1.) Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn is in discussions with Sony to direct The Equalizer. The adaptation of the '80s TV show and potential franchise will star Denzel Washington as a former CIA operative now working as a private investigator as a way to redeem himself for his dark past. Refn's next film, the Ryan Gosling-led Only God Forgives, will debut this spring, while Sony has already set an April 11, 2014 for The Equalizer. I'm also guessing this move will spell further delays for Refn's long-gestating remake of Logan's Run. [Variety]
2.) Although Christoph Waltz was originally attached for one of the major human roles in the currently Untitled Muppets Sequel, but that deal fell through and Disney has replaced him with "Modern Family" star Ty Burrell. While Jason Segel isn't returning for the sequel, director James Bobin and writer Nicholas Stoller are. The film is scheduled to shoot in London this winter, but in the meantime we'll continue to wait for the casting of the other two major human roles (one of which is said to be a Russian femme fatale). [THR]
3.) The cast for Prisoners has gotten downright ridiculous. It started with Hugh Jackman as a small-town carpenter hellbent on finding his kidnapped daughter and Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective on the case. From there, the names continued to pile up with Melissa Leo, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Paul Dano joining the lineup. And now comes news that Terrence Howard has hopped on board. Incendies director Denis Villeneuve will begin shooting in February in preparation for a fall 2013 release. It's definitely one to watch for and we'll continue to keep our ears open in case it acquires any further talent. [Deadline]
4.) Kevin Smith's retirement plans have changed. While he once planned to make his hockey film Hit Somebody his final feature, that project has morphed into a six-hour TV miniseries and he's now planning to make an exit the same way he came in: with Clerks. Smith made the announcement on Twitter, saying a third Clerks film would move forward "the minute Jeff Anderson signs on," and I can't imagine the actor (who plays Randall Graves in the series) has a full schedule on his hands. Scrolling through Smith's long list of tweets, I also noticed him mention Clerks III will be filmed in black-and-white.
5.) Warner Bros. is developing a comedy called Get Hard for Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Ferrell would play a rich banker sentenced to a maximum security prison for a crime he didn't commit. He has 30 days before he needs to report, so he hires the guy who washes his car (Hart) to toughen him up. [Deadline]