THR reports that rising writer Jeremy Slater has been hired to put a fresh coat of paint on a franchise that needs some sprucing up after its 2005 and 2007 entries, which already look severely dated. It's an interesting choice given that he's a newcomer, but he's earned some heat for his spec "Tape 4," based on the mythology of H.P. Lovecraft, set up at Lionsgate, as well as his "Weird Science" meets "Risky Business" script "My Spy," which Universal just snapped up with Jake Kasdan attached to direct. Fox is a bit of a paradox, loving to continually tinker with a script with numerous writers while also rushing films into production, but hopefully putting their faith in two rising talents will allow them to let these fresh voices be creative and maybe step outside the box a bit. No word on when this might roll, but it's clear they want this sooner rather than later.
In other screenwriting news: Academy Award winner Simon Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire," "127 Hours") is continuing his populist run. After signing up to assist on "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," IOTG reports that he's going to be doing some rewrites on New Line's tornado movie, formerly known as "Category 6." "The Hobbit" star Richard Armitage joined the film this week along with "Friday Night Lights" part-timer Jeremy Sumpter, in the film that follows a group of high school teenagers who contend with the immediate aftermath of a devastating tornado. Helming the film is director Steve Quale (“Final Destination 5”), and yeah, we can't figure out what Beaufoy sees in this either.
Lastly, with their "Vacation" reboot, which they wrote and will be directing, confirming Ed Helms for the lead, the good times keep rolling for John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. THR reveals that Sony Pictures Animation has tapped the duo to write "Secret Histories." Originally penned by Tom Wheeler, the story will center "around a geeky Dungeons & Dragons-type fan who discovers he may be a half-faerie when a secret order of mythical beings seeks out his help, thrusting him on a worldwide adventure to save the world." Sounds like a fun premise for an animated flick, and Sony were clearly happy with the duo who have also penned the studio's "Cloudy 2: Revenge Of The Leftovers."