Various News Items – 28/12/08

There’s about as much film news on the web as there are stains on a nun’s mattress right now so just a quick round-up today…

- Will Fox be distributing Warner’s “Watchmen”? A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that Rothman’s crowd owns the distribution rights to the superhero picture, representing a setback for WB’s plans to release the pic in March. Variety has more on this surprising story..

- Disney has bailed out of co-financing the third movie in Walden Media’s “Chronicles of Narnia” series, according to published reports.

- Twentieth Century Fox’s Jennifer Aniston-Owen Wilson starrer “Marley and Me” led the crowded pack of Christmas Day openers, grossing an estimated $14.8 million from 3,480 playdates to become the best opening ever for Dec. 25.

- Kam Heskin will reprise her role as Paige Morgan – a part she’s played since Julia Stiles hung up the glass slippers after the first film – in a fourth “Prince and Me” film. The new film, set to lens Feb 9, will be directed by Catherine Cyran.

- Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Christopher Showerman (“Big Game”) and Ethan Phillips (TVs “Star Trek : Voyager”) and will star in director Tim ‘Voyager’ Russ’s “A Night at the Bijou”. The film tells of a rock band and group of friends who work at a movie theater who race to find a replacement for their injured drummer in time for their “Big Break” show.

- The creators of the “Gilligan’s Island” TV series want to see Michael Cera (“Superbad”, “Juno”) play the title character in a film version.

- Thomas Jane (“The Mist”) is set to star in a World War II action horror film called ”The Devil’s Commandos”. Its rumoured that Jane will also direct the film.

- A man enraged because a family was talking during a Christmas showing of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” dealt with the situation by shooting the father and pelting the son with popcorn.

- Shawn Levy tells MTV he nixed a couple of characters from the upcoming “Night at the Museum2″ at the last minute. “We actually had a whole Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong thing, where we were going to have them get into a wrestling match at the door of the capsule, like who goes first,” Levy said of a planned cameo from the lunar trotting pair. “But we thought it would be historically blasphemous!”

- “The Punisher : War Zone” will be skipping theaters altogether in Australia. Rumour has it it’s going direct-to-DVD in April.

- Adam Shankman tells Collider that the “Hairspray” sequel won’t be happening anytime soon. ”That certainly will not happen this year. There’s only an outline and we’re out to writers.” Shankman also said the “Topper” remake, something he planned to do with Steve Martin, is “kind of in lame duck land” right now.

- Teresa Palmer is planning to reunite with “2:37″ director Murali K.Thalluri on a film. “When I did 2:37, I had never acted before. It was such a lucky break. He picked me off the street and said come and be in a movie. He’d never done a movie before either. Now we’ve both had a bit more on-set experience, and matured, I think there could be a great collaboration between us.”