Jake Gyllenhaal will star as a freelance L.A. crime reporter in Nightcrawler, which will also mark the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy. Rene Russo has signed on to co-star in the film.
Aldamisa Entertainment has acquired the rights to two spec scripts, Americatown by Ben Poole and Murder City by Will Simmons. Americatown is about an ex-cop who moves from poverty to power in third-world American slums of world leader China after the U.S. economy’s collapse, while Murder City follows an ex-con who becomes the hunter and target of a ruthless Detroit gangster.
Paramount is picking up Spy's Kid, described as a Catch Me If You Can-style story set in the world of espionage featuring Shia LaBeouf and Robert De Niro as a son-father spy duo. The story is based on a six-part series of articles by Bryan Denson that told the true story of a traitorous spy who enlists his son to continue his work.
Thunder Road Pictures have acquired the rights to remake the foreign film Gang Story, about an aging former gangster who attempts to leave his life of crime behind him and live peacefully with his family. The project has already signed Liam Neeson to star as the gangster.
Scarlett Johansson is in final talks to join the action film from Luc Besson titled Lucy, about a woman who is forced to become a drug mule, but the durgs go into her system, making her "an ass-kicking machine."
Larry A. Thompson Entertainment optioned Mark Hudelson's spec script Missing Mona Lisa, based on the true story of an Italian native who steals the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in Paris and returns it to Italy before he is ultimately arrested.
George Clooney, Grant Heslo, and Joshuah Bearman, the team behind Argo, are planning a film based on Bearman's upcoming article about the Coronado Club, said to be set in a resort city in Southern California and involving a group of young people who are used to smuggle drugs.
Twentieth Century Fox won a bidding war for film right to the spy-thriller novel Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews. The story is set in contemporary Russia and focuses on a young intelligence officer who goes up against an American counterpart and eventually her own government.
Hugo Weaving is returning to his native Australia to star in the film The Mule (not to be confused with the Scarlett Johansson project mentioned above). The film follows a drug mule who is caught by police and the fallout after his arrest.
FX is developing James Ellroy's novella Shakedown, a period drama inspired by the life of cop-turned-private eye Fred Otash and set in the tabloid world and underbelly of Los Angeles circa the late 1950s. James Ellroy and New Regency are also shopping an L.A. Confidential sequel targeted for the small screen.
Omnimystery News reported that Warner Bros. and J. J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot are set to option Stephen King's 2011 time-travel thriller 11/22/63 to be adapted for a cable television series or mini-series.
USA is eyeing an expansion of the upcoming eighth (and possibly final) season of Psych and has ordered five more scripts from the "sleuth dramedy."
NBC announced it is renewing Grimm, Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire and Revolution.
Casey Sherman has sold the rights to his 2005 Boston Strangler book, Search for the Strangler: My Hunt for Boston's Most Notorious Killer, and plans are to develop it into a television series.
USA is giving viewers a free sneak peek of the network's new crime drama Graceland by offering the pilot episode two weeks before its broadcast premiere, from April 29 to May 12, via video-on-demand. The show is about a group of undercover agents from the FBI, DEA and US Customs who all live together in a Southern California beach house.
ITV has renewed Vera, the crime drama based on characters created by Ann Cleeves, for a fourth season of four episodes. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
Omnimystery News also reports that DCI John Barnaby (of Midsomer Murders) is getting a new partner. Gwilym Lee is joining the cast as Detective Sergeant Charlie Nelson following the departure of Jason Hughes, who played DS Ben Jones. Lee's debut will be the first episode of the 16th series, scheduled to air in the UK later this year.
The first annual Humphrey Bogart film festival, to be held in Key Largo, Florida, May 2-5, is premiering Warner Bros.' newly restored version of the 1936 noir film The Petrified Forest, which made Bogart a star.
Joining the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: author Philip Kerr, discussing his latest Bernie Gunther novel, A Man Without Breath.
The BBC's Open Book show featured Harlan Coben, talking about his new thriller novel Six Years, as well as Rodge Glass and a look at the London Book Fair.
The musical based on the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis has gotten its premiere date at London's Almeida Theatre for December 3, with a run through January 25. The show has been given the tagline "a bloody satire," and is scripted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (TV's Glee and Broadway's Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark), with music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet will include be a new adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood for its 2013-2014 season. Atwood's story is set in a dystopoian near-future where religious and misogynist persecution by the government is rampant.
Casting was announced for the UK West End return of The Ladykillers, the 2011 stage version of the iconic 1955 Ealing film comedy that was remade by the Coen Brothers in 2004 in a film version that starred Tom Hanks. The Ladykillers tells the "classic black comedy tale of a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing." The new cast will include Ralf Little, Simon Day, Angela Thorne, John Gordon Sinclair and Con O'Neill, and Chris McCalph.