Marky and the Bear: Mark Wahlberg will play the human lead in Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut, a $65 million R-rated buddy comedy titled Ted about a man and his best friend, a living teddy bear voiced by MacFarlane. Wahlberg will spend the movie getting frustrated with the bear, “a carousing, irresponsible slacker,” for “getting in the way of his buddy committing to adulthood and the girl he loves.” Why does it sound like You, Me, and Dupree with a splash of CGI? [Deadline]
Easy As Pi: After auditioning 3,000 teenagers in a global talent search, director Ang Lee has found someone to play the lead in his upcoming film rendition of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi. His name is Suraj Sharma, and he’s never acted before. He will play “16-year old Pi Patel, a youth who gets stranded for 227 days through shark-infested waters aboard a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.” Shooting starts in January. [Deadline]
No Wabbits: Brothers Kevin Hageman and Dan Hageman (Hotel Transylvania) have sold a pitch to Warner Bros. that revolves “around the fictional ACME warehouse” (i.e., Wile E. Coyote). It does not leave room for the studio to develop a new franchise around the Looney Toons brand, as the hallmark characters will not be making an appearance in the movie. Instead, the film will be a live action/CGI hybrid made in “a tone that recalls the Amblin pics of the 1980s or a Men in Black–style movie,” like a Who Killed Roger Rabbit? [HR]
Machine’s Young Guns:Joseph Cross (Milk, Running With Scissors) and Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl) are starring in the indie film Art Machine, which Doug Kerr is directing and currently shooting in New York. Cross plays “a child-prodigy painter on the verge of turning 18 who is suffering from bipolar disorder and needs to come up with an art show to end all art shows.” Szohr plays one of the “outlaw hipsters” Cross meets, “a pyrotechnic artist who is attracted to the prodigy, but as his manic madness grows, she becomes concerned for his safety.” Joey Lauren Adams (Big Daddy, Chasing Amy) plays Cross’s mom.
Fatale Attraction: Cinemax is getting into the original-programming game with the anthology show Femme Fatales, and they just cast South African supermodel Tanit Phoenix as the host/narrator — a “sexy Rod Serling” — of the “half-hour program with stories similar to such noir movies as Bound.”