IN THE WORKS: Kidman's Family Fang; Murray Joins Coppola, Sheen; Arndt Writing Phineas and Ferb

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by Sophia Savage
October 28, 2011 7:52 AM
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Nicole Kidman and her Blossom Films banner partner Per Saari are teaming up again with Rabbit Hole co-producers Olympus Films. They are optioning screen rights to The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson's bestselling first novel about a group of performance artists whose children (who as children were regularly involved in their parents' bizarre activities) return home as resentful and maladjusted adults and are asked to participate in their parents' final performance. Here's more on what else Kidman and Wilson have in the works.

Thompson on Hollywood

After what was arguably a career-best performance in Coppola's Lost in Translation, the always picky Bill Murray, eight years later, will star in writer-director Roman Coppola's A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (yes, he's Sofia's older brother). Patricia Arquette and Mary Elizabeth Winstead will also star, along with Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza and Katheryn Winnick. Sheen will play the title character, an irresistible and successful graphic designer whose life is thrown out of whack when his girlfriend breaks up with him. Per Variety: "Through delirious fantasies involving his many failed romances, he begins the hard road of self-evaluation to come to terms with life without her." The film is currently in production in Los Angeles, with Coppola and Youree Henley producing. Independent is handling international sales at AFM, and Cinetic is handling North America.

Thompson on Hollywood

Michael Arndt, writer of Pixar's much loved Toy Story 3 (Oscar nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay; our interview) and Little Miss Sunshine (winner for Best Original Screenplay), is writing the feature script for Disney and Mandeville Films' Phineas and Ferb, which is already slated for a July 26, 2013, release, and will be a mix of animation and live action. Mandeville also teamed with Disney for the upcoming The Muppets. Phineas and Ferb show creators Swampy Marsh and Dan Povenmire wrote the initial draft; they continue to write for the TV show, which is in its third season. It follows stepbrothers Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher during their summer holiday; they collaborate on inventions, while their sister Candace looks for ways to get them in trouble with their mother, and their family pet, Perry the platypus, leads a double life as a secret agent. Does this cute movie seem a waste of Arndt's talents (if not a boost for his wallet)? Disney/Piixar chief John Lasseter knows better than anyone that success or failure at the movies comes down to the thing that Arndt knows how to do better than anyone: story, story, story.

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