Harrison Ford plays ball in 42; it’s not TV – it's HBO for Eddie Murphy; Helen Mirren and Sienna Miller star in competing Alfred Hitchcock biopics; Tom Cruise talks Top Gun 2 and Lifetime takes a swim in The Blue Lagoon.
1. Harrison Ford has signed on to play Branch Rickey in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.
“Ford will star as Branch Rickey, the innovative Major League Baseball executive who is best known for breaking MLB’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945. Two years later, at the start of the 1947 major league baseball season, Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers major league baseball team with the help of Rickey. Rickey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.”
Could this finally snag Ford that elusive Oscar? He was nominated in 1985 for Witness, but he didn’t bag the little golden fella.
42 will be directed by Brian Helgeland, the writer/director behind Payback and A Knight’s Tale.
2. Eddie Murphy is apparently headed to TV - well, it’s actually HBO. According to The Washington Post, the 80s icon is in the frame to play Marion Barry in a new untitled biopic.
Spike Lee will direct a script from John Ridley about the controversial Washington Mayor, which will be based on 1994 book Dream City and the 2009 documentary The Nine Lives of Marion Barry.
Source: The Washington Post
3. Helen Mirren looks set to join Anthony Hopkins in Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The British actress will play the famed director’s wife, Alma Reville, in the film - which will be directed by Sacha Gervasi.
The film, written by John McLaughlin is based on Stephen Rebello’s book which charted the production of Hitchcock’s classic slasher.
Meanwhile, Toby Jones will play the director in the BBC/HBO film The Girl. That piece will apparently show Hitchcock’s obsession with Tippi Hedren, the star of his 1963 film The Birds.
Sienna Miller will play Hedren in the film, which also stars Imelda Staunton and Penelope Wilton.
Julian Jarrold directs.
4. Tom Cruise has been out and about doing the publicity for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (aka Mission: Impossible 4), and the box office titan has given a few details on the oft-mooted, and finally in development, Top Gun 2.
Cruise told MTV:
"I said to Tony I want to make another movie with him. He and I haven't made a film since Days of Thunder. Tony and I and Jerry, we never thought that we would do it again. Then they started to come to us with these ideas of where it is now. I thought, 'Wow, that would be ... what we could do now.' "
The star went on to say:
"I hope we can figure this out to go do it again. If we can find a story that we all want to do, we all want to make a film that is in the same kind of tone as the other one and shoot it in the same way as we shot Top Gun. "
It looks like it might be time to dust off the old aviators, drive off into a Bruckheimer sunset and listen to some Berlin - again. That’ll take your breath away.
5. Cable TV channel Lifetime is getting ready to take a dip in The Blue Lagoon, as they move ahead with plans to remake the 1980 Brooke Sheilds movie about teenage love and shipwrecks. Milla Jovovich went on to star in the, imaginatively titled 1991 sequel, The Return to the Blue Lagoon.
Casting for the film is currently underway, as plans are afoot to start shooting in Puerto Rico this coming February.
I presume this incarnation of Henry De Vere Stacpoole’s novel will be aimed at the Twilight generation.
That’s it for now. See you at the movies.