May 10, 2009
Newsbites: The ancient characters edition!
2. Movies often seem to come in twos: two volcano-based disaster movies, two asteroid- or comet-based disaster movies, two Truman Capote movies, etc. And now ... two John Milton movies? Scott Derrickson has been developing a big-screen version of Paradise Lost for the past few years already, but now comes word that Martin Poll will produce an "indie version" of the Milton poem based on an otherwise-unfilmed screenplay that was published in book form in 1973. Two "unknown young actors" named David Dunham and Patricia Li Bryan have been hired to play Adam and Eve "as part of a multiethnic cast." -- Hollywood Reporter
3. The TV mini-series version of Ben-Hur now has a cast: Joseph Morgan -- no stranger to sword-and-sandals flicks, having played Philotas in Oliver Stone's Alexander (2004) -- will play the title character, while Kristen Kruek will play his sister, Emily VanCamp will play his girlfriend Esther, Ray Winstone will play his adoptive father, and Stephen Campbell Moore will play his treacherous former best friend Messala. Hugh Bonneville is also on board to play Pontius Pilate. -- Hollywood Reporter
4. Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson will play the Greek god Hades and his "imprisoned" wife Persephone in Percy Jackson. This is not the first time that either actor has tackled a Greco-Roman role; Coogan plays the Roman emperor Octavius in the Night at the Museum movies (2006-2009), while Dawson played the title character's wife in Alexander. -- Hollywood Reporter
5. Danny Huston has been cast as the Greek god Poseidon in Clash of the Titans; for what it's worth, the same character is being played by Kevin McKidd in Percy Jackson. Meanwhile, producer Richard Zanuck has confirmed that the studio hopes to turn this movie into a franchise, but he notes that "everybody's hoping for that these days." The film has been in production for two weeks now, and photos of at least one of the outdoor sets have begun to pop up online. -- Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Business Wire, Lo que pasa en Tenerife, Las Horas Perdidas
6. Brett Ratner is no longer attached to direct the next version of Conan the Barbarian. Rumour has it the producers might be thinking of hiring Wachowski-sibling protégé James McTeigue to direct the film now. -- Empire, CHUD.com