Today in film and television: Jason Statham is the leader to replace Shia LaBeouf in the next Transformers, how Rooney Mara won over David Fincher, and Fox is developing 'Zombieland' for TV.
- The production of The Dark Knight Rises begins two weeks of location shooting in New York City on October 29 and "cast members have been told the shoot could include scenes shot at the Occupy Wall Street protests," a source with knowledge of the actors' schedules tells the Los Angeles Times. That doesn't mean director Christopher Nolan has hastily added an Occupy Gotham interlude to the film, cautions the Times' Steve Zeitchik. Rather, "he’d simply be using the protests as a backdrop or a stand-in for something that already exists in the film." There's also the possibility the whole thing might be an exercise in misdirection, like casting of Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in seemingly-innocuous roles when they're really (maybe) playing Poison Ivy and the Joker. [Los Angeles Times]
- Melissa McCarthy's very good 2011 -- which so far has included a role in the year's breakout movie Bridesmaids, a pilot deal with CBS, an Emmy win, being cast opposite Jason Bateman in the comedy Identity Theft, and selling a script about two friend who plot to steal the Stanley Cup -- somehow managed to get better now that New Line has acquired Tammy, her script "an overweight woman who is laid off from her job at Hardee’s, discovers her husband is having an affair, and decides to go on a road trip with her alcoholic, foul-mouthed, diabetic grandmother." The Hollywood Reporter says McCarthy will executive produce, and could end up playing one of the leads. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Hasbro and Paramount are in discussions for not one but two more installments in the Transformers series. "Nothing is set in stone," cautions Variety, but the idea is to shoot the four and fifth installments back-to-back to save money. Despite his assurances to the contrary, sources indicate Michael Bay is still interested in directing the new movies and at the very least will serve as executive producer alongside Steven Spielberg. Shia LaBeouf--the non-robotic face of the franchise thus far--has already said he won't be back and Paramount's looking for a new male lead, with Jason Statham mentioned as a possibility. [Variety]
- Scarlett Johansson, Anne Hathaway, and Kristen Stewart were all clamoring to play Lisbeth Sander in the English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So why did the filmmakers opt for the less well-known Rooney Mara? According to director David Fincher, it was due to Mara's "squishy," alien-like qualities. “Look, we saw some amazing people," he says."Scarlett Johansson was great....But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off. I keep trying to explain this. Salander should be like E.T. If you put E.T. dolls out before anyone had seen the movie, they would say, ‘What is this little squishy thing?’...When he hides under the table and he grabs the Reese’s Pieces, you love him! It has to be like that." [Vogue]
- Can television support two shows about life in post-zombie uprising in America? Fox thinks so.Apparently, "talks are well under way" between the network and Sony Pictures Television about a TV version of Zombieland to air during the 2012-2013 season. Director Ruben Fleischer's 2009 movie was a nice mix of funny and scary moments and grossed $75 million at the U.S. box office. Plus, the project was supposed to be a TV show all along. Unlike AMC's The Walking Dead, Fox's show would only run for a half-hour, and presumably will be a less grueling viewing experience. Somehow getting Bill Murray to reprise his pitch-perfect cameo for the pilot would put the project over the top. [Vulture]