New Projects: Patty Hearst, ‘Barbershop 3’, and a Lego spinoff

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Just days after the 39th anniversary of the conviction of Patty Hearst back on March 20, 1976, Deadline is reporting that Fox 2000 has acquired the rights to a new, untitled book being written by Jeffrey Toobin about the life and kidnapping of Hearst. The writers behind Big Eyes, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, will be adapting Toobin’s account.

Deadline is also speculating the role might also be in development for Jennifer Lawrence, but those talks are currently preliminary.

Hearst was 20 when she was kidnapped from her wealthy parents in the Hearst Publishing Family. She was later found to have changed her name to Tania and had joined up with her kidnappers, the Symbionese Liberation Army and eventually robbed a bank in San Francisco. Hearst’s story, based on her own novel, was first adapted into a film in 1988 by Paul Schrader, with Natasha Richardson in the role. Hearst is now 61.

“Everybody’s gettin’ lined up” for yet another sequel to the 2002 hit comedy Barbershop, which spawned a sequel two years later and a female slated spinoff called Beauty Shop. Deadline is reporting that Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer are being courted to return to their roles for Barbershop 3, while Queen Latifah and Nicki Minaj are expected to join the cast. Malcolm D. Lee (The Best Man Holiday) will reportedly direct.

Though we’re already getting a Lego Movie sequel, a Lego Batman movie and the Lego spinoff Ninjago, THR is reporting that yet another Lego spinoff called Billion Brick Race is currently in development. For this project, Lego and Warners Bros. have brought on Jason Segel and the revisionist charm he brought to 2011’s The Muppet Movie. He’ll co-direct and co-write along with Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3).

Joel Edgerton has announced the title to his currently filming directorial feature debut, now titled The Gift, coming off the working title, Weirdo. Edgerton also stars alongside Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall in a drama currently slated for July 31 of this year. In The Gift’s plot description via IMDb, “A husband and wife try to reinvigorate their relationship but their lives are threatened by a “friend” from the husband’s past who holds a horrifying secret about him, sending their world into a tailspin.”

Armando Iannucci, shortly after announcing his plans to direct a feature film based on Josef Stalin, is now signed on for an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield for BBC Films. Iannucci will direct and co-write along with Veep’s Simon Blackwell. Via Deadline, a rep from BBC Films said that Iannucci’s “sensibility usually runs very clearly through all his work. This won’t be a strange departure.”

Pedro Almodovar has announced the cast of his latest film Silencio, a return to form of his female-centered dramas. Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte are two newcomers who will both star as the same woman, Julieta, in what THR labels, “a drama focusing on destiny, the complexity of guilt and what makes people abandon those they love.” Almodovar has made Penelope Cruz something of his muse for his last several films, so this is a notable departure. Silencio begins filming in May and is slated for a release in Spain in March of 2016.

Like a shark swimming around its prey, Louis Letterier, director of the Transporter franchise, is currently circling a drama called In the Deep about a shark attack on a lone surfer stranded on a buoy. /Film points out that In the Deep was one of the best unproduced screenplays on 2014’s blacklist and “Blood List” of horror films. In a quote via Deadline, they describe it as “a cross between 127 Hours meets Jaws, with a touch of Gravity thrown in for good measure.”

Grantland recently wondered, “What the Fuck Happened to John Travolta,” and Steven Hyden’s observation was that the former rom-com star has now been on a tear to play nothing but bad guys in the goal of one day playing a Bond villain. His latest will reportedly then be a Liam Neeson-esque, old guy kicking ass movie called I Am Wrath. Travolta will play a man going on his own tear, seeking revenge on law enforcement officials who didn’t do enough to save the life of his wife in a terrible accident.

Jack Huston has been cast in a long-simmering remake of Alex Proyas’s 1994 cult hit The Crow. In the now 20-year-old film, Brandon Lee plays an avenger brought back from the dead after he and his fiancee were brutally murdered. Corin Hardy (The Hallow) will direct the film starting in 2015, once Huston finishes work on the other major remake of Ben-Hur.

And last, Liam Neeson isn’t quite done with action movies just yet, as he’s circling a thriller called Narco Sub, in which Neeson will play a disgraced American naval officer attempting to navigate a submarine filled with cocaine past the U.S. Coast Guard. The Wrap reports that Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones) will direct the sub-thriller produced by Ridley Scott and written by David Guggenheim (Safe House).




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