Odds and ends from just another manic Monday:
- Okay, now that I've forced the song Manic Monday into your head, let's kick things off with another casting for the film Hairspray. Young Zac Efron has nabbed the role of Link in the big-screen version of the popular musical, which was based off the 1988 John Waters film. Efron, who previously appeared in The Disney Channel's High School Musical, had to convince producers that he could lose the wholesome Disney attitude and add the spunk needed for Link, the hunky heartthrob of The Corny Collins Show. I'm not sure what exactly he had to do to prove he was past Disney's cute and cuddly persona -- perhaps he took a page out of Britney Spears' book and just removed all his clothing.
- The rumblings, whispers and rumors are now over -- Keith Richards is officially onboard for a role in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. According to director Gore Verbinski himself, Richards will make an appearance in the third installment, albeit a small one. While Verbinski did not confirm who or what Richards would be playing, we all assume the character will be related in some way to Captain Jack Sparrow. Seeing as Johnny Depp used Richards as his inspiration behind Sparrow, it would be fitting if the Rolling Stones guitarist played Father Sparrow. I'm sure a script will leak online at some point so, until then, we're playing the waiting game.
- Paramount is definitely on the move and, unfortunately, it appears some future projects are being shelved for the time being. Two such projects are the big-budgeted Tom Clancy adaptations of Without Remorse and Rainbow Six, both recently placed into turnaround by the studio. Though Remorse was already building up steam, having John Singleton attached to direct and Joaquin Phoenix in the starring role, it appears Paramount wants to, instead, focus on reviving the character Jack Ryan. They want to update the role, which was previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, by searching for a younger, new star. Hey, as long as they stay away from Freddie Prinze Jr., I'm a happy man.