We Are One Step Closer to a Robert Downey Jr. Wizard of OzS

The new movie has a director, a good director, so maybe Downey'll finally sign on. Also today: Some TV casting both interesting and depressing, another internet thing gets made into a TV show, and the return of an old crush.

Well, good. You know how when people take quick-'n'-easy gimmicks from the internet and turn them into bigger things it always works out so well? Like, that hilarious new CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says? (Don't you hear like "bizoinngg!" "ooop!!" "clank!" "honk!" "[slidewhistle]" noises every time you read the first "word" of that fucking awful title? I do. I also maybe just hear those noises a lot. I am maybe going slowly mad.) Well they're doing another one. The admittedly actually pretty good blog-to-book Awkward Family Photos has been snapped up by ABC as a comedy (would be so much better if it was a drama) pilot to be written by two Just Shoot Me writers. Yay. Though, um, how in the name of god do you turn that into a TV show? Does the lead character work a portrait studio at a department store? Does every episode end with an AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTO. Who knows. Bizoing. Clank. Oop. Slidewhistle. [Variety]

Rising star Emma Stone — go seeeee Easy A, it is so fun to be watching it — has OFFICIALLY been cast in the new Spider Pants movie. And though she has (dyed! really!) red hair, she will not be playing Mary Jane, photography homosexual Peter Parker's most famous beard. No, she will be playing Gwen Stacy, a newer yet no less important lady in the Spider-Rat Chronicles. Gwen is a blonde, and so is Emma Stone without the hair dye. That's really the only important character trait that's being discussed, because she's a girl character after all, so who really cares what else she's all about. She's blonde! And Peter likes her! That's alls you need to know, ever. [THR]

How about that! Disney has conned good ol' Sam Raimi (speaking of Spider Twinkz movies!) into directing their upcoming Wizard of Oz picture, Oz: The Great and Powerful. The story, about a young Kansan woman incarcerated at a violent supermax prison, will be written for the screen by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), and the movie miiiight star Robert Downey Jr. as the wizard. But who will play Dorothy? Emma Stone? Nah. I vote for Glee's Chris Colfer. Though then you get into weird Kurt-in-prison territory and then it's just sad slash fiction that I've dreamt up in my miserable, booze-addled brain. Honk. Clank. [Deadline]

Interesting. Robert Patrick, a good actor who's never really gotten out of the asshole ghetto, has been cast in a multi-episode arc on the fifth season of Big Love. He'll play a polygamist leader named Bud Mayberry who is also made of liquid metal and has a strange obsession with Edward Furlong. (But who didn't, at one point, really?) I like that casting! He can be really creepy when he wants to be, and the most interesting part of that show has always been the crazy fringe groups encountered by the relatively mainstream Henricksons. Hopefully Season 5 won't be quite the cluttered mess that Season 4 was, though I guess all these new characters don't bode well for that. But still. Good for Bobby Patty. And Bud Mayberry is a great name. [EW]

In other TV casting news, the newly skinny Sara Rue, late of Popular and other lesser series, has been cast in a recurring role on the Peabody Award-ignored sitcommery Rules of Engagement. She'll play the surrogate carrying a child for Puddy from Seinfeld and whoever his main squeeze is. (David Spade?) So, uh, good for her. Does Bud Mayberry need a wife maybe? Ha! Of course he does! He needs many wives! Put Sara Rue on Big Love, guys. Don't throw her to the wolves (David Spade). It's just cruel. The poor television actress. It's just not fair. [Deadline]

Heh. Idris Elba is in talks to join the cast of Nicolas Cage's own personal I Am Here, the Ghost Rider sequel called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. He'd play a drunk monk who hopefully takes his pants off a lot. But you know what's even funnier, BETTER news? You know who might be in it, playing a villain? Johnny freaking Whitworth. Gosh. Remember how cute he was in Empire Records all those millions and millions of years ago? Remember how cute Ethan Embry was in that? Remember how cute people used to be? And now everyone's old. Everyone's old and horrible and we're mostly just dust and death at this point. The Empire is crumbling. And it used to be like French Vanilla ice cream. [The Wrap]