Hugh Jackman has signed on to play the fabled 19th-century circus promoter PT Barnum in the Fox musical The Greatest Showman on Earth. Jackman has appeared in the superhero films X-Men and Wolverine and previously starred in several musicals, including the 1999 television movie of the musical Oklahoma! He also won a Tony Award in 2004 for The Boy From Oz. Green Hornet's sidekick cast The Taiwanese singer and actor Jay Chou has been cast as the martial arts master Kato in Columbia Pictures' upcoming film The Green Hornet, Reuters reports. Set to star Cameron Diaz, Nicolas Cage, and Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet, the film is based on an American television series of the same name about a crime fighter who hides behind a newspaper operation.
Kato, the Green Hornet's sidekick, was played by Bruce Lee in the television series. The role launched Lee's career in the US and helped make martial arts popular in the West. Chou became an overnight sensation in Asia in 2000 with his first album, Jay. He has since starred in several Chinese-language films. Chou replaces Stephen Chow. Columbia catches king Columbia Pictures has reached a deal with the concert promoters AEG Live to make a feature film based on footage from Michael Jackson's This Is It concert rehearsals.
Columbia agreed to pay $60 million (Dh220m) for the film rights, according to court papers. More than 100 hours of rehearsal footage were shot in preparation for Jackson's planned 50-concert tour before he died in June. Punch packs in pictures The British actress Lucy Punch is in final negotiations to star in Dinner for Schmucks, a remake of the French film Dinner Game, Variety reports. Punch would join Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in the film, which Jay Roach is set to direct. Earlier this summer, Punch replaced Nicole Kidman in Woody Allen's untitled film. Punch can next be seen in January in the Universal Pictures comedy Young Americans.
Fox takes on Bollywood Fox Star Studios India is making its first foray into Bollywood with the Hindi picture My Name Is Khan, Screen International reports. The studio is financing and distributing the film with the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's production company, Red Chillies. Karan Johar will direct Khan in the film. Fox Star will distribute the film in India, while the Slumdog Millionaire distributor, Fox Searchlight, will take the US rights. Fox International will handle other territories. Fox Film Corp previously worked with the producer Ram Gopal Varma on the film Ek Hasina Thi in 2004.
Mount Everest mystery Sony is in final negotiations to acquire film rights to Jeffrey Archer's Paths of Glory, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The book is about George Mallory, who may or may not have been the first man to conquer Everest, in 1924. Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were credited with that achievement in 1953 but Mallory and his partner, Andrew Irvine, never returned from their June 1924 expedition.
After Mallory's frozen body was found close to the summit on the North Face of the mountain in 1999, major debate started over who conquered Everest. Hamas film at Cannes? The first feature film to be produced by the Hamas Movement premiered in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, and is now aiming for a slot at the Cannes Film Festival. Imad Aqel is named after a Palestinian militant whom Israel blamed for 13 deaths of soldiers and settlers, Reuters reports. Hamas officials said the film was part of its fight against the Israeli occupation and labelled the movement Cinema of Resistance.
Budgeted at $120,000 (Dh440,000), Imad Aqel follows the founding of Hamas in the 1980s, attacks that Aqel led against the Israeli military, and the signing of the Oslo peace accord in 1993. Majed Jendeya, the director, said he hoped to screen the film at Cannes. Hamas runs several media operations, including a satellite television channel, a radio station and newspapers.