It's true, he's very rich. Also today: A romantic comedy duo for the ages, a softer approach from a 24 man, Nickelodeon has deep pockets, and The Hobbit begins its journey!
Oh, good. Natalie Portman, beloved crush object of straight boys who sing a cappella, is finally teaming up with her Cary Grant, Ashton Kutcher — beloved crush object of aphids and wood ticks. They'll be starring together in a romantic comedy written by cult-ish playwright Elizabeth Meriwether, tentatively called Friends with Benefits. (Which is also the name of a current TV pilot, but Meriwether's original title, Fuckbuddies, probably wasn't going to play in word-panic America.) Oscar nominee Portman and People's Choice Award hopeful Kutcher will be directed by Six Days, Seven Nights director Ivan Reitman. A dream project on all fronts, really. [Variety]
Miranda Cosgrove, star of America's favorite TV show iCarly, has just become a very rich teenager. She's signed a deal with Nickelodeon to continue on the anarchic cyberpunk David Cronenberg series for 26 more episodes, so long as she's paid "low to mid seven figures." iCarly might have six million dollars and you might have none. The world tilts. [THR]
Speaking of kids making a lot of money. Taylor Lautner, the newly-18-year-old set of abs currently inciting your daughter's sexual awakening, will be paid $7.5M for his next film, an exacting Michael Winterbottom drama called Stretch Armstrong. Yes, somewhere someone has enough money to pay the star of the gymnastics team nearly ten million dollars to say words and take his shirt off in a movie based on a toy that stretches. Either the economy is fixed, or it's more broken. [TheWrap]
Find a nerd and hug them (hugging yourself counts too). Ian McKellan — beloved crush object of pretty much everyone, just admit it — announced on his website that The Hobbit will begin filming this July in New Zealand. He says that casting is currently happening in New York and LA, so put on your elf ears or hobbit feet or orc face and get on out there! This could be your chance to be the next Billy Boyd! [Ian McKellan's web site]
Abbie Cornish, beloved crush object of Reese Witherspoon, is capitalizing on her Bright Star reviews and lining up two new movies. She'll star in Dark Fields with Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro and in Madonna's W.E., about the affair between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. Because, you know, Madonna is just exploring her native country's history. [Variety]
24 showrunner Howard Gordon, beloved crush object of Richard B. Cheney, has decided on his next TV project. As is currently in fashion, he'll adapt an Israeli series for American audiences. He's taking their hit Prisoners of War and turning it into the patriotically-named Patriots, about three soldiers gone missing and considered dead in the 2003 liberation of WMDs who return ten years later and try to readjust to life at home. We'd expect nothing less from a 24 showrunner, frankly. [THR]