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Development Watch: Oscar Contenders at Work: Eisenberg & Leo, Brolin & Burton, Tarantino & Waltz

by Sophia Savage
March 1, 2011 7:00 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood


- With the award season wrapped, Oscar nominees and winners can get back to work. This summer, Best Actor nominee Jesse Eisenberg and Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa "F-Word" Leo will shoot Predisposed, an independent comedy about a drug-addict mom and her son, set on the day of his interview at Julliard and her enlistment in rehab, where she must arrive intoxicated in order to be admitted without health insurance. This is not a new role for Leo: a short of the same name went to Sundance in 2009. Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) wrote the script, and while Dorling directed the short, Nyswaner will direct the feature. 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan is rumored to be playing Leo's drug dealer.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Alice in Wonderland (which won two technical Oscars) director Tim Burton and Josh Brolin (supporting actor nominee for 2009's Milk) are pairing for an adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Warner Bros. Kieran and Michele Mulroney (who wrote the upcoming Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) will write the script. The classic love story between Quasimodo and Esmeralda has shined on the silver screen before: Esmeralda in 1905, and both Disney's animation and the Salma Hayek/Mandy Patinkin TV movie The Hunchback in 1997. Brolin is the driving force behind the project, acting as producer and star. Only if he approves the script will Burton -- who is busy prepping for Dark Shadows -- jump on board. No word on who would play Esmeralda.

- Quentin Tarantino (who won Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction) and his Inglourious Basterds supporting actor-winner Christoph Waltz are planning to reunite on an untitled western that Tarantino is still writing (he usually takes his time, and Harvey doesn't rush him). But if Tarantino decides it's ready, it could shoot later this year, confirms his agent, who has not yet read anything. ThePlaylist quotes Italian actor Franco Nero, confusingly translated from Italian website Movieplayer as saying he's joining Tarantino's spaghetti western: “We have already been signed by a dozen people who will be part of project. Among the filmmakers involved include Quentin Tarantino, Keith Carradine, Treat Williams, fifteen people in all Americans who want to do this movie and so we are trying to produce it outside of Italy.” Say what?

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