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Industry Roundup: Brendan Fraser, Mass Effect

Opposite Journeys: Brad Peyton (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore) will direct the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth, which means Brendan Fraser will likely drop out as the film’s star, Deadline says. Fraser had wanted to make the film with Eric Brevig, who directed him in the original; if he were to officially withdraw, it is likely Josh Hutcherson, who played his nephew in the first movie, would take over the leading role. So the studio will either be pinning their 3D blockbuster hopes on The Giddy Clapper or a teenage actor who’s not Taylor Lautner. [Deadline]

Mass Appeal: Legendary Pictures has secured the rights to Mass Effect, an epic sci-fi action video game. Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor) is in talks to write the adaptation, which is still in the early stages of development. The game is set in 2183 and focuses on a human soldier and “his starship,” the SSV Normandy. The plot also involves a long-extinct race of aliens and a plethora of different alien species. Not sure ‘bout this title though: it sounds more like something you have to define in physics class than an alien movie, right? [Heat Vision/HR]

Games Time: Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) has joined the cast of Deathgames, the indie action movie starring Kellan Lutz, Samuel L. Jackson and Daniel Dae Kim. James Remar (Dexter) and Derek Mears (Friday the 13th) have also joined the cast. The film is centered on a young man (Lutz) who is kidnapped and forced to participate in modern gladiator fights for the entertainment of the online masses. Dobrev will play Lutz’s wife - clearly she just can’t stay away from the vamps. [Heat Vision/HR]

Speed of Light
: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer have bought the rights to the epic space adventure Lightspeed by Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek) and Bill Marsilii about a young pilot who makes the Earth Interstellar Racing Team and then must embark on a journey across the galaxy on the onset of war. Bruckheimer “envisions the project as a live-action and potentially 3D pic,” though, considering the fact this is an intergalactic space movie, there is no way this is going to be a 2D affair. [Variety]

Post-Girl: Kevin Zegers (Transamerica, Gossip Girl’s Damien) has signed on for two upcoming indie projects. He will star alongside Ray Liotta in Entitled, about a ransom plot. And he will take the leading role in the college drama A Great Education, in which he will play a poor scholarship student at Harvard dating a rich girl (Emma Roberts). Just be wary if he starts asking you to wear strange shawl-like things to balls, Emma. [Variety]

London Calling
: Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Wild, the first book in a young adult supernatural series written by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, who will adapt their novel for the big screen. The story follows Jack London before he became an author, as he treks in the frozen north… where he finds “monstrous legends come to life.” With this and all those upcoming Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter-type films, kids who rely on movies to figure out what’s going on in their history classes are going to be in trouble. [Deadline]

Industry Roundup: Brendan Fraser, Mass Effect