Harvard Writing Scion Somehow Makes GoodS

Somehow Simon Rich does the impossible. Truly remarkable. Also today: a new role for Cynthia Nixon, a new theater role for Hugh Jackman, Daniel Radcliffe is a German, Apes finds its Fay Wray, and the Oscars might be changing forever.

Beloved cable and stage actress Cynthia Nixon is joining the cast of Showtime's The Big C, which stars beloved cable and stage and movie actress Laura Linney. She'll recur as Linney's friend. One hopes her friend duties won't consist of getting one anecdote about her life in edgewise before Linney blabs on for hours about the minutiae of her never ending love saga with an emotionally unavailable man. Cynthia's had enough of that for one lifetime. [Deadline]

HUMBUGGERY! Simon Rich, the wunderkind boy writer who is somehow a published author and SNL writer despite having the burden of growing up the son of Frank Rich and going to Dalton and Harvard (class of '07, '07), has had his novel Elliot Allagash optioned by Jason Reitman and his production company. The novel is about hard-hitting, not often discussed stuff: a nerdy rich boy at a private school befriends a dangerous rebel boy and, presumably, learns about life and finds a girl. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hurl myself off the George Washington bridge. [THR]

Freida Pinto, the sexy lady from Slumdog Millionaire, will play a sexy primatologist in the upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel, Rise of the Apes. Wait, so do the apes rise before, after, or during the rise of the machines? Are the apes machines? Did the apes make the machines? Can someone please tell me just what the timeline is here so I can have a clear idea of what's going to destroy humanity when? I mean, I don't think that's a lot to ask. I think I'd probably prefer to be annihilated by machines than apes. Apes would just be scary. And they'd probably eat you. Yeah, give me machines, if I have to choose. OK. Important things decided then. Discussion over. John Lithgow also just got cast in the movie. [Variety]

Whoa! The Academy of Oscar Awards, Homelywood's biggest night of awards-giving until the MTV Video Movie Awards, might be moving to January. This is huge! Such a move (the show has traditionally been in February or March) would totally mess with the whole awards season. The Golden Globes would mash their globes up against Oscar's naked body. The SAG awards would come after the Oscars, which would just be ridiculous. As would the BAFTAs. Forget that stupid oil spill. Here's a truly valuable ecosystem whose very existence is threatened because of us meddlesome humans. The ape machines can't come to wipe us all away fast enough. [Deadline]

Well how about that. The producers of the Footloose remake have decided to do something crazy. They've cast an actual dancer in the lead role of dancin' fool Ren McCormack. Kenny Wormald is perhaps known only to me as Kenny from MTV's short-lived dance series Dance Life and as the lead boy in Center Stage 2. He's a tough-but-sweetie cutie patootie with a Boston accent and an unfortunate last name. Minus the Boston accent and that sounds very much like Kevin Bacon, doesn't it? Oh, don't worry. This remake is still going to suck. I mean the girl lead is that Julianne Hough creature from Dancing with the Stars and country music, and Wormald is sort of a hip-hop type dancer, so it'll probably just be about white kids acting street. But who knows. Maybe it won't be. Hey, at least Chace Crawford isn't in it anymore, right? (Though that would have been magnificently hilarious.) [THR]

Daniel Radcliffe, master wand manipulator, has been cast as the lead in a new movie adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, a novel about filthy kraut Germans and how they are filthy and krautish during WWI. (That's the message, right?) Radcliffe will film the movie in 2012, after finishing up his Broadway run in the musical How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Girl is busy! [Variety]

Instead of going some big studio action/sci-fi route for his next picture, newly hot Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer has signed on to helm Babe in the Woods, a Mike White-penned comedy about a naive Yale fresh(wo)man who somehow gets tangled up with the mob. It sounds pretty similar to James Toback's 2001 horrorshow Harvard Man, except that maybe because Mike White wrote it, it will be good. Plus Zombieland had some panache, so hopefully Fleischer will add that same flair to this. Though if Rebecca Gayheart comes anywhere near this project, run Ruben. You just run. [THR]

Song and dance man Hugh Jackman might be returning to Broadway in a new play by Nora Ephron. He just did a reading of Stories About McAlary, about the late New York Post and Daily News columnist Mike McAlary. Sounds... thrilling. I dunno. Things about writers, real or imaginary, just always seem a little blah to me. And I can kinda see Jackman hamming it up. That's just sorta what he does. [NYP]