David Dobkin Directing Hugh Hefner Biopic for Warner Bros.

Hugh Hefner

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has cropped up in quite a few movies and shows over the decades. Sometimes, he’s played by himself, as in Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The House Bunny; other times, actors are called upon to play younger versions of him, as in The Playboy Club and Lovelace.

But those have all been supporting roles or cameos. Now, he’s finally getting a biopic all to himself. David Dobkin is reportedly in talks with Warner Bros. to direct, from a script by Peter Morgan (Rush). Hit the jump for all the details on the project.

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In Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer engages in the time-honored tradition of taking a classic fairy tale and reshaping it to fit the times. Current trends being what they are, that means turning the film gritty and (relatively) realistic, with plenty of Lord of the Rings-style action.

Screenwriters David Dobkin and Darren Lemke take the basic touchstones of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk — the poor farm boy, the magic beans, the scary giants — but introduce several brand-new elements to the story. In this version, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) heads upward to rescue a beautiful princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and stop her evil betrothed (Stanley Tucci) from taking over the kingdom. It’s a version of Jack that’s never been told in all the centuries that the character has been around. So why does it all feel so tiresomely familiar?

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Warner Bros. is still trying to make Arthur & Lancelot, based on a script by David Dobkin that the studio bought for a couple million bucks last year. Dobkin, who directed Wedding Crashers and The Change-Up, will direct the film that is an action-oriented take on the classic Arthurian story, with a modern feel.

The film was put on hold a while back, but reactivated when Colin Farrell was attached to play Lancelot. But the actor has dropped out, and so WB has to put together a cast from scratch again. Read More »

It seems like just yesterday that Warner Bros. had deemed David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot too expensive to live. (In fact it was January.) The film, meant to be a big action-oriented take on the Arthurian legend, was taken off the studio’s production schedule after budget concerns arose and attached actors Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman were freed to do other projects. (The latter took the lead in RoboCop.)

Now Arthur & Lancelot is back amongst the living, and one change has been made to ease studio concerns over the film’s budget and potential returns: rather than going with up and coming talent, the studio is now in talks with Colin Farrell to play one of the title roles. Read More »

Over the summer, Warner Bros. put David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot on the fast track at the expense of two other adaptations of the legend, but now it’s looking like Dobkin’s project may not come together at the studio, either. Though the picture’s been moving at a brisk pace over the past few months, it’s now hit a huge roadblock in the form of budget troubles so bad that Warner Bros. has told Dobkin to go ahead and set it up elsewhere if he can.

The news comes right on the heels of Legendary’s decision to put Alex Proyas’ Paradise Lost on hold for similar reasons, just as Disney did with The Lone Ranger earlier in the year. More details after the jump.

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Things are indeed shaping up quickly for David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot, which Warner Bros. fast-tracked over the summer at the cost of Bryan Singer’s Excalibur remake and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film. Last month saw the casting of Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington and The Killing star Joel Kinnaman in the two title roles, and now WB favorite Marion Cotillard has been offered the part of Morgana, a powerful sorceress and Arthur’s half-sister.

The Arthur retelling, which was written by Dobkin, follows the rise of the legendary leader from his humble beginnings as an illegitimate son being raised by a poor knight, while Lancelot starts out as “a rebellious noble who distrusts the established government.” Arthur & Lancelot will likely begin shooting in March. [Vulture]

After the jump, Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler lands another high-profile movie role, while several more actors join Michael Chiklis and Forest Whitaker in Pawn — though sadly, none of the new folks are from The Shield.

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I’ve written about the film a couple times and yet I keep forgetting that Warner Bros. is making Arthur & Lancelot, a new take on the oft-filmed Arthurian legend. David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up) wrote the script, which Warner Bros. bought and chose to film over several other competing takes on the Arthurian story.

(Casulaties of the Camelot Crush from early 2011 included Bryan Singer’s Excalibur remake and Guy Ritchie’s Arthur movie, which had script input from Warren Ellis and John Hodge.)

David Dobkin will direct in addition to writing, and just as early reports suggested, the lead roles have gone to Game of Thrones‘ own Jon Snow, Kit Harington, and Joel Kinnaman from The Killing. They’ll play Arthur and Lancelot, respectively, in what has been called a contemporary retelling of the tale. But read on to see why that early description of the script seems to be at least slightly off. Read More »

As Garrett Hedlund continues his negotiations over the lead role of Kaneda in Warner Bros.’ Akira remake, the studio and director Jaume Collet-Serra are wasting no time filling in the other roles as well. Buried in one report about Hedlund starring in the film was a tidbit about Keira Knightley being approached for the project. Though her possible role has not been revealed, I’m guessing she’s up for the part of Kaneda’s love interest Kei, member of an underground rebel group.

Knightley’s involvement is far from a done deal at this point, as she’s yet to enter talks. Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman, who were also given offers last month, apparently aren’t any farther along in the process either. Still, the fact that they’ve been approached at all suggests the filmmakers are hoping for a certain caliber of talent for the movie. (Not to mention a certain level of British-ness.) Knightley and Bonham Carter have both been nominated for Oscars in the past, and while Oldman has somehow escaped that honor, it’s not for lack of deserving. [The Hollywood Reporter via The Playlist]

After the jump, another potential project for Gary Oldman, while Jane Campion gets Holly Hunter, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, and David Wenham to sign on for her latest.

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