Disney evidently is eager to keep ruining your fond memories of their animated classics with big screen, live-action do-overs or prequels no one asked for. Last year we got “Sleeping Beauty” predecessor “Maleficent,” in a couple of months they’ll release “Cinderella,” and now “Beauty And The Beast” is on the way. The studio announced that Emma Watson will play Belle in this new version. The actress was previously attached to an iteration that would’ve seen Guillermo del Toro direct, but which never got off the ground. Instead, Bill Condon (“The Fifth Estate,” “Dreamgirls“) will get behind the camera, with production set to begin later this year.
Julia Roberts will produce and star in a remake of the documentary “Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around The World.” The movie tells the real life story about how a Make-A-Wish event for Miles Scott — a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with leukemia — wanting to be Batman for a day turned into not only a citywide spectacle with over 25,000 San Francisco residents coming out to participate, but a worldwide phenomenon with nearly 2 billion participants thanks to Mashable, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Ah, Hollywood: turning a genuine, humane moment into a Julie Roberts vehicle.
Adam Sandler‘s first Netflix movie will not change his game too much, corralling his usual batch of friends, has-beens, D-list celebs, and people who should know better. Nick Nolte, Blake Shelton, Whitney Cummings, Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider, Dan Aykroyd, Will Forte, Nick Swardson, Terry Crews, Jon Lovitz, Vanilla Ice, Luke Wilson, Steve Zahn, Danny Trejo, Chris Parnell, and Lavell Crawford have all signed up for “Ridiculous 6.” Yes, this is the former Paramount project that the studio is probably thankful they didn’t make. Anyway, it’s a comedy western about a “man who grew up as an orphan among an Indian tribe.” Sigh. Production begins in February with the goal of not being as terrible as “A Million Ways To Die In The West.” [The Wrap]
Next month, “The Wolf Of Wall Street” star Margot Robbie hits the big screen in the con artist flick “Focus,” and it looks like she enjoys movies about living on the edge. She’s signed up for “Dangerous Odds,” based on the memoir about “the creation of the first offshore gambling empire, which had ties to the mob.” Andrea Berloff (“World Trade Center”) is writing the script for the Warner Bros. picture. [The Wrap]
Zac Efron seems to have found a new niche as a big screen funnyman thanks to “Neighbors,” and Fox has roped him in for “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” As you might guess from the title, the story follows “two brothers who seek wedding dates via an online ad that quickly goes viral.” Hilarity ensues. [The Wrap]