Cameron goes tribal for new film project
Currently rolling in the millions he's made from Avatar (apologies for the image); James Cameron is planning to shoot a film about indigenous Brazilians.
Associated Foreign Press has reported that Cameron has met with leaders of the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe and discussed their opposition to the construction of an electric dam for fear it will flood tribal land. "I want to take a 3D camera to film how they live, their culture," he said. It hardly needs reminding that Avatar covered very similar territory (albeit in a sci-fi setting), but it might be nice for Cameron to draw attention to a real environmental issue.
Liam Neeson goes into the wild
In a strange piece of casting news, Liam Neeson (58) has replaced Bradley Cooper (35) in the lead role for The Grey. The film will be directed by Joe Carnahan, who worked with both Neeson and Cooper on The A-Team. (They're also all in the same talent agency, conspiracy fans). The Grey, an action film, will tell the tale of a team of oil drillers who have to survive the Alaskan wild after a plane crash, much like Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin did in The Edge.
Zhang Ziyi is Mulan
I never thought I'd get excited about a Jan de Bont film, but here I am, giddy like a schoolgirl. The director of Speed (and, ahem, Speed 2), will be filming a live-action version of Mulan starring Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, one of my favourite films). You may know Mulan as a not-bad animated Disney film, but her origins began with a sixth-century poem. The period adventure, about a young woman who joins an all-male Chinese army, will be an international production, likely shot entirely in China.
Gemma Arterton for Alien?
Here's some potentially great news: Gemma Arterton (right) is in talks with Ridley Scott to play the lead in his Alien prequels. A couple of high-profile turns in Clash of the Titans and as a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace did no harm to Arterton's career, but Scott was especially impressed by her steely turn in The Disappearance of Alice Creed. She can currently be seen doing some good work in this week's Tamara Drewe (directed by a different English legend, Stephen Frears). The first Alien movie made a star of Sigourney Weaver and there's always been a feminine edge to these movies, so the glamorous, feisty Arterton would be a perfect fit.
The Office: The Movie?
It's easy to forget how successful the US Office is in its home country. It helped make a star of Steve Carell, won numerous awards and is heading towards its eighth season. Producer Paul Lieberstein told E! that Carell's impending departure will not signal an end to the show, and, indeed, that his character might return to Dunder Mifflin paper company on the big screen. "Maybe when the series is done we'd do an Office movie. I'd be up for that," Paul said. "But they're all such big movie stars now, I don't know if we could afford them on set!" And who does Lieberstein want to replace Carell on the show? Harvey Keitel.