Brewer Gets ‘Footloose,’ Crawford Doesn’t, ‘Robin Hood 2’ Talk and MacFarlane to Introduce ‘Ted’

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Brewer Directing Footloose, Crawford Bails: I have a hard time believing the departure of Chace Crawford and the attachment of Craig Brewer as director for the forthcoming Footloose remake is merely coincidental, then again I never thought I’d see Brewer going from Hustle and Flow to Black Snake Moan only to end up directing a remake of a Kevin Bacon ’80s dance flick that once had Kenny Ortega attached to direct. So who knows, maybe it is coincidence. Paramount has said casting a new lead will begin immediately with production expected to begin this summer. [Variety]

Chris Rock Penning Kurosawa Remake?: In a strange bit of news, Chris Rock will reportedly step in for David Mamet of all people to write the screen adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s kidnapping thriller High and Low telling the story of a kidnapped boy, ransomed for 30 million yen. The film was a loose adaptation of Ed McBain’s “King’s Ransom“. As if that wasn’t enough, this is the same remake Mike Nichols is attached to direct. I have no idea if Rock has a talent we have yet to see, but it seems we may be finding out soon enough. As for High and Low, I actually discussed this movie only a couple of weeks ago as part of my “What I Watched” series. [Black Voices]

Bacon Joins Untitle Steve Carell Project: Kevin Bacon and Emma Stone have joined the cast of the Untitled Dan Fogelman-Steve Carell Project set up at Warner Bros. with I Love You, Phillip Morris helmers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra directing. The story centers on Carell, whose wife (Julianne Moore) wants a divorce. To salvage their marriage, he uses a slick life coach (Ryan Gosling) to reform him. Bacon will play a co-worker of Moore’s, an alpha male who begins an affair with her. Filming begins later this month. [THR]

MacFarlane to Direct Ted for Universal: Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”) is setting up his feature directorial debut at Universal Pictures. The film is titled Ted and is described as a “hard R” comedy about a man and his teddy bear mixing live action and CG penned by MacFarlane and his “Family Guy” cohorts Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild. Apparently Fox wasn’t ready to embrace the hard-R nature of the teddy bear feature, but is still working with MacFarlane on a potential “Family Guy” feature… Oh how far we’ve come from the days when “Family Guy” was canceled. Good for MacFarlane, he’s a true comedic talent in my opinion and he has banked big on the return of “Family Guy” and will reportedly get an ownership stake in Ted. [Deadline]

Niccol’s New Sci-Fi Project is I’m.Mortal: Andrew Niccol’s (Gattaca) upcoming film The Cross is one I can’t wait to see and before it even finds a distributor there is word of yet another film he will direct on top of being attached to a filmed adaptation of Stephanie Meyers’ novel “The Host”. The new film is a sci-fi titled I’m.Mortal, which Niccol penned and is set in the not-too-distant future where the aging gene has been switched off. To avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency and the way people pay for luxuries and necessities. The rich can live forever, while the rest try to negotiate for their immortality. The protagonist is a poor young man who comes into a fortune of time, though too late to help his mother from dying. He ends up on the run from a corrupt police force known as “time keepers.” [Heat Vision]

Moneyball Eyes a July Start: The much troubled adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book, Moneyball is now said to be making its way into production this July with Capote director Bennett Miller at the helm and Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in the lead roles as Billy Beane and Paul De Podesta respectively. The story focuses on Billy Beane (Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, as he used sophisticated computer analysis system to piece together a team that regularly contended for the World Series despite possessing a payroll dramatically lower than big-market rivals like the New York Yankees.

For the longest time the film was to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, but as hard as Soderbergh tried to get it made things didn’t work out and the film was canned three days before it was set to begin filming. The film once carried a price tag of approximately $60 million and it’s now reportedly down to $47 million. Steve Zaillian penned the original script, which was then given a pass by Aaron Sorkin, whose script will be the one that heads into production. Sony also says Major League Baseball is on board with the version that will go into production. [Deadline]

Robin Hood 2 Already Gets a Mention: Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe hits theaters on May 14 and will open the Cannes Film Festival two days earlier and there is already talk of a sequel as Scott has already said, “Honestly, I thought why not have the potential for a sequel, particularly if it is a genre that you absolutely love and has never been fully explored? If there were to be a sequel to Robin Hood, you would have a constant enemy throughout, King John, and you would follow his reign of 17 years, and the signing of Magna Carta could be Robin’s final act.” [Times Online]

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Sequel is also in the Works: On top of a Robin Hood sequel there is also word a sequel to 2009’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is already in production, though original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller won’t be back to direct but will offer creative input. The film is said to be an adaptation of Ron and Judi Barrett’s “Pickles to Pittsburgh” and titled thusly checking back in with Kate and Henry as they eagerly await Grandpa’s return from an unusual vacation. Kate dreams about a postcard Grandpa has sent, and the story begins. As someone that didn’t particularly enjoy the first film I have no real interest in another one. [Pajiba and io9]

Big Momma’s House 3 Gets a New Title and Release Date: Apparently the third film in the Big Momma franchise will be titled Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son and will hit theaters on February 18, 2011. The film once again features Martin Lawrence as FBI agent Malcolm Turner and Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder) as Trent, a role that was said to be Malcolm’s 17-year-old nephew, though I am now assuming Jackson will be playing Lawrence’s son. Malcolm and Trent go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder. Posing as Big Momma and Charmaine, they must find the murderer before he finds them. [Box Office Mojo]