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 EW.com:

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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James Bond's Licence to Kill Revoked...For Now! Latest 007 Film Delayed Indefinitely 

Our friends at ComingSoon.Net told us that "007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, announced they have suspended development on the next James Bond film previously scheduled for release 2011/2012."

Who are the producers blaming? The future of MGM! Wilson and Broccoli said in a joint statement, "Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of 'Bond 23."

So James Bond may be dead for now, but we all know, the franchise will keep on ticking, it might as well die another day! :happy

But will Daniel Craig still be the Bond of this generation? Stay tuned...

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Seth Rogen Tops Hardest Working Actors List 

Forbes Magazine has published a list of the hard-working actors! No, it's not about our talented actors who all go Method acting on us, but thespians who starred in films that earned the most money! It's a business magazine after all.

So in order to compile their rankings, our friendly Forbes folks "considered all movies released between January 2005 and December 2009 that earned more than $20 million at the U.S. box office (559 films total). Based on data from Exhibitor Relations, we tallied which actors had the most starring or significant roles in those movies, with ties broken by cumulative box-office totals. By drawing a line based on box-office returns, the list also selects for the stars whose work is most effective for the studios."

And the No. 1 hardest working actor in the biz? No other than the uber-busy Seth Rogen who starred in 12 films with a cumulative total of $892 million! From "Knocked Up" to "Kung Fu Panda," Rogen's movies made lots of cash.

Here's the list of the Top 10 Hardest Working Actors (as compiled by Moviefone), oh yeah, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep made the list, yay!

1. Seth Rogen: 12 films / $892 million in total
2. Morgan Freeman: 9 films / $1,168 billion in total (including The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Invictus)
3. Matt Damon: 8 films / $696 million in total (including The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean's Thirteen, The Departed)
4. Will Ferrell: 8 films / $607 million in total (including Talladega Nights, Man vs. Wild, Stranger Than Fiction)
5. Robert Downey Jr.: 7 films / $788 million in total (including Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, The Soloist)
6. Samuel L. Jackson: 7 films / $700 million in total (including Snakes on a Plane, Star Wars: Episodes II and III)
7. Sandra Bullock: 5 films / $655 million in total (including The Blind Side, The Proposal)
8. Meryl Streep: 7 films / $547 million in total (including Mamma Mia!, The Devil Wears Prada)
9. Shia LaBeouf: 6 films / $1.3 billion in total (including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Transformers)
10. Christian Bale: 6 films / $1 billion in total (including The Dark Knight, Terminator Salvation)

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