Psst! Buddy! Wanna Buy a Lion?
· It's official: MGM is for sale. The venerable studio, with its James Bond franchise, massive film library and some of the most patient creditors in Hollywood, is now welcoming offers; Time Warner, News Corp. and Lionsgate are among the likeliest suitors. I'm pulling for the latter company to make this happen -- partly for the symmetry of their brand names, but mostly because Tyler Perry's Diamonds are Forever is a 007 movie I think we all want to see sooner than later. [Variety]
George Strait gets in on the country-flick resurgence, Aussies battle Brits in King's Speech, and more Hollywood Ink after the jump.
· In a world where Crazy Heart's country-music burnout can leap to front of the Oscar race overnight and Kenny Chesney can sustain a 3-D concert epic, it was only a matter of time before genre legend George Strait returned to the screen. A Pure Country Gift -- the semi-sequel to his 1992 musical-drama Pure Country -- will follow the life of a young girl whom angels bless with a glorious singing voice, only to reclaim it when she takes her subsequent success for granted. Strait's role isn't specified, but with a screenplay co-written by Dean Cain (yes, the Dean Cain), it's not like he could just turn it down or anything. [THR]
· The King's Speech, which had previously attached Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in the tale of King George VI's relationship with his speech therapist, has filled out its cast with the formidable talents of Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon. [Variety]
· Screenwriter Will Reiser will have a shot at the narrative remake of Young@Heart, the hit 2007 documentary about a senior-citizen choir celebrated for its unlikely renditions of classics by The Clash, Nirvana, James Brown and other pop/punk/funk icons. Between the music clearance and insurance costs on the aging ensemble cast alone, the budget could crack $40 million. [THR]
· So the weekend's No. 1 film starred John Cusack, the biggest sensations of the season feature a first-time actress and a pair of micro-budget darlings, Jim Carrey couldn't open A Christmas Carol, and it's a slow news week in general. Must be time to dust off the hoary old "A-listers are over" piece at Reuters! [Reuters]