RoundupTo think- a few years ago people were prognosticating on the demise of the book. Psssshaw. Hollywood would collapse as we know it, that’s for sure.

– With an ability to pull off poignancy and action, Paul Greengrass has rooted himself in the terra firma of solid, immediate filmmaking. He’ll further extend those roots with a take on the Rajiv Chandrasekaran book Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone. The book details the bubble-gum and chicken-wire stint of Paul Bremers Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority oversight and how, thanks to nepotism, inexperience and “we’re right” hubris, Iraq became completely derailed. The film will be distributed by Universal and begin pre-production upon completion of Greengrass’ Bourne Ultimatum. While United 93 avoided any political tone, I’d bet the left half of my testisatchel that Emerald City will break through that barrier. For more, read Devin’s piece here.

– Mira Nair, director of Reese and many things India (Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding), will be guiding the shape of the Johnny Depp film Shantaram. The film will be based on a book about a heroin-loving criminal who poses as a doctor in Bombay, only to return to a life of gun-running, funny-money crime in his effort to keep his patients doped up and well. Shantaram hopes to smuggle its way into both theaters and your jaded heart by 2008.

– Laurence Fishburne. His films are hit and miss, but dude can deliver the calm and measured verbal pimpslap like noone else. 11 year old spelling prodigies? Slap! Tom Cruise? Slap! M.I.T. scoundrels and scallywags taking Vegas for millions? Sa-lap! Fishburne is working his magic to star as a Vegas security chief in the upcoming Vegas con film 21. 21 will be directed by Robert Luketic, making the jump from frilly silliness like Monster-in-Law and Win a Date with Tad Hamilton to a “thriller” about six MIT guys who took Vegas by the ankles and shook millions in coin right out of their tight pocketses. Kevin Spacey is also starring in the film based off the book Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions.

– Jennifer Garner, hogging the spotlight just a few short years ago while inducing crushes from millions of fellows across the land, has been virtually MIA since hooking up with that Affleck guy and getting all knocked up*. Well, its baby steps back to former glory as Ms. Garner is joining up with Juno, to be directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking). Garner will play a small role as a woman who wants to adopt.

– Rachael Taylor, quick to capitalize on her role in big-time Transformers, will instantly cast-type herself along with a host of other marginally talented yet hot actresses who jump into the throw-away PG-13 J-horror. Taylor will star in Shutter, a “psychological thriller” (is that what they’re calling PG-13 horror these days?) about Americans in Tokyo. I wonder if they know how to live in Tokyo- if they’ve seen it then they mean it then they know they have to go. Of course, since they’re in Tokyo, they see yurei-inspired ghosts in pictures and everywhere else. Including underground drift competitions.

– Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson is all set to ramp up production in May. Mr. Will Smith is co-producing the racially tense yarn of a loving couple being harassed by a villainous and, naturally, because he’s on the LAPD, racist neighbor.

*That line suddenly made me feel like a gossip rag writer.