the industry

Industry Report: Will Smith, ‘Maleficent’

Back To Black?: Variety reports that Will Smith is deciding between two projects for his next film: Sony’s Men in Black III and 20th Century Fox’s fantasy-adventure The City That Sailed. Black would be the third film in the proven box office juggernaut. City tells the story of a New York street magician separated from his young daughter in London; the girl finds “magic candles” which result in “the island of Manhattan separating from the continent and floating toward England, bringing her dad ever closer.” Yikes. Perhaps the only thing that sounds less exciting to us than another Men in Black… is a street magician / separation anxiety / floating island epic. [Variety]

From Alice to Evil: Screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who wrote the screenplay for the recent hit Alice in Wonderland, will next take on the script for Maleficent, Disney’s live-action take on Sleeping Beauty’s Evil Queen. Maleficent could be another Tim Burton-Woolverton collaboration, as Burton is considering making Maleficent his next project. So you might as well just give up now, all other actresses; Helena Bonham Carter’s got this one in the bag. [Heat Vision/HR]

Kline Arrives At HBO: Kevin Kline has signed on for his first series television role, as he will develop an hour-long project for HBO. Kline will star in the show, written by David Auburn (Proof), about a prominent doctor who is released from prison after serving a 15-year sentence for murdering his mistress. “It is hard to believe that I’m working with David Auburn and Kevin Kline on a project,” executive producer Gavin Polone said, “I feel like I died and have been reincarnated as Scott Rudin.” We have a feeling Polone is the kind of guy who sweats nervously and has a napkin that Meryl Streep once used saved underneath his mattress. [HR]

Gervais Gets Re-Upped: The Ricky Gervais Show has been renewed for a second season by HBO. The animated series is based on Gervais’ podcast recordings with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. Considering Gervais two-and-done track record with television ventures, it’s fairly safe to say this will be the show’s last season… until it is remade in a few years with an animated Steve Carrell assuming his role. [HR]

Beals Along For The Ride: Jennifer Beals will play the female lead opposite Jason Clarke in Ride-Along, a drama pilot for Fox from Shawn Ryan (The Shield), in which she will play Chicago’s first female police chief opposite Clarke’s rogue cowboy cop. We’re not sure what a “cowboy cop” is, but it sounds like a career Tim Riggins should look into. [HR]

Industry Report: Will Smith, ‘Maleficent’