– Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges – yes, please! Production Weekly says the pair, a pinnacle of Oscar clout, are finalizing deals to star as a couple undergoing marriage counseling in dramedy Great Hope Springs. ThePlaylist also notes that Philip Seymour Hoffman was suggested to play the couple’s doctor, but his schedule may exclude him from that possibility. I Am Sam director Jessie Nelson is lined up to direct from a script written by Vanessa Taylor, a TV writer and producer who worked on series Alias, Everwood and Tell Me You Love Me.
– Variety had it first; Matt Damon is in talks to star in We Bought a Zoo, Cameron Crowe’s long-awaited follow-up to 2005’s disappointing Elizabethtown. The role of a man who loses his wife to brain cancer and buys a run-down zoo in the English countryside, hoping to create a fresh start for his family, would mark a departure from Damon’s recent roles. The Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna adapts Benjamin Mee’s memoir. But that’s for Christmastime 2011. Up next for Damon is The Adjustment Bureau with the lovely Emily Blunt. Trailer after the jump.
– By popular demand, the exhibit of Tim Burton’s dark, signature artwork that broke attendance records at New York’s MOMA will grace Los Angeles’ LACMA starting May 2011. Burton’s universe, from Edward Scissorhands to Sweeney Todd to The Nightmare Before Christmas– – “at once disturbing and oddly inviting” writes the LAT — will feature in a huge exhibition of 700-plus pieces of his artistic creations.
– In the meantime, we can head to Universal’s new $100-million dollar 3-D King Kong attraction starting July 1, which is part of NBC Universal’s $3 billion Evolution Plan for the park, and is touted as the largest 3-D projection installation in the world. This is the first attraction created by Weta (Peter Jackson’s New Zealand VFX shop did the visuals for Avatar, King Kong and the LOTR trilogy) and features, among other things, the film’s brilliant Kong vs. T-Rex battle. According to Variety, Jackson said his 2005 King Kong was not based on Universal’s old Kong attraction (that was destroyed in the 2008 fires), but that he thought it would be “cool” if the new attraction was based on his film. Agreed.
– Check out the LAT’s interview with 2011’s Academy Awards co-director/producer Don Mischer, who discusses the inevitable campaigning for Betty White to host, talk of the Oscars moving to January, and his worst nightmares of what could go wrong.
– Lastly, the nurse who co-stars in what must be the most famous kissing image of all time – Edith Shain – has passed away at the ripe old age of 91. She died Sunday in her Los Angeles home.
[Photos of Streep and Bridges by Brigitte Lacombe.]