• Disney has won a bidding war to distribute Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, an action film (reportedly "not religious in theme") to be entirely financed by the director's Icon Entertainment. Disney's looking at it as a tentpole for summer 2006.
  • Guy Pearce will play Houdini in Death Defying Acts, about the illusionist's 1926 tour of Britian, and the passionate affair he had with a Scottish woman (Rachel Weisz) en route. Gillian Armstrong will direct.
  • Focus Features is going to finance9, an animated film to be produced by Tim Burton and directed by Shane Acker. Based on Acker's short of the same name, the CGI feature is described as a "surreal fantasy [that] takes place in a parallel world where humanity is threatened."
  • Citing factious relations with the union that "may very well be irreparable", Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert announced that she will not run for a third term; Morgan Fairchild is amongst the candidates for the next election.
  • According to Jonathan Bing, Hustle and Flow's success is going to depend entirely on word-of-mouth - or, WOMP: "Let's say I run into you in a bookstore and suggest you drop everything and see Hustle & Flow. Whether or not you follow my advice, you've officially been WOMPed."
categories Cinematical