1.) A press release from Paramount has confirmed the casting of Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4. “Mark is awesome. We had a blast working on Pain and Gain and I’m so fired up to be back working with him,” said director Michael Bay. “An actor of his caliber is the perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers’ legacy.” I suppose the interesting thing here is that it sounds like Wahlberg is going to be the lead, whereas it was previously thought Bay would cast a new pair of high-schoolers to replace Shia Labeouf. The studio also sent along the new logo, which only makes me curious why they didn’t go with the far catchier and more stylish Trans4mers as the title.
2.) Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) has reportedly written a 40-something page treatment for Star Wars: Episode VII, which will soon be crossing the desks of top directorial candidates. If true, this report would confirm my suspicions that Disney would raid the Pixar talent pool for Episode VII, and (in my opinion) make a pairing with director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) all the more likely. Arndt is also working on “The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind” for Up helmer Pete Docter. [Vulture]
3.) Tim Robbins will direct Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz and himself in the dysfunctional family comedy Man Under. The film follows a family dealing with their new celebrity status after they are profiled in an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Arts. The film will mark the Dead Man Walking director’s first theatrical release since 1999. [Deadline]
4.) Alan Arkin is in negotiations to join Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro in Grudge Match. Stallone and De Niro play former boxing rivals who come out of retirement and settle an old score. Stallone agrees to the fight so he can pay the medical bills of his old trainer (Arkin). Kim Basinger and Kevin Hart (Think Like a Man) are also on board for director Peter Segal (Get Smart), but I still haven’t figured out if the film is a comedy or not. IMDb lists it as such, and it almost sounds too ridiculous not to be. [Variety]
5.) And finally, playwright and Lincoln scribe Tony Kushner is apparently “working on a new script for [Steven Spielberg]” and has been for “a couple of weeks” according to an interview with Kushner at EW. There’s no additional word on what it could be and Spielberg’s next is the Drew Goddard-penned sci-fi Robopocalypse. Kushner previously co-wrote Munich for Spielberg with Eric Roth so if history holds to form, we’re probably looking at Kushner writing Spielberg’s next Best Picture contender.