News You Need: ‘Frankie Machine,’ ‘The Love Guru,’ ‘The Da Vinci Code’ Sequel, ‘Untitled’

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Michael Mann has inked a deal with Paramount Pictures to develop “Frankie Machine” as a star vehicle for Robert de Niro.

The drama is an adaptation of the Don Winslow novel “The Winter of Frankie Machine” and De Niro will play a mob hitman who has retired to run a bait shop.

The first photo has been released for “The Love Guru,” which stars Mike Myers and Jessica Alba. Myers plays an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus.

Mike Myers and Jessica Alba in The Love Guru
Mike Myers and Jessica Alba in “The Love Guru”.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Columbia has made official a Feb. 2007 fast-tracked European start to “Angels & Demons,” which is Ron Howard’s sequel to “The Da Vinci Code”. The film is slated for release in Dec. 2008.

Jamie Foxx has signed on for “The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness and Civil Rights” for DreamWorks.

Based on a 2006 book, the story chronicles the series of racially motivated, black-on-white serial killings from 1973 to 1974 in San Francisco.

Celtic Rose Entertainment has optioned the rights to young-adult fantasy book series “Leven Thumps” by Obert Skye.

As a 14-year-old boy, the fate by Leven Thumps is to save the ailing Foo, which is a world that allows mankind to dream and imagine.

Adam Goldberg (from “2 Days in Paris” with Julie Delpy; our Delpy interview on that film can be found here) and Marley Shelton will star in the indie feature “Untitled”.

The film is centered around a tortured musician at odds with his successful brother.

Adam Goldberg
Adam Goldberg
Photo by Jeff Vespa,

Paramount Pictures has begun casting for a G.I. Joe film and plans to begin filming in the middle of Feb. 2008 in Prague and Los Angeles.

Stephen Sommers (“Van Helsing,” “The Mummy Returns,” “The Mummy”) will direct the film from a script by Stuart Beattie. Paramount is currently calling the film the “Untitled Stephen Sommers Project”.

Jim Caviezel (Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ”) and Claudia Karvan will star in the suspense thriller “Long Weekend” for Arclight Films.

The Everett de Roche story centers around a young couple on a camping trip who remorselessly disregard the local environment by shooting guns and wounding wildlife. The animals fight back.

The 11-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee will play young Logan in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” from 20th Century Fox. Smit-McPhee, who starred in “Romulus, My Father,” will start filming for the “X-Men” spin-off in Dec. 2007.

Kodi Smit-McPhee
Kodi Smit-McPhee
Photo courtesy of Superhero! Hype

Freestyle Releasing has scored domestic theatrical rights to Rick Yune’s (“Die Another Day”) martial arts film “The Fifth Commandment” with plans to launch it into 1,000 U.S. theaters in March 2007.

Yune stars as a trained assassin who declines an assignment to off a pop singer because her bodyguard is his half brother.

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