Mann and Hemsworth Team for Cyber Thriller, Mendes Close to ‘Bond 24’ and Fincher’s ‘20,000 Leagues’ Heads Down Under

Michael Mann1.) Though he most recently worked on the ill-fated HBO series “Luck,” Michael Mann hasn’t directed a feature since 2009’s Public Enemies. In the years that have passed, he’s tossed around plenty of interesting ideas, including the racing pic Go Like Hell and the war photographer biopic Waiting for Robert Capa, but he could just never commit.

Well, it finally looks like he’s ready to settle down and take the helm on an untitled thriller “set in the world of cyber threats and attacks.” And luckily for him (excuse the pun), Chris Hemsworth happens to have a gaping hole in his schedule thanks to the delays facing Steven Spielberg‘s Robopocalypse and is now attached to star. The film is currently set up at Legendary with a planned June start date. [Variety]

2.) In a rather odd move, Universal has hired two screenwriters to write rival scripts for their planned Mummy franchise reboot. Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) was already working on a script that would update The Mummy to the present day, while it also appears Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Shattered Glass). In other words, the studio is stacking the deck for director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) as the studio hopes to have something ready to shoot by late summer. May the best script win! [Vulture]

3.) NBC is will shoot a pilot for a new single-camera comedy based on the Nick Hornby book and 2002 movie About a Boy. David Walton (“Perfect Couples,” “New Girl”) will star in the Hugh Grant role, while Minnie Driver will take over the character played by Toni Collette. Jon Favreau will direct the pilot from a script by Jason Katims (“Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights”). [Deadline]

Sam Mendes on set of Skyfall4.) Early reports indicated the next James Bond film, following Skyfall, would in fact be a two-parter to be shot back-to-back. As a result Skyfall director Sam Mendes wasn’t too keen on the commitment. Now it appears plans have changed and Bond 24 will be a standalone film and Mendes is now 75% of the way towards doing it and only needs to see the finished script before he fully commits.

The Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye reports screenwriter John Logan’s “thoughts for Bond 24 are in the form of two treatment papers outlining a rough idea of the plot.”

5.) Apparently David Fincher‘s long-gestating remake of the 1954 Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is showing some movement with Disney location scouts considering the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, where “Terra Nova” was made, and Fox Studios in Sydney, home of The Wolverine, for the shoot, which will be biggest film ever to be made down under. A 16.5% tax rebate for foreign productions gives the production some incentive, especially when you consider The Wolverine was awarded a 30 percent incentive to shoot there last year. [THR]

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