the industry

Paul Dano: Inventor-at-large

Dan-Yes: Paul Dano has joined the cast of the Tom Cruise–Cameron Diaz action-comedy previously known as Wichita. Cruise plays a federal agent who, by a series of contrivances, is teamed up on a mission with Diaz’s wholesome midwestern character; Dano will play the “charming but mysterious” scientist whose presumably equally charming but mysterious invention is the instigator for Cruise and Diaz’s mission. We bet we know what it is — the Magic Bullet? [Variety]

Shake-ups: Vincent D’Onofrio will leave Law & Order Criminal Intent sometime during the next season, to be replaced full-time by recent addition Jeff Goldblum. Also out of there will be D’Onofrio’s on-screen partner Kathryn Erbe and the man who plays their boss, Eric Bogosian. The Hollywood Reporter speculates that both the show’s move to USA, which in general airs lighter content more in line with Goldblum’s than D’Onofrio’s character, and the money saved by getting rid of longtime actors, were the motivating factors. On that note, it’s time to come clean — as much as we love the original L&O, and can even mess with SVU sometimes, we’ve never gotten into CI. [HR]

Young Love: (500) Days of Summer screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber are moving into television with Friends With Benefits, a single-camera comedy that has been picked up by ABC. The Wedding Crashers’ David Dobkin is onboard to direct the pilot, and Brian Grazer is producing via Imagine. The show will focus on the relationships of a group of twentysomethings who, according to Weber, “ ask questions like: ‘Is this your girlfriend or someone you just hang out with? Is this a job, or is this a career?’” To which we’d like to add, “Is this last frozen burrito mine, or is it yours?” [HR]

Born Again: Warner Bros.’ long-in-the-works remake of A Star Is Born is seeing some new activity, with new guy Will Fetters hired to write another draft of the screenplay. Beyoncé has been baselessly rumored to play the lead role, of the young starlet who begins a relationship with an older male star. If she does, can Jay-Z play the dude? We might pay for that. [HR]

Bruck’s Back: Jerry Bruckheimer’s selfless quests to bring the world more procedurals charges on, with a new one, Hopscotch, getting a pilot commitment from ABC. Written by Chris Levinson, it will tell the stories of homicide investigations but spread over several nonconsecutive days. It’s the (500) Days of Summer of crime procedurals, then? [HR]

Bros: NBC has picked up Slacker Sons, a half-hour comedy written by sitcom veteran Mike Sikowitz and to be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (Arrested Development, Community). The plot revolves around two brothers who stumble into money by creating an energy drink and who then buy their family home and help out their divorced dad when he’s laid off. Stay tuned for the funny part, we guess. [Variety]

Paul Dano: Inventor-at-large