Okay, try to follow along: just two weeks after Dreamworks reportedly walked away from acquisition talks with NBC/Universal, not only has that company reportedly dragged David Geffen and friends back to the table, but now Paramount is said to be courting the studio as well. The Paramount talks are described as "exploratory" (love it when Hollywood reporters appropriate the language of surgery to talk about deals), and GE hasn't given Universal official permission to raise their reported $900 million bid. But the competition can only be good for Dreamworks, who are struggling to regain credibility after their recent, Island-led disappointments.
Kirsten Dunst is set to play Marla Ruzicka, a 28-year-old aid worker killed last spring by a suicide bomber in Iraq, in a film to be based partly on Ruzicas own memoirs to be produced by MTV Films.
FilmFour's Scott Rudin has acquired Zadie Smith's On Beauty. A shortlist contender for the Booker Prize, Beauty is a family drama set in the wild and wacky world of academia. Allison Owen and Tessa Ross will also produce.