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Today in show business news: Ben Affleck is directing yet another movie, Rachel McAdams replaces Reese Witherspoon in a movie, and more 50 Shades casting news.

Though he's currently working on directing the big period crime epic Live By Night, not to mention filming a starring role in the hotly anticipated Gone Girl adaptation, Ben Affleck is setting up another directing project for himself. That he'll also star in. I guess he's really striking while the iron, meaning him, is hot. The new movie is an Africa-set thriller with dramatic and political overtones. Deadline describes it thusly:

The film is both an action movie and an examination of the moral ambiguities of how philanthropy and foreign assistance veers into modern day neocolonialism. It also tracks how involvement in the affairs of foreign countries is always a good deal more complicated than anticipated in the planning stages.

Ha. It's both an action movie and a searing study of how Western interests have completely f--ked up an entire continent. But there's action! Definitely action. Don't worry. Anyway, this sounds like a good project for him. He likes to tread that drama/thriller line. Though, someday it'd be interesting to see him do a movie where no one's life is at risk. That'd be something. But until then, we'll enjoy the many, many things he's doing. [Deadline]

Huh. CBS is planning a reboot of the long-running WB show Charmed. You know, the hilariously low-budget, horrendously costumed Aaron Spelling show about three witch sisters living in San Francisco? With Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano? And then not with Shannen Doherty but Rose McGowan instead? You remember. Anyway, the show only ended in 2006, so a reboot so soon seems strange, but whatever. Worked for Spider-Man. Basically they're just making a show about three witch sisters (THR says four witch sisters. The fourth sister was Rose McGowan, after Shannen Doherty's character died. But then there's a picture of Kaley Cuoco with the cast, which was only in the last season, and she wasn't a sister. I blame Kaley Cuoco for this confusion) and Aaron Spelling's production company was like "Ummm, that's Charmed," so CBS was like, "Eh, f--k it, let's just call it a Charmed reboot." So they are. That's what's happening. And we all need to deal with it. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Rachel McAdams is replacing Reese Witherspoon in the sci-fi romance Passengers. Witherspoon had to drop out because the movie is filming in Germany and she is wanted for questioning in several horrifying crimes committed in that country couldn't fit that travel into her schedule. So Witherspoon out, McAdams in. Costar Keanu Reeves is still there. He's always been there. This is the movie that should be called Space Jerk, because it's about the biggest jerk ever, in space. He wakes up from cryo-sleep on a spaceship 90 years before he's supposed to, and rather than wait for death by himself, he WAKES UP ANOTHER PASSENGER. What a prick! What kind of selfish monster do you have to be to do that? And then she's supposed to fall in love with him? "Oh I forgive you for completely ruining my life and consigning me to the terrible fate of dying on a spaceship with only the world's biggest asshole to keep my company. Gimme a kiss." Nope. I don't see that happening. I think you stay mad at that person until you're old and wrinkled and dying on that spaceship. That's what happens. Oh well. Congrats, Rachel! [Deadline]

Obviously the Jamie Dornan thing was the big 50 Shades of Grey casting news this week, but here's another tidbit: Luke Grimes has been cast as Christian Grey's adopted brother Elliot. I have never read these books so I have no idea what kind of character Elliot is, but there you have it. Luke Grimes will be Elliot. The wonderful Elliot. The horrible Elliot? I don't know! He's just Elliot to me. That's all I know. The only thing I know about Elliot is that his name is Elliot. And that he's being played by Luke Grimes. That's it. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Kelly Oxford, the writer who used Twitter to get famous and tweets a lot but now hates being called a "Twitter writer," has sold a comedy pilot to Fox. The show is about a 30-year-old mom who works at a retirement home. So it's kid humor AND old person humor. The circle of life. The alpha and omega of our short spin on this lonely blue marble. Next fall on Fox. Sounds great. [Deadline]

Here is the first trailer for James Gray's The Immigrant, a period drama starring Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner, and frequent Gray player Joaquin Phoenix. It looks stately and pretty and sad and designed to win awards. Will it? I dunno. We'll find out next year.

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