Newsbites: The random-stuff-I-read-today edition!

Newsbites: The random-stuff-I-read-today edition! November 8, 2008

Definitely no theme to this day’s collection of stories.

1. Paul Gross’s World War I epic Passchendaele is a fairly big hit in English Canada, as these things go, but a flop in Quebec, where audiences have preferred Le Déserteur, a movie about a Quebecois soldier who deserted the Canadian Army during World War II and was shot in the back by the RCMP. — Variety

2. Brett Ratner will direct the Conan the Barbarian reboot before he gets around to Beverly Hills Cop IV. — Hollywood Reporter

3. Chris Rock is developing a remake of Death at a Funeral (2007). Has a movie ever been remade in its own language so quickly before? Even the Hulk reboot took a few years to get off the ground. — Variety, Hollywood Reporter

4. Dygra Films recently held a sneak preview in Madrid of a teaser for the 3-D cartoon Holy Night!, described by Variety reporter John Hopewell as a “Christmas farce, set in a fantasy world, [that] features a sporty-looking Santa Claus, his reindeer, the three wise men, Herod, a swaddling-clothed Baby Jesus, blacksmiths, shepherdesses and Santa Claus security guards.” — Variety

5. Rumours are spreading that the French Noah’s Ark cartoon Rock the Boat may be delayed because of financial problems. This is seen as but one of several signs that the computer-animation industry has hit a “rough patch” in France. — Variety

6. Philip Glass was going to write an opera about the life of Walt Disney, but that project is on hold now, following the departure of Gerard Mortier from his post as general manager of the City Opera. Mortier says he will try to get this show, as well as a musical version of Brokeback Mountain, produced through other venues. — Variety

7. Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster will play astronauts adrift in space in a movie called Pandorum. Sounds good, until you realize the film is being co-produced by Paul W.S. Anderson, of Resident Evil (2002-2007) fame. — Hollywood Reporter

8. Nicole Kidman will produce and star in The Danish Girl as Einar Wegener, a man who went on to become the first publicly-known recipient of a sex-change operation in 1930. Charlize Theron will play his/her wife, Gerda Gottlieb. — Hollywood Reporter

9. Thousands of props and costumes from Battlestar Galactica will be auctioned off in January, including, among other things, a full-scale Colonial Viper. Yowzah. — Wired

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