Morning 5

Lee Circles Jolie's 'Cleopatra', Refn Off Denzel's 'Equalizer' and Pullman Updates 'Independence Day 2'

Could an 'Independence Day' sequel go on without Will Smith?

Ang Lee1.) Ang Lee was just nominated for an Oscar this morning for his latest film, Life of Pi, and now reports say he's keen on directing Angelina Jolie in Cleopatra after David Fincher was the latest director to come and go, following in the footsteps of James Cameron and Paul Greengrass. "I'm about to read the script," Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. "It just feels right to me after all the other types of films I've done. What does it have in common with any of them? They're all totally different! That's what makes this perfect." The film has been gestating since 2010, so hopefully Lee strikes a deal and finally gets this thing made.

2.) Robin Williams will star in Boulevard, the next project from A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints helmer Dito Montiel. Williams will play a devoted husband in a marriage of convenience who meets a young man (newcomer Roberto Aguire) who forces him to come to terms with his own secrets. Montiel also recently completed the crime drama Empire State, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts and is still waiting on Lionsgate to sure up a release date. [Variety]

3.) Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn showed some interest last month in directing the Denzel Washington potential franchise-starter The Equalizer, but the director and Columbia Pictures never came to terms on a deal. The studio already set an April 11, 2014 release date for the picture and plan to start production in May, so they're on a short clock to find another director. Pierre Morel (Taken) Gavin O'Connor (Warrior), Gareth Evans (The Raid) and F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) were the other names under consideration before the deal went out to Refn, though it's hard to say which, if any, of them are still available. [Collider]

Independence Day4.) Would you go see an Independence Day sequel that didn't star Will Smith? According to Bill Pullman, who played the U.S. President in the original and seems locked in for the sequel, there's a possibility the project could move forward without Big Willie. "The Will Smith part of it may be ongoing but I think there's strategies for both," he said. "I like what I have to do in both of them." Pullman also said the film could shoot "within a year, yeah, something like that I guess," while producer Dean Devlin and director Roland Emmerich were willing to work around his "1600 Penn" schedule, which helped convince him to take the Presidential role on the NBC comedy. [Crave]

5.) Meanwhile, Dean Devlin has also co-written a spec script with Paul Guyot for an original global disaster pic, which Devlin plans to use to make his feature directorial debut. David Ellison's Skydance Productions, which currently has Jack Reacher in theaters and a bunch of big movies like Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z on the horizon, acquired the spec in a seven-figure deal. [Deadline]

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  • The Jackal

    I was a bit skeptical about Cleopatra; however, after experiencing Life of Pi, I've no doubt Mr Lee can effectively bring this famous queen's story wonderfully to life. I'm very excited about this film now.

    Thems the facts

  • Danny Shuman’s

    Yet another example of a TV show that was abruptly pulled from the
    viewers ,and replaced by unthinking crap. The Equalizer was well acted
    by a great cast. I’m glad to see that this has had a reincarnation not
    unlike that of Star Trek where the viewers knew more then those who say
    what lives and dies on the air.