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December 6, 2007 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | December 6, 2007 |

I’m writing this in the middle of a haze brought on by working so much that I think my brain is starting to leak out my ears; if I were talking to you in person, I would probably start to nod off on my feet just like Spudgy. But I’ve got the buffer of the interwebs between you and me, which means you don’t get to see me pounding my keyboard in exhaustion and frustration at the utter lack of almost any good news this week. I think I know why this is, too. You almost never hear about the great movies until they’re practically upon you, whereas every worthless Alba/Berry/Schneider vehicle gets another write-up in the trades every time they get a new set designer or craft services manager. Honestly, was anyone tracking Lars and the Real Girl or Juno as they made their way toward our dreary lives? No. But THR and Variety do five inches a piece when Kevin James’ Mall Cop adds to its cast.

I’ll start with the only remotely worthwhile piece of news that springs to mind. (Dustin already covered the fact that Christian “Santa Fe” Bale will be saving the future from Skynet. And to think Miles Bennett Dyson killed himself for nothing.) It was announced this week that director Michael Mann and Johnny Depp will be teaming up to make Public Enemies for Universal. Set in a crime wave in 1933, Depp will star as John Dillinger in a script by Mann. The deal came about when Depp’s plans for Shantaram were postponed because of Warner Bros.’ script concerns, which will likely take some time to address given that no one in L.A. is doing any writing. Dillinger would seem to be a pretty straightforward role for an actor who’s become known for alternating between family films (the Pirates of the Caribbean series) and dark, character-driven dramas (everything else). But as long as Depp stays away from the eyeliner and hammy accents, everything should turn out just fine.

This is too weird not to share: Did anyone else know that Thomas Ian Nicholas, aka the Rookie of the Year, is now a musician (kinda)? It’s true. His music sounds like the kind of stuff for people who couldn’t quite handle the rowdiness of Tonic.

Anyway, back to the round-up. It was also announced that Hilary Swank — whose performances in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby are beginning to recede in the face of things like The Core and the upcoming P.S. I Love You — has signed to star in Fangland, based on the book by John Marks. Swank will play a (one assumes) toothy TV producer who travels to Romania to interview an arms dealer, only the guy turns out to be a vampire. From the logline, I have no idea if this is supposed to be a comedy or a drama. I mean, will low-level hilarity ensue when he tries to bite her and she hits him with the microphone? Or will he wind up keeping her in a pit while he tortures her cameraman, whose dying screams fill the nightmares of her final days? Really, it could go either way.

Finally, this morning’s trailer watch brings the clip for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. The movie comes out next summer, and from the looks of the trailer, Walden and Disney are going to have another hit on their hands as their moneymaking franchise rolls merrily along. Cynicism aside, though, the film looks to be a pretty entertaining children’s fantasy:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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