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Heard It Here First: Tom Hardy To Play Elton John In ‘Rocketman’
By Mike Fleming Jr. - As Deadline reported in June when FilmDistrict paid $10 million to acquire U.S. rights to the Elton John film Rocketman, Tom Hardy has been set to play Captain Fantastic himself in the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film.

Oscar-Buzzed ’12 Years A Slave’ In Top Ten, ‘Jackass: Bad Grandpa’ Opens #1 For $32M, All-Star ‘The Counselor’ Bombs With $8M
By Nikki Finke - The most interesting news of the weekend, at least to me, is that New Regency’s financed and produced Best Picture Oscar frontrunner 12 Years A Slave marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight is only playing in 123 theaters (up from 19 last weekend) yet jumped into the Top Ten.

J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan Take Over As ‘Star Wars’ Scribes
By Dominic Patten - The new Star Wars movie has a new screenwriting team. It was announced online today that Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan will take over as scribes for the upcoming Disney project which is set to be released in 2015.

Theater Owners To Netflix: You’re The One Trying To Kill Cinema
By Mike Fleming Jr. - EXCLUSIVE: NATO president/CEO John Fithian struck back at Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who today gave the keynote speech at the Film Independent Forum and charged theater owners with potentially killing the movie business by being inflexible with shrinking theatrical windows.

Film Czar Tom Sherak: Plan To Boost LA Production Coming By Early 2014
By Dominic Patten - In his first civic event since being named LA’s Film Czar last month, Tom Sherak today said he intends to have a plan to increase production in the city around the beginning of next year.

Paul Feig Lands Animated ‘Peanuts’ Fox Pic
By Mike Fleming Jr. - EXCLUSIVE: While Paul Feig made his first-look producing deal at Fox primarily to generate R-rated comedies like The Heat, that doesn’t mean he can’t work clean and for a family crowd.

James Cameron Has Found ‘Avatar’s Darth Vader: It’s Stephen Lang
By Mike Fleming Jr. - EXCLUSIVE: Even though Stephen Lang‘s Col. Miles Quaritch character seemed to have run his course in 20th Century Fox’s Avatar, director James Cameron has revealed that Lang is not only returning for the sequel, he’s going to be part of the next three films.

Drake Doremus Eyes Kristen Stewart And Nicholas Hoult For Next Pic ‘Equals’
By Mike Fleming Jr. - EXCLUSIVE: Drake Doremus is casting up his next film Equals for an early 2014 start, and I hear he is courting The Twilight Saga‘s Kristen Stewart and Warm Bodies and X-Men: Days Of Future Past star Nicholas Hoult to be the young couple that anchors this science fiction tale penned by Nathan Parker (Moon).

Warner Bros Buying Jo Nesbo Novel ‘Blood On Snow’ As Leo DiCaprio Vehicle
By Mike Fleming Jr. - EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. is near a deal for Blood On Snow, the first of a two novel series by The Snowman author Jo Nesbo. It will be developed as a potential star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio to be produced by him and Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick. Latter is producing an adaptation of Nesbo’s The Son at Warner Bros.