By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood April 6, 2011 at 6:23AM
- Sandra Bullock and Morgan Freeman are wanted for an adaptation of 2010 Somali pirate novel , by 85-year-old writer Elmore Leonard (Justified, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, Out of Sight). "We're trying to get my new book Djibouti [made as a film]," Leonard told Digital Spy. "Morgan Freeman likes it a lot. In fact, I even thought of him while I was writing it," he said. Apparently Samuel L. Jackson has already turned down a part because he wasn't the star (though Leonard insisted his character would have all the good lines) and Freeman dubbed Bullock as first choice for the female lead. The story follows an award-winning filmmaker and a 72-year old African American seafarer who pair to get footage of Somali pirates in action.
- Into the Beautiful will mark Meg Ryan's directorial debut (she will not appear in the film). Wendy Finerman and BCDF Productions are serving as producers for this comedy-drama à la The Big Chill, about old friends reconnecting. Anne Meredith (Bastard out of Carolina) wrote the script. Finerman tells Variety: "I'm often drawn to pictures that make you laugh and cry. I think this is the perfect project for Meg to bring to life. She's poignant and funny and heartfelt." The plan is to shoot the film in New York state this September. Ryan the actress has had a decade of under-performing in poorly reviewed rom-coms and dramas.
- Nicolas Cage has two new co-stars for Medallion. Josh Lucas and Malin Akerman are on board for the action-thriller, which began shooting in New Orleans this week. Simon West (Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Black Hawk Down, The Mechanic, Con Air) is directing. One element that pops out of this heist and kidnapping yarn by David Guggenheim is the leading man/ex-con's daughter being stashed in the trunk of one of New York City's 12,000 yellow cabs.