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Timor Bekmambetov Out, Ben Stiller Circling Director's Chair For 'The Current War'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 30, 2013 at 4:54PM

Perhaps the biggest surprise and news story of the day was the arrival of the trailer for Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty." The film, which Stiller both stars in and directs, was unveiled as something much more than your everyday remake, promising something that could possibly be the subject of Oscar talk a few months from now. It's certainly one of the more ambitious directorial efforts we've seen from Stiller, and it seems he's keen to keep testing himself with interesting material.
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Ben Stiller

Perhaps the biggest surprise and news story of the day was the arrival of the trailer for Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty." The film, which Stiller both stars in and directs, was unveiled as something much more than your everyday remake, promising something that could possibly be the subject of Oscar talk a few months from now. It's certainly one of the more ambitious directorial efforts we've seen from Stiller, and it seems he's keen to keep testing himself with interesting material.

THR reports that Timur Bekmambetov has stepped down from the director's chair of "The Current War," with Stiller among a handful those circling the project to take over. Why? Well, it has a Black List-approved script by Michael Mitnick, telling the true story of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse's battle to produce the first stable electric current. Moreover, heavyweights The Weinstein Company, Steve Zaillian and Bekmambetov will produce (yep, he's still sticking around) and it's also one Sacha Baron Cohen was kicking the tires on last year as well (he was looking at playing Edison). So it's a high profile gig and we'll see if the other names vying for the job emerge.

In other director tidbits "Evil Dead" helmer Fede Alvarez has sold a sci-fi action project called "Machina" to MRC (who are also behind Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium"). Details are being kept under wraps, but Alvarez will co-write the script with Rodo Sayagues and direct the movie.

Lastly, "Casino Royale" helmer Martin Campell will direct "Alpha," a project penned by Scott Frank ("Out Of Sight," "Minority Report") about "a Navy Seal sent to South America to train dogs for combat service. The handler teaching him how to train the canines is captured, leaving the Seal with the dogs and when he finds out the handler is still alive, he and the dogs goes back to South America to save him."

This article is related to: Ben Stiller, Timur Bekmambetov, The Current War, Steven Zaillian, Fede Alvarez, Machina, Scott Frank, Martin Campbell, Alpha


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