Hollywood Ink: Thor, Spider-Man 4 Lead Game of Release-Date Musical Chairs

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· The smoldering crisis surrounding Spider-Man 4's production status (just one more script draft to go!) gave Paramount a boost Wednesday, when the studio pushed its own comics adaptation Thor into Spidey's presumed-vacated May 6, 2011 release date. That gave Disney an opening to drop Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Thor's old May 20 slot. And for the discriminating adult moviegoers keeping score at home, Kenneth Lonergan's troubled, years-in-the-making drama Margaret still has no release date scheduled. I smell counterprogramming! [THR]

James Franco climbs a rock with Danny Boyle, the latest on MGM and more Hollywood Ink after the jump.

· Or, if Fox Searchlight can't drag Lonergan out of the editing room, they might count on Danny Boyle to deliver with newly cast James Franco in 127 Hours. Franco will star in the true story of Aron Ralston, the climber who famously amputated an arm pinned between two boulders before scaling a sheer cliff and waving down a family who rescued him. Now the General Hospital stint all makes sense: Practice, practice, practice. [Variety]

· MGM is expected to draw bids from both traditional (Warner Bros., Lionsgate) and non-traditional (AT&T, hedge funds) speculators in the very near future, probably not to exceed $2 billion. Hopefully that will console some of the upside-down studio's creditors, who will again have to extend forbearance on MGM's first $3.7 billion debt payment past Jan. 31. [THR]

· Due Date screenwriters Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland have offloaded an untitled comedy to Universal; the story deals with a schlub mistaken for a popular classmate when he returns home one day. [Variety]

· Saoirse Ronan is in talks to work once again with her Atonement director Joe Wright on Hanna, just your average coming-of-age tale about a 14-year-old Eastern European assassin. [THR]



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