Penelope Cruz Gets a Booty Call

Penelope Cruz is in Pirates of the Carribean. (Sorry for the pun.) Susan Sarandon is typecast as a matriarch. Spider-Man will be in 3-D. Ellen DeGeneres is back. Alice In Wonderland angers Britons. Almost too much trade to roundup!

•Ahoy! Penelope Cruz is in talks to star alongside Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides. Pirates director Rob Marshall must have had a good time working with Cruz on Nine. Not much is known about the plot of Pirates 4 besides it "revolves around the Fountain of Youth." Yargh, matey! OK, we're stopping. [THR]

•When she's not (allegedly!) dating ping pong entrepreneurs, Susan Sarandon is a film actor. She's in talks to star in an adaptation of the '60s Western series The Big Valley as "the matriarch of a ranching family in the 1870s San Joaquin Valley." Sarandon has a thing for starring in movies about the more lawless parts of America: Her next role is in Wall Street 2. Ha! [THR]

•A couple items of exciting Ellen DeGeneres items: Her talk-show, Ellen, has been re-upped for three more seasons on NBC. Writes Variety: "Once the 'Oprah Winfrey' competish goes away, "Ellen" is likely to attract a good portion of Winfrey's loyal daytime followers." Only in America could a white lesbian draw viewers from a straight black woman. It couldn't hurt that Ellen's debut on American Idol drew a solid 27.8 million viewers, beating all other networks in the crucial 18-49 demo. Good job, Ellen. [Variety] [Variety]

Alice in Wonderland approaching direct-to-DVD status: Disney has announced plans to shorten the gap between theatrical and DVD release for the Tim Burton remake to just 12 weeks, compared to the 16-week standard. The move is a bid to cater to rich people who have fancy home theater systems and are used to having everything their way. But theaters in the UK are not happy about the potential lost revenue, threatening not to show the film. Jeez, just put it up on YouTube or Vimeo or something. [Variety] [Variety]

•The Vacation series helped launch Chevy Chase's career in the 80s. Maybe the remake will help him come back. Wedding Crashers Producer David Dobkin is producing the remake, in which Chase will reprise his role as Clark Griswold. Neither the title nor plot details are forthcoming. May we suggest: National Lampoon's Swat Valley Vacation? [Variety]

•Spider-man will be released in 3-D. That is all. [The Wrap]