Since he first stepped into the solo spotlight, Justin Timberlake has been Hollywood's prince in waiting, just one perfect role away from claiming his crown as the biggest star in the world forever. Now he has found that part.
• For decades entertainment savants have pondered the question of how to bring art's greatest, almost elemental tale, the Yogi Bear saga, to the screen. Now at last thanks to new technology, they have found a way as a combo live action/CG animated version makes its historic way to the cameras. Naturally Hollywood's biggest stars have been vying for the leading roles, but when the fighting stopped, Dan Aykroyd was the warrior still standing; the former SNL star will voice the great Yogi in his epic search for picnic baskets. Clearly, the role of Boo Boo could go to none other than J Tims, and so it has. Anna Faris will play a previously unknown character described as a "documentary filmmaker." [Variety]
• JJ Abrams is in talks to direct his first TV episode since the 2004 Lost debut. Abrams is considering personally taking the wheel of Undercovers, a spy thriller series he will also Exec Produce. [Hollywood Reporter]
• Disney has made a big bet on 3D, Jim Carrey, Robert Zemeckis and Charles Dickens. The new adaptation of A Christmas Carol comes with a $180 million pricetag, making it the biggest, widest attempt yet to convince audiences that 3D is really so special that they should shell out extra dollars beyond the already wallet-breaking amounts they pay to take the family to a movie. But hey, if it can sorta look like its really snowing in a movie theater, who wouldn't take out a second mortgage to see that? [The Wrap]
• Christmas Carol is expected to win the weekend box office race, with its tracking projecting it to land somewhere between $35 and $45 million. None of the other films opening this weekend, Oscar contenders The Men Who Stared at Goats and Precious, or the alien-horror flic The Fourth Kind, are expected to wind up north of $20 million.
• Moving on from his Ali G stable of characters, Sacha Baron Cohen has formed a production company to develop new material. Four by Two Films has already signed its first deal to shoot Accidentes for Universal, based on the ambulance chasing attorney famed in LA for his side-of-the-bus ads. [Variety]
• With turmoil afoot in the industry, Daily Variety editor Tim Gray forsees a chaotic awards season ahead, thanks to among other factors: changes at the helms of four of the major film companies, the expansion of the Oscar race to ten films, the 3D wild card and a series of previously off the Oscar map companies such as Summit and Magnolia that could become players this year. [Variety]