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Bullock and Carell on Abstinence Teacher, Morgan to Replace CNN’s King, Cairo Time’s Clarkson

Bullock and Carell on Abstinence Teacher, Morgan to Replace CNN's King, Cairo Time's Clarkson

Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (teamed with LMS producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa) are back on board to direct the adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s book The Abstinence Teacher. The project had been stalled after Warner Independent Pictures was shuttered. Production Weekly has posted Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell as attached to play a Middle American divorced sex ed teacher and her daughter’s born-again soccer coach, respectively. That should help this attractive package to finally get made.

[Graphic courtesy The Playlist]

– Larry King’s replacement could be named as early as this week: Piers Morgan seems to be the man for the job, reports the NYT. Timing seems to be the determining factor in Morgan’s edge over Katie Couric, his prime rival. While both are bound by their current network deals, some are more flexible than others. At one point King’s contract with CNN and Couric’s contract with CBS were due to expire within a month of each other, but with King’s departure, the timing went against Couric, who is bound to her CBS contract until mid-2011. A familiar media figure in Britain, Morgan usually hosts tabloid celebs on the popular Life Stories. Morgan was fired as editor of The Daily Mirror in 2004 for printing fraudulent Iraq war photos. Stateside, he is best-known for hosting America’s Got Talent and winning the first season of Celebrity Apprentice. While the NYT reminds us of these facts, CNN likely will not. Maybe they will mention his gig as the face of Burger King’s 2009 meat-scented cologne campaign (pictured).

– Patricia Clarkson is a familiar face, an actress who has long held her own in an assortment of both studio and indie and roles: The Green Mile, The Station Agent, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Pieces of April (she was Oscar-nominated), Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island come to mind. The NYT calls Clarkson the “perennial supporting player” who is not a leading lady, profiling her on the eve of the Thursday opening of Ruba Nadda’s exotic romance Cairo Time, which has long played the global fest circuit. Clarkson tells the NYT that when she was immersed in her graduate studies at Yale, going from character to character, she thought, “this is what I want my life to be. I can never stop and rest on one character. I want to keep moving through.” And so she has. Next up for Clarkson are supporting roles in mainstream comedies Easy A with Emma Stone (September) and the currently filming Friends with Benefits (2011).

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