Today in films and television: Victor Garber is the new Charlie, Universal goes back to the Scarface remake well, and Elton John's life could soon be a non-linear, brightly-colored movie.
- Universal is developing a "new version of Scarface," but it's "not intended to be a remake or a sequel" to Howard Hawks' 1932 original or the 1983 Brian De Palma remake. That's either wishful thinking, or a very loose definition of the word 'remake', since the new project apparently will "take the common elements of the first two films: an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment ... becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition." Just like Scarface! The studio isn't revealing where Scarface 3.0 emigrates from, but Italy and Cuba are probably out after being used in the first two versions. Russia would make some sense. With a few tweaks, this could even be the Eastern Promises sequel David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen have been clamoring for. [Deadline]
- Victor Garber will provide the disembodied voice of Charlie on ABC's reboot of Charlie's Angels. Casting proved more difficult than one would expect for a role than can be phoned-in in pajamas. Robert Wagner was the voice of detective agency's boss in the reboot's pilot, a role the late John Forsythe played in the original 1970s series, but Wagner dropped out before the show went to series. According to Vulture, Patrick Stewart and Julian McMahon were also considered as possible replacements. We support the Garber hire, because of his stelar five seasons of work on Alias, another ABC female-centric action show, and because he's the only understated thing in James Cameron's Titanic. [Vulture]
- Musical biopics aren't preferred genre of some folks at The Atlantic Wire. They're just so the same, and every one comes with an extra ten minutes on the running time because of all the close-ups of hands on instruments. So when we heard Elton John has begun development on Rocketman, a "biographical musical fantasy" based on his life for the screen, we weren't exactly humming "My Father's Gun" with joy. After hearing co-producer Steve Hamilton Shaw say the film "a non-linear and hyper-visual manner that will transport people through the many intense experiences, some wonderful, some not, that helped define Elton as an artist, musician and man," and that the singer could be played by multiple actors, like Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan movie I'm Not There, our heads began to hurt. And we like Elton John. [Deadline]
- Jackie Earle Haley will play Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Without having screen the script, the character seems like the kind of role that could land Haley another Oscar nomination--Stephens weighed less than one hundred pounds for much of his life, was fiercely proslavery, but also began working to undermine Confederate President Jefferson Davis from within, and unsuccessfully tried to get the rebels to end the war much earlier. [Deadline]