the industry

Industry Roundup: Winona Ryder, Robert Zemeckis

Wino Forever: Winona Ryder has joined the cast of Ron Howard’s new untitled comedy, starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James as best friends. The story is set into motion when Vaughn spies James’s wife (Ryder) cheating on him, which presumably takes place when Ryder finds out one day that King of Queens refers to a CBS TV show and not a royal lineage. [Deadline]

Zemeckis Goes Dark: Robert Zemeckis will direct Dark Life, a Disney film based on an upcoming adult novel about “a near-future world in which rising ocean levels and natural catastrophes have led some people to homestead on the ocean floor.” An “underwater teenage boy” and “surface boy” join forces to uncover a government conspiracy in the tale. Disney is positioning this as the first film in a family franchise, which makes sense, since nothing says “accessible family franchise” like a movie about rising ocean levels, homesteading, and government conspiracies. [Variety]

Such Great Heights: Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) will adapt his own book, The Heights, and also direct and produce the film, for Focus Features. The story is about a perfect-on-paper family in Brooklyn whose lives are upended when rich neighbors move in next door. Hedges better hope this movie isn’t a failure, because if it is, there is literally no one he can blame but himself. [Variety]

Olivia Gives Darkest a Thirl: Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness) has scored a leading role in The Darkest Hour, a “sci-fi action movie” about a group of Americans in Moscow who witness an alien invasion. Thirlby will play “a trust-fund girl trying to survive the attack,” a character description that makes us hope there is also a “a trust-fund girl who isn’t trying to survive the attack,” who just sort of hangs out and texts on her BlackBerry while the aliens run amok. [Heat Vision/HR]

LCD Adds Dates: LCD Soundsystem has added a number of North American dates over the next few months to their upcoming tour supporting their May 18 album, This Is Happening. The name of the band’s lead single, “Drunk Girls,” also describes who (along with drunk boys) you can expect to find in the crowd. [Pitchfork]

Sollett Lands Runaways: Director Peter Sollett (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) will direct Runaways, which is described as “The Breakfast Club with superheroes.” The story focuses on the children of supervillains who are “cursed with evil powers” but who use them for heroic purposes … and it all takes place over the course of one drug-fueled and totally unpredictable evening that will change their lives and hearts forever! [Deadline]

How Far We Have (Down)fallen: ABC has ordered a new reality series called Downfall, in which players answer trivia questions on top of a skyscraper for a chance to win up to $1 million in prizes. If they lose, their squandered winnings will literally be dropped off the side of the building and, yes, “the players might also take a controlled plunge, though that part is still being worked out.” This is one of those ideas that really makes you wonder just how it was possible for multiple business executives to sit in a room together and all nod their heads on this as if it were a totally awesome and viable idea. [HR]

Lawrence Hitched to Pilot: Sharon Lawrence has joined the cast of Josh Schwartz’s comedy pilot Hitched, in which she will play the “prim and well-meaning mother” of Rachel (Kristen Kreuk), who has just married Brett (Jack Carpenter). You may want to consider a name change, Schwartz, as the shippers are not going to be pleased with “Brachel.” [HR]

Industry Roundup: Winona Ryder, Robert Zemeckis