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May 8, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | May 8, 2008 |

There’s a chance this trade round-up might be shorter than usual. I’m beginning to succumb to the just unbelievable weight of all the crap constantly being shoveled down my unwilling throat by the military industrial complex that is Hollywood. So much of the news isn’t at all exciting, or really even loathsome, just utterly boring: New Line picks up a spec script called Dan Mintner: Badass for Hire, and I’m supposed to pretend like I care that someone’s making a Chuck Norris homage years after the whole beard facts meme and even longer after we all got used to ironically appreciating clips of “Walker, Texas Ranger” on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”? I mean, come on. And oh holy hell, I just turned on the TV and saw an ad for new episodes of “Mind of Mencia.” Didn’t we learn anything last time? Fuck you, Comedy Central. Fuck you stupid whores into eternity.

Universal announced this week that they’ve acquired The Knights Templar, a spec from Adam Torchia and Justin Stanley to be produced by Timur Bekmambetov, a Russian filmmaker best known stateside for Night Watch and its deeply flawed sequel, Day Watch.

(Mini-diversion, or just a sidebar: It’s time to stop using “Electric Boogaloo” as your punchline for fake sequels. For sheer humor and quasi-believability, go with “The Quickening.”)

Anyway, Bekmambetov won’t be directing this time, just producing the script that revolves around the Knights Tenplar and their adventures as they try to stop an invading army of vampires from destroying the Holy Grail. Aside from sounding like a stupid mish-mash of everything you thought was cool in 7th grade, the story sounds pretty forgettable. And to be completely honest, I don’t know a thing about the Knights Templar except a couple vague ideas forward by Umberto Eco the summer I made the poor choice to try and read Foucault’s Pendulum, having momentarily forgotten that life is too wonderful to waste on books like that one.

Speaking of Bekmambetov, the director’s forthcoming Wanted is kicking up some news. Several online outlets are reporting that Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the screenwriting duo behind Wanted, have already been signed by Universal to do a sequel. The source for the news is actually Pajiba’s interview with Haas and Brandt conducted last year, shortly after the release of their 3:10 to Yuma. So, if it bears out, you can rest assured knowing that Pajiba — completely unknowingly and in an accidental way that should surprise none of our regular readers — broke the news first.

In casting news, Ellen Page will play Jane Eyre in a literary adaptation for BBC Films. No director is attached yet to the screenplay by Moira Buffini. I’ve never read Jane Eyre, so I don’t know if this is a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing, but I do know that Page isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when I think of Victorian repression. It was also announced this week that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, and Minka Kelly will star in 500 Days of Summer for Fox Searchlight. The “wacky” and “completely original” “anti-romantic comedy” deals with a woman who doesn’t believe in love (Deschanel) and the guy who falls in love with her (Gordon-Levitt). Kelly will apparently play someone who meets Gordon-Levitt by chance, presumably while moping around town and wondering whether she should quit cheer and hook up with the nerdy and stereotypical Christian who’s been giving her the eye.

First up in this morning’s trailer watch is the teaser for Frank Miller’s The Spirit, based on the Will Eisner character. The Lionsgate film’s release was bumped up from January of next year to this Christmas:

Next up is the clip for Baghead, which looks like a weirdly winning combination of indie movie and horror story:

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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