Today in film and television: there's a vacancy on The Crow, if you know anyone; Reeve Carney books one of the three Jeff Buckley projects; and Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are making a movie about identity theft that will invariably make us laugh.
- Bradley Cooper is bailing on playing the title character in the remake of The Crow, due to scheduling conflicts. The Hollywood Report says Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tataum have already "surfaced as possible replacements" to play the film's undead, crimefighting rock star. Wahlberg was reportedly offered the lead role in the film back in October, but no deal was struck. Coincidentally, the film that created Cooper's scheduling conflict (yes, such things do actually happen) is Paradise Lost, directed by Alex Proyas, who made the original version The Crow back in 1994. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Bridesmaids scene-stealer Melissa McCarthy will star alongside Jason Bateman in the comedy ID Theft for Universal, says Deadline's Mike Fleming. (Question: why not just Identity Theft? Nobody says ID Theft. It's not any younger or hipper or more relevant sounding, unless someone's pleasure drive gets stolen.) The script by Pursuit of Happyness writer Steve Conrad originally called for two actors in the lead, but Bateman (who's also producing the project) "pushed for [McCarthy] to be the identity thief" after seeing her in Bridesmaids. Shooting will begin in April 2012, when McCarthy's sitcom Mike & Molly is on hiatus. [Deadline]
- Reeve Carney, star of the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark musical, is attached to play Jeff Buckley in one of three projects currently in development about the late musician, who drowned at the age of 30 after releasing just one full-length studio album. Carney's signed on to the as-yet-untitled biopic directed by Jake Scott, which according to Deadline has "exclusive rights to Buckley’s music and personal archives, including the nod from Sony to use Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which is perhaps Buckley's best-known tune from his first album Grace" and has the backing of Buckley's mother, Grace. [Deadline]
- Julianne Moore "is circling" the lead role in HBO's period drama Dope, a 1950s-set drama that "revolves around a woman who returns to society as a private eye after rehabilitating herself on a farm from a heroin addiction." The creative team behind Mildred Pierce, which earned 22 Emmy nominations for the network, is developing the project, based on a novel by Sara Gran. Moore's playing Sarah Palin on HBO adaptation of Game Change and she's worked with Mildred Pierce director Todd Haynes on Safe and Far From Heaven. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Page Eight, a modern British spy thriller starring Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz, has been chosen to close next month's Toronto International Film Festival. [Variety]
- Brad Pitt is "negotiating for the lead" in The Gray Man. Variety describes the project, based on a novel by Mark Greaney and to be directed by James Gray, "as a character piece about the world's greatest assassin (Pitt), burned and on the run when his last job goes bad" and notes the script by Adam Cozad made last year's Black List, industry insiders' annual ranking of the best unproduced screenplays. [Variety]