Newsbites: The no-particular-theme edition!

1. Alexandre Aja still wants to make a film version of The Gospel According to Jimmy, a French novel about an American pool cleaner who discovers that he is a clone of Jesus made from DNA taken from the Shroud of Turin — and Aja says he would love to cast “someone like Seth Rogen” in the lead role. — Sci Fi Wire

2. Warner is releasing a number of soundtrack albums and a “motion comic” on DVD and Blu-Ray in anticipation of the film version of Watchmen. The ad for the “motion comic” proclaims: “The graphic novel comes to life page by page in 12 episodes.” Huh? Are we such lazy readers that we need a DVD to turn the pages for us? And isn’t the movie going to be bringing many images from the comic book “to life” as it is? — MTV Splash Page

3. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is joining the visual design team for Guillermo Del Toro’s The Hobbit. Also on the team are Tolkien illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, who were very involved with The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003). Other movies that Mignola has worked on include Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001). — MTV Movie News

4. Kate Winslet has reportedly turned down an offer to play Maid Marian opposite Russell Crowe’s Sheriff of Nottingham in Ridley Scott’s revisionist Robin Hood movie, aka Nottingham. Other actresses being considered by the producers may include Cate Blanchett and Rachel Weisz. — Roger Friedman

5. Michael Sheen, now best-known for his Tony Blair and David Frost movies, has played a werewolf in all three Underworld films. (He was dating Kate Beckinsale when they started work on the first one, but then she ended up marrying the director instead.) Meanwhile, Frank Langella played the titular vampire in the 1979 version of Dracula. So now, Joe Leydon wonders how long it will be before someone creates a new Frost/Nixon poster that brings out the monsters within these actors. — Joe Leydon

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).