R.L. Stine quotes to throw around the set. [THR]

Date Night: Variety is reporting that Zach Galifianakis is now confirmed for Due Date, which will be Hangover director Todd Phillips’s next project. Also, more plot details have been revealed: In the flick, a guy races alongside an “unlikely travel companion” (Galifianakis) to get back home in time for the birth of his first child. By the way, Phillips is on pace to make $35 million from The Hangover because he traded an upfront salary to be an equity investment partner. In retrospect, not a bad call! [THR]

Dynamite: Jon Heder will star in, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay will produce, a new Comedy Central series. The show will feature Heder as an out-of-work IT guy forced to move back to his small hometown and live with his mother and younger brother. The deal itself has a crazy structure similar to the Tyler Perry shows — Comedy Central has committed to ten episodes, but if those meet a certain ratings threshold, the network has to pick up 90 more. That’s a whole lot of Heder. [THR]

Mel Gibson Getting Into Puppetry