Weekly Movie News Round-Up: May 17-21

I follow all the news so you don't have to...

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Here's what you may have missed:

(1) Megan Fox Booted from Transformers 3.  She says it was her choice to leave.  Michael Bay and Paramount are suspiciously vague about it.  Not terribly surprising given her verbal spat with Bay after Transformers 2 came out.  I think this is a smart play - sorry, Megan.  Better hope Jonah Hex makes mad money this summer.

(2) David Fincher Directing 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea remake?  This could be very cool.  Disney is wooing Fincher pretty hard right now after McG dropped out - what a switch!  Disney better hurry because word is that there's another 20,000 Leagues movie in the works as well.  If Fincher signs though - this will definitely have the upper hand. 

(3) Terrence Howard might play Marvin Gaye in new biopic.  I'm sure Howard will do a fine job - but he's not the first person to come to mind for the role.  Though he certainly seems more appropriate than who previously passed: Will Smith.  In any event, Cameron Crowe is behind the camera so that makes this a must-see.

(4) MIB 3 Gets a Villain.  Speaking of Mr. Smith, Men in Black 3 keeps chugging along.  In addition to Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, director Barry Sonnenfeld is back, and the cast just grew by one: Flight of the Conchords' Jermaine Clement has been signed to play an alien baddie. 

(5) James Franco cast in Rise of the Apes.  Interesting casting, but I'm still not sold on the idea of this prequel to Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes remake.  Who in the world is clamoring for another Apes movie?

(6) The Wachowski Brothers' New Movie.  Get this - not wanting to be pigeonholed, the Matrix boys' follow-up to Speed Racer is described as a "Hard-R" gay Iraq war drama about an affair between an American solider and an Iraqi.  Say what?

(7) Emma Watson moves on from Hermione.  She'll be mixing it up with Percy Jackson himself (Logan Lerman) in an adaptation of the book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.  It's a coming of age drama (aren't they all?) dealing with drug use and sexuality.  Hermione would not approve.

(8) Sneakers Vet Scripting JJ Abrams' Heist Flick.  Phil Alden Robinson (writer of Field of Dreams, Sneakers) has been tapped to write the screenplay for the JJ-produced film about the biggest diamond heist in history.  Sneakers was a fun, clever caper, so this should be right in Robinson's wheelhouse.

(9) Ellen Pages Escapes the Juno Shadow.  She's taken a role in Freeland, where she'll play a lesbian New Jersey car mechanic who battles to secure her girlfriend's pension benefits after she's diagosed with a terminal illness.  Academy prognosticators - start your drooling.

(10) Drew Barrymore Directing a Wizard of Oz Sequel.  Barrymore is set to star in and direct a script written by Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) called Surrender Dorothy.  Yes, but will it be better than Return to Oz, and will it feature Tik-Tok and The Wheelies?

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