Trains and planes
KC’s own Gillian Flynn did so well with the hit movie version of her best-seller “Gone Girl” that the author is in talks to reteam with director David Fincher and star Ben Affleck for more crime and intrigue. Flynn would write the script for a remake of the Hitchcock classic “Strangers on a Train.” In the 1951 original, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, a tennis pro and a psycho socialite both want to rid themselves of someone, so they agree to “swap murders” to avoid suspicion. Deadline.com reports that in the new version — working title “Strangers” — the action will switch to a plane, and the tennis pro is now a Hollywood star (Affleck) in the midst of an Oscar campaign.
Spy vs. spy vs. spy
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2015 is just crawling with spies, io9.com points out. We just saw the silly new trailer for “Spy,” from “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig. Melissa McCarthy is a CIA analyst who must blunder her way undercover to take down an arms dealer. It’s due May 22. But first, Colin Firth is a veteran agent in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” Feb. 13. And Daniel Craig returns as the coolest spy of all, Bond, James Bond, in “Spectre” Nov. 6.
▪ Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling will star in Adam McKay’s adaptation of “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short,” about the housing bubble that created the Great Recession, says Variety. Pitt is also producing.
▪ As Xerxes in the “300” movies, Rodrigo Santoro thought he was a god. Now he’s in talks to play Jesus in the 2016 remake of “Ben-Hur,” says The Hollywood Reporter. Jack Huston plays the title character.
Still on fire
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” is this close to usurping the top spot of 2014 movies, held by “Guardians of the Galaxy” since summer. And expect the final “Hobbit” to enter the top five in a matter of days. For now, here are the biggest money-makers from last year, according to BoxOfficeMojo:
1. “Guardians of the Galaxy,” $333.1 million
2. “Hunger Games 3,” $329.8 million
3. “Captain America 2,” $259.8 million
4. “The Lego Movie,” $257.8 million
5. “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” $245.4 million
| Sharon Hoffmann, firstname.lastname@example.org