Today in show business news: MGM is considering a Ben-Hur remake with a bad director, NBC is getting in the mermaid business, and Demi Lovato gets another job.
As the last idea in Hollywood was used up years ago, like a Truffula tree felled by the Once-ler, MGM has decided to just go ahead and do a remake of Ben-Hur, one of the main old movies that people think of when you say the words "old movie." (The others are Casablanca and Gone with the Wind, and probably Citizen Kane and Wizard of Oz.) And not only are they remaking the thing, guess who they want to direct it. Ridley Scott? Tom Hooper? Kathryn Bigelow? Ha, nope, no sir. Timur Bekmambetov. You know, the guy who directed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. That guy. For Ben-Hur. What could possibly go wrong?? Nothing's been confirmed yet, but I'm pretty sure they've got Gerard Butler on lock for the lead, too. Maybe Katy Perry could play Esther? Why not! [Deadline]
Speaking of good ideas, NBC has bough a sitcom from Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks about "a beached mermaid in search of adventure who winds up working in a bar/attraction in Miami with an eclectic group of people as lost as she is." Yes. This is a comedy. It is described as "a mermaid comedy." Like Splash, I guess. Splash meets Friends. Terrific! I mean, mermaids are all the rage these days, so it's not completely crazy that NBC would be interested in a, um, mermaid comedy, but this is network television we're talking about. They don't do fantasy well. I know Once Upon a Time is a big hit, but have you actually seen that show? Yiiikes. I watched the whole first season, but two episodes into season two that was it. Too much, show. It's just too much. This mermaid thing is a contemporary comedy so the fantasy probably won't be quite as high, but it's there. What a strange idea. It's almost like network television is getting desperate or something. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Demi Lovato, teen queen turned X Factor host, will do a guest arc on Glee next season, for about six episodes. She'll be in the New York storyline, playing a friend of Rachel and Santana's. Oh Santana is in New York now? I thought she was off the show. Is Kurt still in New York? Where's Mr. Schue? Did he marry the other one? Wait. Is Blaine the Asian girl? Which one's Breadstix. I'm confused. Anyway, welcome Demi! [Vulture]
A release date, or release month at least, has been set for Jon Hamm's big Disney movie. Million Dollar Arm will come out in May of next year. In the movie, Hamm plays a
man who buys a very expensive arm baseball scout who travels to India to see if any of that country's many cricket players could feasibly play American ball. So, he holds a competition and then brings the winners to America. So it's a feel-good, fish-out-of-water, sportsy thing. Jon Hamm is basically doing The Air Up There. And there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with The Air Up There. Or My Giant for that matter. [Entertainment Weekly]
Oh my. Set your nerd phasers to I don't know what the hell, super-stunned or something, because it seems that in the future there is going to be some X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover. Fox owns the rights to both, so they're gonna smoosh 'em together in some capacity in the future and see what happens. Might as well, if they own both! (Both are Marvel titles, so they could conceivably be mashed up if Marvel owned the rights too.) Nothing specific has been set up, but it will very likely happen. So look forward to Wolverine makin' out with the Invisible Woman. The Thing trading snarky quips with... Wolverine. Does anyone else in X-Men make snarky quips? Who knows. Doesn't matter. They'll figure it out. [The Hollywood Reporter]