Notwithstanding the new Frankenstein trend, we're in the midst of a fairy tale craze, and the latest addition is 'Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale,' a book by Carolyn Turgeon that Sony has picked up for 'Country Strong' filmmaker Shana Feste to write and direct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hans Christian Andersens' 'The Little Mermaid' gets its point of view shifted to the darker side. It centers on a princess who, in order to save her ravaged kingdom, sets out on a dangerous journey to marry the prince of her rival kingdom, not knowing that a beautiful mermaid has fallen for the same man and has sacrificed everything to be with him. This is not going to be your mom's Ariel.
Like father like son. Best-selling author Joe Hill -- son of horrormeister Stephen King -- is hot in Hollywood, with his first novel, 'Heart Shaped Box,' set up at Warner Bros. and a comic book series, 'Locke & Key,' tickling TV's fancy. Now comes word via The Hollywood Reporter that Mandalay has picked up the film rights to Hill's short story 'Twittering From the Circus of the Dead,' written entirely as tweets from a teenage girl traveling with her family on a cross country road trip that goes horribly wrong. The tale appeared in The New Dead, an anthology of zombie stories published earlier this year. Mandalay has already attached a writer for the adaptation, Chris Borrelli, and is in negotiations with Todd Lincoln to direct. Scary indeed.
And, lastly, it's finally over: Casting for 'The Hunger Game's' chief roles has finished,
with Lenny Kravitz being tapped to play Cinna, the stylist and confidant to lead character Katniss Everdeen, whom he makes up for the televised gladiatorial battles set in the future. The Gary Ross-directed film already has a large cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Wes Bentley, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson. This should tide us over until after the March 23, 2012, opening of the film, which, if it turns out to be a blockbuster, will spawn a sequel and require another round of casting for new parts. Tip o' the hat to The Playlist.