Today in film: Joss Whedon has been adapting Shakespeare in secret, ABC close to deal for series based on Michael Lewis parenting book, and Disney isn't letting ABC affiliates talk to Johnny Depp about The Rum Diary.
- Avengers director Joss Whedon is apparently done filming super-secret new movie called Much Ado About Nothing. Last night cast members tweeted links to muchadothemovie.com, which features a cast list comprised of familiar names from past Whedon projects, a picture of a scuba diver drinking a martini, and the tag line "A film by Joss Whedon. Based on a play." Whether that play is Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is unclear. We don't recalls Shakespeare ever writing about scuba divers, but actress Emma Bates tweeted she'll be playing Ursula and costume designer Shawna Trpcic says Nathan Fillion is playing Dogberry. [Movieline and Vulture]
- Boston natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are teaming up with Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter for a Whitey Bulger biopic at Warner Bros. Affleck is directing, Winter will write the script, and Damon will star as Bulger, the Winter Hill Gang boss who spent 16 years in hiding before being apprehended by authorities earlier this year. The Departed producer Graham King and actor Peter Facinelli have already announced Bulger pictures of their own. [GQ]
- ABC is close to acquiring a comedy based on Michael Lewis's book of parenting essays Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood. The project was developed by writer Rob Sheridan and The Closer executive producers Greer Shepherd and Michael Robin. It doesn't look as if Lewis, who is writing the script for the film adaptation of his 1989 book Liar's Poker, is involved in the ABC project. [Deadline]
- Boss co-showrunners Richard Levine and Lyn Greene won't be back for the second season of the Starz Chicago politics drama. Levine and Greene had been working alongside series creator Farhad Sarafina, who didn't have any TV experience when production began, but according to Deadline Sarafina "proved a quick study during production of the first season." [Deadline]
- The news team from ABC Austin-affiliate KVUE says it was prevented from interviewing Johnny Depp about The Rum Diary -- or even broadcasting images from his appearance at the Austin film festival to promote the film -- by corporate parent Disney. A KVUE reporter says the blackout was intended to stop the adaptation of the boozy Hunter Thompson novel from getting "more exposure" than Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides, which came out on DVD last week. [KVUE via KHOU via The Hollywood Reporter]
- Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham Carter have reportedly been offered roles in director Jaume Collet-Sera's live-action remake of the Japanese anime classic Akira. Oldman would play the role of the Colonel, which was rumored to be going to Morgan Freeman when the Hughes Brothers were attached to direct, while Bonham Carter would play Lady Miyako. Warner Bros. greenlit the $90 million project last week after years in development hell, with an eye towards Garrett Hedlund playing the lead. [Twitch Film]
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