Newsbites: The reimagined stories edition!

Newsbites: The reimagined stories edition! January 26, 2009

1. Francis Lawrence seems to have a thing for modernized Bible stories. First he directed the pilot episode for Kings, the upcoming TV series based on the story of Saul and David, and now he is attached to direct Samson, “a futuristic retelling of the Samson and Delilah story.” (He also directed 2005’s Constantine and 2007’s I Am Legend, both of which had religious elements of their own.) I don’t know what the word “futuristic” is supposed to mean in this context, but this movie may be part of a larger trend; only three months ago, it was announced that Brad Pitt would star in a “futuristic” version of The Odyssey set in outer space. At any rate, the Samson script will be written by Scott Silver, whose previous credits include 8 Mile (2002) and The Mod Squad (1999). — Variety

2. The new Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Guy Ritchie, will make its title character more of an action hero than he has ever been before; in the words of producer Joel Silver, he’ll be “like James Bond in 1891.” — New York Times

3. The Bielski brothers are taking over Tintin! Defiance co-stars Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell have joined the cast of Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, which began shooting today; Craig will play the pirate Red Rackham, while Bell is taking Thomas Sangster‘s place as Tintin himself. Reports indicate that a few new characters have been created for the film who do not appear in the original comics, including “a rival reporter, a bellowing editor and an American Interpol inspector.” Spielberg previously worked with Craig on Munich (2005), while Peter Jackson, who will direct the second Tintin movie, previously worked with Bell on King Kong (2005). — Variety, Hollywood Reporter,

4. PETA spokeswoman Anjelica Huston is asking Stephem Sommers to use CGI apes on his Tarzan movie rather than the real deal. Because no matter how cheesy a Stephen Sommers movie gets, it can always be cheesier. — Entertainment Weekly

5. War of the Gods director Tarsem Singh says his film, which revolves around the Greek mythic hero Theseus, will be “basically, Caravaggio meets Fight Club . . . It’s a really hardcore action film done in Renaissance painting style. . . . I’m kind of going with, you know, Renaissance time with electricity. So it’s a bit like Baz Luhrman doing Romeo + Juliet in Mexico; it’s just talking a particular Greek tale and half contemporising it and telling it.” — Empire

6. The poster art for Prince of Persia will make its debut as a piece of set design in Confessions of a Shopaholic — which, like Persia, is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. — MTV Movies Blog

7. ABC has now officially greenlit its remake of the 1980s alien invasion mini-series V. — Variety

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