Charlize Theron is readying the project Florence of Arabia as a producing and starring vehicle for herself through her Denver and Delilah Films shingle. Dean Craig (Death at a Funeral) is scripting. Project is based on the satirical novel of the same name by Christopher Buckley and is about a State Dept. employee (to be played by Theron) who, after
watching her friend marry the prince of a Middle East country and
subsequently get executed, fights for equal rights for the women of
that country. Theron was most recently seen in 2008’s Hancock and The Burning Plain and has Atlas Shrugged and The Italian Job sequel, The Brazilian Job upcoming.
Bryce Dallas Howard will be replacing Rachelle LeFevre as Victoria in the third film in the Twilight series, Eclipse. LeFevre originated the role in Twilight and reprised it in the upcoming New Moon, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. “We are incredibly happy that Bryce has agreed to come into the franchise,” said Erik Feig,
Summit [Entertainment’s] president of worldwide production and acquisitions. “Rachelle
brought Victoria to great screen life and Bryce will bring a new
dimension to the character. The franchise is lucky to have such a
talented actress as Bryce coming in to fill the role.” Howard has had roles in Spider-Man 3, Lady in the Water and Terminator Salvation. LeFevre has the films Casino Jack and Web Cam upcoming. Eclipse begins shooting in Vancouver in August for a June 30, 2010 release.
Gary Sinise will narrate the upcoming WWII in HD, a 10-part documentary for History set to premiere this fall. He joins Ron Livingston, LL Cool J and Josh Lucas among several others including Justin Bartha, Rob Corddry, Tim DeKay, Mark Hefti, James Kyson Lee, Jason Ritter, Amy Smart and Steve Zahn who will voice individual war stories. In related news, History will also be doing America: The Story of Us, which spans the Pilgrims to President Obama, as well as The People Speak, an adaptation of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. The latter project is notable because it is shepherded by Matt Damon, who made reference to the book in Good Will Hunting.
Amanda Crew (The Haunting in Connecticut) will be starring opposite Zac Efron in Charlie St. Cloud for Universal. Directed by Burr Steers and produced by Marc Platt, the supernatural romance story is an adaptation of the Ben Sherwood novel and centers on a
cemetery caretaker (Efron) who has weekly meetings with his younger
brother, whose accidental death he blames on himself. He meets a
young woman (Crew) believed to be missing in a sailing accident and
begins a romantic relationship with her but soon wonders if she is
an apparition on the way to the next life. Steers rewrote the latest draft by Lewis Colick.
Robert Knepper, who portrays Samuel on NBC’s Heroes is being bumped up to series regular. Samuel is at the center of the major new story
line on the sci-fi series. He is the charismatic but evil
Earth-moving ringleader of a traveling carnival who recruits people
with special powers for a mysterious purpose.
Tonya Lee Williams (The Young and the Restless) and Battlestar Galactica’s Grace Park are signing onto The Border, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and ION Television action
drama. Williams will play a senior U.S. Department of Homeland Security
agent, and Park her lieutenant in the Canadian drama about elite
Canadian immigration and customs officers working with U.S.
authorities to defend the Canadian-U.S. border against outside
threats. Also, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, formerly of Degrassi: The Next Generation, will be starring in Us and Them with Mazin Eisadig (The Line). Project is a sitcom about best buddies — and polar opposites – trying to make
their way in the entertainment industry.
Alfree Woodard is set to head CBS’ new medical drama, Three Rivers, and Heather Stephens has joined ABC’s The Forgotten. Rivers is about organ transplants seen through the
points of view of the doctors, donors and recipients. Woodard will play Sophia Jordan, head of surgery at Three Rivers
Hospital. The role was recast after being played by Julia Ormond in
the pilot. Forgotten, from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, is a mystery
drama revolving around a group of amateur detectives led by a
former cop (Christian Slater) whose 11-year-old daughter had been
kidnapped. Stephens will play one of the
sleuths, Lindsay, left to care for her baby after her husband is
thrown in jail for an unknown crime.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey