Zach Helm doesn’t have too many produced screenplays on his resume at this point, but the writer got off to an auspicious start with 2006′s flawed but charming Stranger Than Fiction before making his directorial debut with 2007′s Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, which he also wrote. Although the latter wasn’t quite as well received as the former, he’s got a couple of projects on his upcoming slate that sound promising.

The first is Errol Morris’ Freezing People is Easy, an adaptation of Robert Nelson’s cryogenic preservation memoir We Froze the First Man, which cast Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, and Christopher Walken last week. Now he’s also been tapped to write Deep Water, a “dark, sexy comedy” based on the thriller by Patricia Highsmith.

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Whether or not Kristen Wiig decides to do Bridesmaids 2, what’s obvious is that she’s not wanting for work. The actress-writer-producer is already involved with several intriguing projects, and she may soon be attached to one more.

Wiig, along with Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken, are circling roles in Errol MorrisFreezing People is Easy, based on Robert F. Nelson‘s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment titled “You’re as Cold as Ice.” Paul Rudd has been set for the lead role of Nelson since last year. More details after the jump.

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Paul Rudd to Star in Next Errol Morris Film

Back in April of 2009 acclaimed documentarian Errol Morris announced his intent to make his second non-doc feature. The film was being written by Stranger Than Fiction scripter Zach Helm, based on two sources:  Robert F. Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and a This American Life segment called ‘You’re Cold As Ice,’ which jointly follow the story of Robert Nelson, a TV repairman who developed his own cryogenic preservation technology in the mid-’60s.

We haven’t heard much about the film in some time, but it isn’t dead. (Resist the puns. Resist the puns.) Now, while promoting his recent documentary Tabloid, Errol Morris has revealed that Paul Rudd will play Bob Nelson. Read More »

In December 2009 the Washington Post published an article called The $700 Billion Man, about Neel Kashkari (on the left, above) a Treasury Department official who was appointed as the federal bailout chief by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, only to retreat from Washington DC to the isolation of a small northern California town seven months later.

Now the article has been optioned, and George Clooney and Grant Heslov are producing a film based on it, with George Clooney eying it as a directorial project. Read More »

Wizard of Oz

Pajiba is reporting that Drew Barrymore has resurrected Surrender Dorothy for a possible follow-up to her directorial debut Whip It. This Wizard of Oz sequel was first announced in 2002 with a script by hot shot Zach Helm (who has become known as the mainstream version of Charlie Kaufman, with Stranger Than Fiction and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) and with Barrymore originally set to star.  The project has been in development since 1999, with producer Robert Kosberg (12 Monkeys).

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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

The movie trailer for Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is now online. This is the same trailer that we told you last week would be attached to Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille on Friday.

Emporium is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-like fantasy film written by Zach Helm, who we like to refer to as the Hollywood-ized Charlie Kaufman (Helm wrote Stranger Than Fiction). His directorial debut stars Jason Bateman, Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman. How could you go wrong with Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman? The story is about an eccentric toy store owner named Mr. Edward Magorium (Hoffman), who hands over his Emporium to his assistant Molly Mahoney (Portman). Things soon turn for the worse when Molly does not believe in the enchanted side of it and the magic fades. The movie will hit theaters on November 16th 2007. Check out the new trailer after the jump.

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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium PosterOur sources have just informed us that the first official movie trailer for Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium will be attached to Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille. You might be asking yourself, what is Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and why should I care? Emporium is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-like fantasy film written by Zach Helm, who we like to refer to as the Hollywood-ized Charlie Kaufman (Helm wrote Stranger Than Fiction). His directorial debut stars Jason Bateman, Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman. Have we hooked you already?

The story is about an eccentric toy store owner named Mr. Edward Magorium (Hoffman), who hands over his Emporium to his assistant Molly Mahoney (Portman). Things soon turn for the worse when Molly does not believe in the enchanted side of it and the magic fades.

Have we sucked you in yet? Good.

An unofficial 4-minute production (ie demo) reel was leaked online in early January, but quickly disappeared after the studio let out their attack dogs. Many people said the production reel looked very “early” and “rough”, and also revealed too many plot spoilers. All of which probably contributed to the studio pulling the video from online video sharing sites.

Well, the trailer will hit theaters next week with Ratatouille. The movie will hit theaters on November 16th 2007.

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