the industry

Peter Berg Officially Sunk

You Sunk My … : Peter Berg has officially signed on to direct Battleship, which already has a release date of July 1, 2011. Berg’s father was apparently a naval historian, so he jumped right at the opportunity to make “a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle” (also, it was the only way Universal would let him make an Afghan war film, Lone Survivor). And do we have some wonderfully inane quotes about making board-game movies from anonymous studio execs? We do! Say Marc Shmuger and David Linde: “This is a powerful brand, and in an era where brands have become the new stars, Battleship is a big opportunity.” [Variety]

Switch Up: Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson has signed on to direct Nicole Kidman in The Danish Girl, an adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel about the Danish painter Einar Wegener, the first person to undergo a sex-change operation to become a woman, back in 1931. Charlize Theron was also onboard, as Wegener’s wife Gerda, but has dropped out; we can only assume she finally saw Right One In and worried she’d have to cry blood or something. [Variety]

Harris Onboard: What’s Wrong With Virginia, written and to be directed by Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, has added Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Emma Roberts. Harris replaces Liam Neeson as a sheriff whose run for the State Senate is screwed up when his daughter (Roberts) begins dating the son of a troubled woman (Jennifer Connelly) the sheriff has been having a two-decade affair with. Madigan plays the wife. Ed Harris — still getting good-looking movie chicks! [Variety]

The Hunt for Hunt: Helen Hunt is considering taking the role in NBC’s Parenthood vacated by Maura Tierney, who was forced to drop out after a breast-cancer diagnosis. The show revolves around four adult siblings (the other three are Peter Krause, Erika Christensen, and Dax Shepard (!)) and their parents (Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson). In related news, didn’t Helen Hunt used to be a movie star? [HR]

Truth on TV: Oprah’s Harpo Films is producing Ida Tarbell, a mini-series on the journalist who investigated the unfair practices of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, for HBO. We can’t wait to see who they cast as the sexed-up version of the charmingly dowdy Tarbell. [Variety]

Scammed: Tia Carrere will star as Rell Sunn, the Hawaiian surfing legend known as “Queen of Makaha,” in the biopic Wave Dancer. Apparently, Sunn was a big-wave pioneer, an expert diver, a black belt in karate, a hula dancer, and a fighter of juvenile delinquency and breast cancer. We know this all sounds a bit random, but it’s coming from Martha Coolidge, who directed the 1985 Val Kilmer classic Real Genius, so we’re good in hands. [HR]

Peter Berg Officially Sunk