They're doing something that involves Russians and Americans and it all sounds very dangerous. Also today: new roles for Kurt Russell, the dumb brother from O Brother Where Art Thou, and Morgan Freeman. Plus, the end of an Entertainment era.
Adorable tiny person Tim Blake Nelson has joined the cast of Everybody Loves Whales, a new sitcom about Ray Romano and Doris Roberts going to work at a seaQuest-style underwater research station. Well, actually, that's not what it is. It's a movie about Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski bringing together Cold War enemies to help save some whales that are trapped under Arctic ice in 1988. Filmmaking genius Ken Kwapis, of He's Just Not That Into You (with Barrymore) and License to Wed (with Krasinski), will direct. (To be fair, Kwapis has also directed many episodes of The Office, so he's done some good things with Krasinksi.) Nelson will play a wildlife expert who
humanely puts down Brad Garrett. [THR]
Tonight, after supper, when Papa is drowsing at the table, pipe smoke curling in thin wisps in the candlelight, you will step out onto the creaking porch and stare off at the fields, the grass wet with cool nighttime dew. You will look at the last purple ribbon of sunset as it frays into nothing in the pale cobalt sky and feel a rush, from somewhere pooled and murky in your insides, of melancholy — the sadness of how swiftly time passes, how quickly everything fades and disappears, how moments from thirty years ago seem as though they happened, hazily, just days before, just back beyond that last turn in the road. You fill feel this way after hearing on the scratchy radio that Mary Hart, longtime anchor of supermarket checkout line infotainment news magazine Entertainment Tonight, is retiring after 28 years on the job. Where did all the old days go? What happened to those dogs that used to bark in the night, calling out to you as you learned of faraway people — Bruce & Demi, Gwen & Brad, Tom & Nicole? All of them gone now. All of them ghosts. [Variety]
Speaking of undersea mammals! Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr. are all looking to star in a movie about dolphins. Ha, no, not as the same part. That would be a weird movie if they could all potentially play the same part. A movie I would like to see. Anyway, Freeman will play a doctor who invents a prosthetic tail for an injured dolphin, Connick Jr. will play a kindly vet, and Judd will play the mother of the boy who takes it upon himself, precocious little shit that he is, to get the community to rally behind his crippled dolphin friend. The movie will be in 3D, because everything about Regarding Flipper screams 3D. Look for Patricia Heaton to star as the dolphin. [THR]
Maggie Grace is about to get taken (or, lost) again. This time... in space! Yes she's reteaming with her Taken producer Luc Besson for Lockout, about a man (Guy Pearce) out to rescue the US president's daughter (Grace, in peril once again) from a space prison that's been taken over by violent space inmates. I like this. I think this is how Maggie Grace should conduct the rest of her career. Just take movies she's already done and change them by putting them in space. Is there fog in space? Because you could do The Fog in Outerspace. But best of all would be The Jane Austen Book Club 2020, about Kathy Baker and her nerdy space crew discovering a strange planet where everyone runs around on rainy heaths, professing tart, pointy love for one another, first reluctantly, then ebulliently. I would see that movie so fast your bonnet would spin. [Deadline]
Documentary director Davis Guggenheim, of An Inconvenient Truth, will not be directing the 3D biopic about Canadian Anybodys Justin Bieber, as was previously rumored. When asked why he would not be doing the project and where the rumor came from, Guggenheim laughed bitterly and stared off into the middle-distance. "Let's just say that vodka is a helluva drug," he said finally. "And that things look pretty different from the bright side of 6am. You know? Let's just say that." He then stood up and walked out the door, disappearing into the sunlight, as free as any man has ever looked. [EW]
Longtime movie star impersonator Kurt Russell is in talks to join the cast of Touchback, a football drama about a thirtyish former football star (to be played by Tea Leoni impersonator Brian Presley) flashing back to his golden days on the gridiron. Russell would, of course, play the coach. The delightful Melanie Lynskey, the frequently drunken seeming Christine Lahti, and the Riley from Buffy are also in the cast. You know what Riley was also in? The Jane Austen Book Club. Connections! [THR]