Stephen Colbert Heads For The Hobbit; Hugh Grant Joins New Rom-Com: Biz Break

Stephen Colbert The HobbitAlso in a Monday afternoon round-up of news briefs, doc filmmaker Werner Herzog eyes a fiction project for his next directorial; Robert Zemeckis set for a Chicago Film Festival award; The Austin Film Festival names its winners and the Toronto International Film Festival sets its 2013 dates.

Hugh Grant Joins Romantic Comedy
Grant will star in the untitled romantic comedy that begins shooting in New York next April. The story revolves around a witty Englishman who wins an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Years later he is washed up and broke. He takes a job teaching screenwriting at an East Coast school. He's not thrilled by the idea of teaching, but thinks he could make the moves on young co-eds. But then he finds romance with a single mom. This will be the fourth collaboration with writer/director Marc Lawrence.

Toronto International Film Festival Sets 2013 Dates
The 2012 event boasted 147 world premieres with over 300 attending filmmakers, according to TIFF. The festival said its 38th edition will take place September 5 - 15.

Sparrows Dance and Informant Top Austin Film Festival Winners
Noah Buschel's Sparrows Dance and Jamie Meltzer's Informant took the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature prize at the 2012 Austin Film Festival. Narrative short went to Bryan Buckley's Asad, while See The Dirt by Chelsea Hernandez and Erik Mauck took the doc short award.

Around the 'net…

Stephen Colbert to Appear in Hobbit Trilogy
The Colbert Report host will have his big screen acting debut with a small role in an upcoming Hobbit pic. Details about his role are not known, but he will not appear in the first of the films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Fans will have to wait for the next installment in 2013 or the finale in 2014 to view him on the big screen, Access Hollywood reports.

Wener Herzog to Bring Return to Fiction for Vernon God
The Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker will return to fiction for an adaptation of DBC Pierre's 2003 novel, Vernon God Little His last fiction feature was the eccentric My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done in 2009, and he has concentrated on documentaries in recent years, with Cave of Forgotten Dreams, about the Ardèche cave paintings, and Into the Abyss, a study of Texas's death row, The Guardian reports.

Robert Zemeckis Wins Chicago Film Festival Award
Robert Zemeckis will be honored with the Founder's Award at the 48th Chicago International Film Festival on Thursday. His latest film, Flight is his first return to live-action in 12 years. Starring Denzel Washington, the story revolves around an airline pilot who brilliantly lands a crashing plane, but his heroism masks dark secrets, THR reports.


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