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January 17, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | January 17, 2008 |

The strike has been going on for so long that I’m tired of writing about how long it’s been going on. We’ve passed day 70, and things are still ugly and gridlocked and just generally acrimonious. There’s not much going on in L.A. and the business, or actually, the stuff that’s going on is all anticlimactic and stupid and weird, like we’ve all slid into a parallel universe and can’t find Sabrina Lloyd to help us escape. Like, case in point: Hayden Panettiere — who absolutely nobody thought would be the biggest thing to come out of the bland Remember the Titans — is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox and its Fox Atomic label to take the lead in its adaptation of I Love You, Beth Cooper. The book is by all accounts a decent little coming-of-age tale, and for Hollywood, that only means one thing: Sucking the sweet marrow from its pages and repackaging it as a big-screen version of American Pie 7: Nothing But Tits. The studio hopes to start filming in the spring, and in case you were holding out some small hope that the film will be good, you should be warned that Chris Columbus, who’s producing the film, is also in talks to direct. For the forgetful or just blessedly ignorant among you, Columbus directed a pair of Home Alone films, a couple of Harry Potter movies, the idiotic Mrs. Doubtfire, the somehow more idiotic Bicentennial Man, and Rent, a cheesy and annoying film version of a cheesy and annoying stage musical. Everything about this project sounds bad. Damn, but I want this strike to be over.

In other news, Ellen Page, best known for her work as Kitty Pryde in Brett Ratner’s stirring X-Men: The Last Stand, is going to star in Whip It! for first-time director Drew Barrymore. Barrymore, whose dewy eyes and vacant personality seem better suited for stardom than for directing, will oversee the story about a young teen in a small Texas town who for some reason finds herself being pushed into beauty pageants. As an act of rebellion, said teen goes out and joins the roller derby team. Why does the town thrive on pageants? Why is the girl forced into them? What kind of insurance policies would a club need to carry to allow a minor to play a seriously physically assaulting intramural sport? If any of those questions sound interesting, you should wait for the movie. I’m going to go sit in the corner and cross my fingers that Barrymore doesn’t ruin Page’s career like we all know she can.

In news that will either make my colleague Ranylt curiously excited or really depressed — my money’s on the latter, since she thinks the director in question has “gone to seed” — Dario Argento is making Giallo, an English-language homage (whatever) to the genre that will star Vincent Gallo, whose got a weirdly appropriate surname for the gig, as well as Argento’s daughter, Asia. Ray Liotta is in talks to join the film as a cop playing a cat-and-mouse game with a psychotic slasher (Gallo). Shooting is set to begin in February in Turin, Italy.

Also. Brad Renfro is dead. I don’t really have a joke about that, since he was my age. The cause of death isn’t known yet, but given his drug history, theories aren’t hard to invent. That’s just damn depressing.

Finally, this morning’s trailer watch brings the clip for He Was a Quiet Man, starring Christian Slater and Elisha Cuthbert. It’s kinda hard to explain, so just watch it.

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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