So Long Meryl Streep, Hello Helen Mirren? The Queen in Talks for "Arthur" Remake! 

So, we now all know that Russell Brand is going to channel Dudley Moore in a brand new version of "Arthur." (Read our original story about the "Arthur" remake right here)

Then, back in February, we heard rumors that Meryl Streep was in talks to star as Arthur's foil -- the great John Gielgud was the foil in the original as Arthur's valet. (Check out our Meryl Streep rumor right here)

Apparently, the supposed talks between Streep and the producers were just that...talks, because now, Helen Mirren, the Queen herself, is in negotiations to star opposite Brand according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Let's face it, Gielgud's Academy Award-winning performance is hard to beat, but honestly, either Streep or Mirren could give the part its much needed heart. So if the original was a valet, and of course, a man, the new role is reconstructed to be played by a woman as Arthur's nanny. Perfect!

Production is set to begin shooting in New York in July.

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"Beastly" Trailer! "Beauty and the Beast" Retelling Starring Vanessa Hudgens!  

Exactly one year ago today, April 22, 2009 to be exact, we told you about Vanessa Hudgens' participation in a retelling of the "Beauty and the Beast" called "Beastly" based on the fantasy novel by Alex Flinn. (Check out our original story right here)

Now, production is done, the movie is set to open July 30th, and we have the trailer! Take a look, it's actually kind of intriguing, come on, Mary-Kate Olsen as a witch? Camp! I'm soooo there!

Here's more info on the movie courtesy of Yahoo:

Kyle Kingson has it all - looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity - and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating "aggressively unattractive" classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra, inviting her to the school's extravagant environmental bash.

Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is - a task he considers impossible.

Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle's callous father banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper and blind tutor. As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer.

Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter, Lindy if she will consent to live in Kyle's Brooklyn home. Thus begins Kyle's journey to discover true love in this hyper-modern retelling of the classic "Beauty and the Beast" story.

Logline: A retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" set in modern-day New York City.
Genres: Drama and Romance
Release Date: July 30th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language including some crude comments, drug references and brief violence.
Distributors: CBS Films
Production Co.: CBS Films, Storefront Pictures
Filming Locations: Montreal, Canada
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Produced in: United States

Cast and Credits
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Alex Pettyfer, Neil Patrick Harris, Peter Krause
Directed by: Daniel Barnz
Produced by: Susan Cartsonis, Roz Weisberg

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A "Wizard of Oz" Prequel? Robert Downey Jr. to Play Wizard?  

Everyone and their family were buzzing about the possibility of Robert Downey Jr. starring as the Wizard in the "Wizard of Oz" prequel. The LA Times reported that Disney has put the project on a fast track, and Sam Mendez and "Hairspray" director Adam Shankman are both on the short list to direct.

But wait, isn't this the kind of roles that Johnny Depp is known for? So, is Downey Jr. stepping into Depp territory? If you flip-flop the two actors, can you imagine Depp in the role of Iron Man? But I digress...

According to

The project, scripted by "Whole Nine Yards" writer Mitchell Kapner based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, tells the pre-Emerald City story of the Great and Powerful Oz, back when he was a charlatan in Kansas working in a traveling circus.

This is supposed to be darker than the beloved MGM musical where the Wizard part was played by Frank Morgan.

So now, we'll have the fabled story of Oz told from the prequel point-of-view of the Wizard, and then we have the fantastic musical "Wicked" as told from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Here's my challenge to Universal which owns the rights to "Wicked" -- Disney seems to be putting this "Oz" project on fast track, when will we finally see the big screen adaptation of "Wicked?" I'm dying to see that one! Please?

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"Monsters Vs. Aliens" Co-Director to Help Taylor Lautner "Stretch!" 

Universal Pictures has found a director and a new writer for their big-screen toy extravaganza "Stretch Armstrong!"

Rob Letterman is set to direct the live-action 3D superhero flick while Nick Stoller, the writer-director of the super-funny "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is attached to rewrite. Steve Oedekerk wrote the original script.

Letterman previously co-directed "Monsters vs. Aliens." He and Stoller met working for the comedy "Gulliver's Travels" starring Jack Black. Letterman directed the film while Stoller wrote the script. "Gulliver's Travels" will serve as the live action debut of Letterman since it will come out before "Stretch Armstrong."

Lautner will play the title role of a man who can stretch his arms and legs up to four feet. Yes, I did own the 1970s Kenner toy :happy

Universal seems to be putting its faith on this project. Brian Grazer is producing, and I admire both "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." "Armstrong" is shaping up to be a good, entertaining superhero film...for now, at least.

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"The Girl with the Red Riding Hood" Finds Boyfriend! 

As we told you last February, "Dear John's" Amanda Seyfried will star as Red Riding Hood in a visualized Gothic version of the popular fairy tale. David Leslie Johnson, the guy who wrote "Orphan," is penning the screenplay for "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke.

Now, Shiloh Fernandez (pictured above) is set to star as the male romantic lead of Seyfried who will play a woman in a medieval village being terrorized by a werewolf according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Apparently, Fernandez auditioned for the role seven times before landing the part of Peter, an orphaned woodcutter who falls for Seyfried.

Fernandez also screen-tested for the role of Edward for "Twilight" that eventually went to Robert Pattinson. The actor also tried for the lead role in "Speed Racer" that Emile Hirsch portrayed.

Leonardo DiCaprio is producing through his Appian Way shingle. Warner Bros. will be distributing the film.

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