Earlier today, Russ told you that Billy Ray will be writing a ripped-from-the-headlines movie about Captain Richard Phillips vs. Somali Pirates. That’s not Ray’s only new writing gig, however, as he’s also taking a crack at the Gears of War movie. Last we heard, director Len Wiseman was collaborating with Wanted scribe Chris Morgan on the project, superceding an ill-liked Stuart Beattie draft. Like that fellow with his One Red Paperclip, this sounds like a constant series of uptrades.
So, how did Billy Ray get the gig?
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The movie of the week business used to be the province of television and cable, but with these tougher economic times, big studios are getting into the game, too. Or trying to. Earlier this year Columbia bought the rights to the story of Richard Phillips, the captain held hostage by Somali Pirates this past May before being rescued by Navy Seals. Now the film finally has a writer. Read More »
Update: Tom Cruise was being courted for at least six different big Hollywood projects. Out of all the possible projects, the star has chosen the least interesting one. Cruise is in talks to join Cameron Diaz in the 20th Century Fox action-comedy Wichita. Cruise will play an undercover agent who pops in and out of the life of a woman (Diaz) who has man trouble. Cruise and Diaz have approved the script, which most recently was worked on by Scott Frank (The Lookout) and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island). Directed by Walk the Line/3:10 to Yuma helmer James Mangold, Fox hopes to have the film in theaters for a Summer 2010 release.
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Variety have published a very exciting list of every film that could, potentially, become the next film for Tom Cruise – as well as a list of the various writers and directors working on them. The focus is on the writers, as the umbrella notion here is that Cruise is calling for lotsa costly rewrites from script doctors. Curiously enough, it is later made clear in the piece that some of these writers aren’t doctoring as much as coming on to the projects as full-on writers.
The full list follows, but sadly it doesn’t contain two interesting prospects: Susanne Bier‘s Lost For Words and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck‘s The 28th Amendment. Hopefully they’ll still go ahead with a different lead, or be resurrected once Cruise has cleared his plate a little.
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Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman is in talks to helm Motorcade for DreamWorks. Billy Ray‘s (Breach, Flightplan) screenplay is an action-thriller about a terrorist group that assaults the President of the United States’ motorcade as it makes its way across Los Angeles. Sounds like an interesting premise for an action flick but I’m more concerned about what this could mean for Wiseman’s big screen adaptation of Gears of War.