the industry

Simon Baker to Serve As Surf Sensei

Surf Wax Australia: Mentalist star Simon Baker and producer Mark Johnson have acquired the film rights to Tim Winton’s novel Breath. Both Baker and Johnson will produce and Baker will play a lead role in the story of two 16-year-old Australian boys who take up surfing with the help of a wacky instructor named Sando (Baker). Soon, the boys try to use surfing to escape their mundane lives of riding kangaroos, throwing boomerangs and thinking up their own versions of those “Fosters, it’s Australian for beer” commercials. [Variety]

Dr. Do Lots Of Movies About Animals: Eddie Murphy will produce and potentially star in The Misadventures of Fluffy, a buddy comedy that’s not as kid-friendly as the title makes it sound. The film takes viewers through New York City’s vast underworld of talking animals and mixes in some social comedy. Imagine what the geese will say! [Risky Business/THR]

Toppest Chef: NBC has given the greenlight to a new reality cooking show that will give the winner his own chain of restaurants. United Plates of America comes from the producers of Top Chef and will pit restaurateurs against one another to impress a panel of wealthy investors from the business world. They’ll have to win over these fat cats with their concept, menu and marketability. So it would be a good idea to go with burgers. Americans seem to like those. [THR]

More Time: HBO has renewed Real Time With Bill Maher for its eighth season. That means more arguing, more cursing and more wondering how Bill Maher dated models. Seriously, how? [Variety]

That Time of the Month: Angryfilms has optioned Lauren McLaughlin’s young-adult book series Cycler. The novels are about Jill, a 17-year-old suburbanite who turns into a guy, named Jack, for four days every month. Jill is a normal girl but Jack makes things difficult on her. Think of this of a Fight Club-style twist that they tell you about from the start. [THR]

Simon Baker to Serve As Surf Sensei