the industry

Spike Lee and Robert De Niro Headed Down to Alphaville

Power Duo: Spike Lee and Robert De Niro are developing a drama for Showtime titled Alphaville; both are exec-producing, and Lee may direct the pilot. An ensemble series set in eighties rough-and-tumble Alphabet City, it will depict the lives of the neighborhood’s population, pre-gentrification. No word on whether Lee or De Niro have seen the musical Rent. [HR]

Netherlanding: Along with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, Sam Mendes will produce, and may direct, a feature adaptation of Joseph O’Neill’s much-discussed 2008 novel, Netherland. The book revolves around a Dutch stockbroker living away from his family in New York City who befriends an energetic Trinidadian guy named Chuck Ramiksoon and plays a lot of cricket. And on that note, if Mendes needs some cricket consultants, we can show him a few things. [Variety]

Puppet Part: MTV has ordered twelve episodes of puppet comedy Warren the Ape, set to run in 2010. The plot revolves around the title character, an out-of-work actor (he used to be on Greg the Bunny) trying to revive his career by appearing on reality-TV shows. We hope he does not go on puppet Megan Wants a Millionaire. [HR]

James Crosses Over: We had the inside scoop on the unlikely sounding LeBron James comedy earlier this week, and now details have come out: The project, produced by Brian Grazer and written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (Splash, A League of Their Own), will feature five guys coming to Vegas for the LeBron James Adult Basketball camp. Eventually, James becomes involved in their lives, helping to sort out issues both serious and light. As fans of not only He Got Game and The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, but also Space Jam, we applaud this development. [Variety]

Hospital Drama: Gael García Bernal is in talks to join Earthbound, a romance co-starring Kate Hudson. The plot revolves around a terminally ill woman who falls for her doctor. What happened, was Keanu Reeves busy or something? [Variety]

Spike Lee and Robert De Niro Headed Down to Alphaville