the industry

Steven Spielberg to Save Money on CGI

Invisible Hutch: Steven Spielberg has chosen his next movie, and we guess Lincoln will just have to wait a while longer. After Tintin, he’ll direct Harvey — based on Mary Chase’s 1944 play about a man whose best friend is an invisible, six-foot-tall rabbit — for Fox and DreamWorks. And presumably he knows that somebody already made a perfectly good Jimmy Stewart–starring movie based on Harvey back in 1950, so don’t expect your pointing that out to change his mind. Also, if Spielberg insists on casting Shia LaBeouf in this one, here’s hoping he plays the unseen bunny. [BFDMemo/Variety]

Moving Out: Both Will Ferrell and director David Dobkin have left Neighborhood Watch, Fox’s planned comedy about an urbanite who moves to a suburb inhabited by undercover aliens. No reason was given for their departure, but knowing nothing else about the project beyond the synopsis in the previous sentence, we can think of at least ten good ones. [Variety, HR]

NBC Is Saved!: Tom Arnold has been tapped by Universal to write, produce, and possibly star in a half-hour comedy for NBC. So maybe the post-Silverman Peacock won’t be the boring success we feared. [Variety]

Captain Marshall: Rob Marshall, director of glitzy, Oscar-y musicals, is reportedly nearing a deal to slum it as the helmer of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Disney has been trying to line up a new director quickly, following the departure of Gore Verbinski, so that Johnny Depp can shoot it before he does The Lone Ranger; though no contract has yet been signed, the studio apparently feels so good about Marshall that it’s begun casting brand-new characters for the film, including, probably, a cabaret star who murders her husband, and a backup singer desperately in love with her manager. [BFDealMemo/Variety]

That Redneck Show: Fox has ordered a pilot episode of The Rednecks & Romeos, a multi-camera comedy from That ‘70s Show co-creator Mark Brazill and producer Tom Werner. The show will focus on the down-on-their-luck Shea family and a group of working-class teenagers living it up in an economically depressed suburb of Buffalo, New York. Good news: Topher Grace can still totally play a teenager. [HR]

Back to the Future: For the upcoming season of Futurama, set to air on Comedy Central next year, Fox was somehow able to talk voice-actors John DiMaggio, Billy West, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille into settling for less than their reported initial demand of $75,000 per episode (or whatever they first asked for!) — so they’ll all be back! This calls for a Bender beer! [Variety]

Steven Spielberg to Save Money on CGI