Michael Fassbender is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after actors working right now. He’s got that combination of skill, looks and fearlessness that makes him desirable for any producer or director.

For demonstrations of fearlessness, all you have to do is look to Fassbender’s two films made with director Steve McQueen. Hunger is a searing experience that recreates the 1981 hunger strike led by IRA volunteer Bobby Sands in the Maze prison. And then there is Shame, opening in December, which gained immediate notoriety after festival appearances revealed the sexually explicit details of the drama about a man (Fassbender) “unable to manage his sex life.”

You can also take the in-demand actor’s willingness to make time for McQueen as a declaration of the director’s stature. Now, as Shame moves towards a general opening in US theaters, Fassbender has signed to appear in McQueen’s next film, 12 Years a Slave, which will star Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northrup, a free black man kidnapped in Washington in 1841 and made to serve as a slave for over a decade. Read More »

Steve McQueen followed his debut film Hunger with Shame, which reunites him with actor Michael Fassbender and will premiere shortly at the Venice Film Festival. Now he’s got his post-Shame project set: a film called 12 Years a Slave, in which Chiwetel Ejiofor will star. Read More »

Although he’s currently best known as that guy whose tattoo artist tried to sue Warner Bros. for reproducing his design on Ed Helms’ face, Mike Tyson was once famous for being one of the best boxers of his day. It’s true! I read about it on Wikipedia. Now HBO has ordered a pilot for a new drama called Da Brick, which will be “loosely inspired” by Tyson’s early days as a boxer. Spike Lee has signed on to direct the episode, and will executive produce with Tyson, Entourage creator Doug Ellin and Jim Lefkowitz. John Ridley (Three Kings, Undercover Brother) will serve as writer and showrunner. Read more after the jump.

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Moviehole yesterday scored a nice little scoop from their interview with Kevin Tancharoen, choreographer and director of the new Fame. Afterwards, that story appeared in Variety with absolutely no reference to the Moviehole story but a rather set of info. You’re probably not surprised to read this much. If you want to e-mail Dana Harris Variety and let slip that you’re onto them it might do some good.

What Moviehole discovered is that Tancharoen has his next picture lined up and it’s a sci-fi action film called Arcana that, seemingly, has a little bit of everything in the mix.

Arcana is a unique blend of the graphic-novel backdrop – like Blade Runner – and shot like 300, and has a little bit of Warriors mixed in there, with a little bit of martial arts, so it’s got a lot of crazy elements in there.

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Red Tails is one of those projects that I’ve never been interested in. George Lucas has been developing the film since 1989, and was originally going to direct the movie himself. He infamously put the project aside to helm the Star Wars prequels. It has now been officially announced that Anthony Hemingway (The Wire, CSI: NY, ER) has signed on to helm the project.

Scripted by John Ridley, the story follows the true events surrounding the first African Americans to become US military pilots in WWII. At first harassed on Racial grounds, the Tuskegee Airmen went on to become heavily in-demand, and were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. LucasFilm is financing the project for a reported $30-$35 million. Production will begin early next year in Prague, Italy, Croatia and England.

Okay, to recap: We have a film developed by George Lucas for the last 20 years, written by the guy who created Undercover Brother and directed by a television director? I’ll pass.

Discuss: Is anyone excited about Red Tails?