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March 9, 2009

Newsbites: The sequels and remakes edition!

1. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has launched an e-mail campaign against Angels & Demons, the upcoming sequel to The Da Vinci Code (2006) -- but since conventional wisdom has it that all publicity is good publicity, and since the earlier film grossed a phenomenal $758 million worldwide (considerably more than The Passion of the Christ, and more than either of the Narnia movies) despite a similar campaign, an anonymous studio chief has quipped that the only thing that bothers him about Donohue's newest campaign is its "timing": "Maybe we could have hoped for the campaign a little closer to the opening." The film comes out May 15. -- Variety

2. Terminator Salvation producer Moritz Borman is suing fellow producers Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek for fraud and breach of contract, and seeking $160 million in damages -- two and a half months before the film comes out. -- Variety, Anne Thompson

3. First there was Meet the Parents (2000), starring Ben Stiller as a man who has reason to be nervous about marrying the daughter of Robert De Niro. Then there was Meet the Fockers (2004), in which De Niro and clan get to know Stiller's parents, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand; it went on to become one of the top-grossing comedies of all time. Now, plans are afoot for a third film, to be called Little Fockers, presumably in reference to Stiller's children. John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You Man) is working on the script, and the studio is talking to potential directors. -- Hollywood Reporter, MTV Movies Blog (x2)

4. Jay Roach, who directed the first two Focker movies, won't be directing the third one because he's too busy working on Dinner for Schmucks, a remake of the funny French film The Dinner Game (1998). Roach's film will star Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, who previously co-starred in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005). -- Variety

5. Tracy Morgan, Martin Lawrence and many others are joining Chris Rock for Neil LaBute's remake of Death at a Funeral (2007). Has a movie ever been remade in its own language so quickly before? Even the Hulk reboot took a few years to get off the ground. -- Hollywood Reporter, Variety

6. World Wrestling Entertainment's film division plans to reboot the Vietnam-set Chuck Norris action series Missing in Action (1984-1988) as a straight-to-video movie set today in the Middle East. One of the writers working on it is Jeremy Passmore, who is also writing the remake of Red Dawn (1984). -- Hollywood Reporter

7. George Miller, who won an Oscar for his singing-and-dancing penguin cartoon Happy Feet (2006), still wants to make Mad Max 4 -- but this time, instead of going the live-action route, he wants it to be a 3-D anime film. Mel Gibson, who worked with Miller on the first three films between 1979 and 1985, will not be involved in this one. -- MTV Movies Blog

Related Tags: angels and demons, da vinci code, death at a funeral, dinner for schmucks, little fockers, mad max, meet the fockers, meet the parents, missing in action, terminator salvation