Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories

As a producer, Adam Sandler has a few actors that he likes to work with over and over. Chief among them is Adam Sandler, so it should come as no surprise that he’s cast himself in Happy Madison’s next big feature, the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels.

Also in the mix for the film are Sandler’s buddy and frequent co-star Kevin James, while Sandler’s Just Go With It love interest Jennifer Aniston is being courted for another role. But the cast isn’t all Happy Madison standbys — Josh Gad, of Frozen and Jobs fame, is circling as well. Hit the jump for more details.

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Happy Madison and Sony were quick to snap up the rights to Patrick Jean’s short Pixels: Retro Gamers in 2010, but since then their plans for a feature adaptation have been moving pretty slowly. The film was set to open in May 2013 and then May 2014, before being pulled off the studio’s release calendar entirely.

All’s not lost, though, as the project seems about to take a big step forward. Chris Columbus is now in early talks to direct the picture, described as a Ghostbusters-style action-comedy. Hit the jump for details.

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Chris Columbus House of Secrets

Chris Columbus might be best known as the director of hit films like Home Alone and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but he got his start as a screenwriter. Long before he directed Mrs. Doubtfire or two Harry Potters, Columbus wrote Young Sherlock Holmes, Gremlins and The Goonies, just to name a few. In recent years, it’s that last film most people want to talk to Columbus about because it has resonated with audiences for decades.

About 15 years ago, Columbus was working on another screenplay and, after finishing a portion of it, realized it was way too massive to film. He estimated the budget around $500 million. So he put it away, went about his life, and years later dusted it off. He thought it could work as a novel and, along with co-author Ned Vizzini set to work. The result is called House of Secrets and just hit shelves bearing an endorsement from JK Rowling herself.

House of Secrets tells the story of three siblings who lose their parents and go on an epic adventure, the first of a planned trilogy. Columbus believes the book’s story and themes strongly position it as a “cousin” to The Goonies. Read more below. Read More »

Briefly: Maybe you thought that we needed another Sherlock Holmes movie or TV series, since there have been so few lately. I mean, there are only the two Guy Ritchie movies, a couple wonderful (if short) seasons of the BBC show starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the US show Elementary to keep Sherlock fans happy. But Paramount is still talking about remaking the 1985 Barry Levinson film Young Sherlock Holmes, and now the studio is reportedly turning towards one of Disney’s direct-to-DVD sequel writers, Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Lion King 1 1/2, The Jungle Book 2Tarzan 2… and Universal’s Wanted 2) to write.

The Wrap reports the info, and reminds us that Chris Columbus, who wrote the original film, is producing. Given that there’s no script, we don’t have a storyline to report, but as it is based on the original film we can expect that the movie will find young Holmes and John Watson meeting while at school, and likely show how they are entangled in their first case together. Read More »

We’ve posted the directors, actors, actresses, writers and now it’s time for the people who bring them all together. Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Producers’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Midnight in Paris producer Letty Aronson, Moneyball producer Michael De Luca, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer Tim Bevan, War Horse producer Kathleen Kennedy, The Tree of Life producer Bill Pohlad, The Descendants producer Jim Burke and The Help producer Chris Columbus to discuss their own, and each others’, films, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

Odds are, when you hear the name “Anne Rice,” you think “vampires,” thanks to her extensive catalog of tales about the beautiful bloodsuckers. So it seems a bit ironic that in these Twilight-frenzied times, the Rice book that’s on its way to the big screen isn’t any of her Vampire Chronicles volumes, but Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which follows Jesus Christ through ages 7 and 8. Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) has signed on to produce the project, which has Cyrus Nowrasteh attached to direct. More details after the jump.

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The TV Western is definitely back in style, with several projects in various stages of development at different networks. And it seems audiences are into it as well — Hell on Wheels just gave AMC it’s second-biggest debut ever, just behind last year’s premiere of The Walking Dead.

For its part, CBS has just hatched a plan to reboot the ’50s series The Rifleman, which was originally created by a young Sam Peckinpah. Harry Potter helmer Chris Columbus is set to direct. More details after the jump.

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MGM Orders Adam Green-Scripted ‘Killer Pizza’

Adam Green (Frozen) has scripted an adaptation of Greg Taylor‘s young adult novel Killer Pizza, about a 14-year old who gets a summer job at a pizza place that is a front for a monster hunting outfit. Now MGM has picked up the script — the latest buy from the revamped studio that has bought the Eminem boxing film Southpaw and the rights to Where’s Waldo?

More details below. Read More »

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