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5/31/2013

Doug Ellin takes over 'Bad Santa 2'; Katherine Waterston to lead 'Inherent Vice'; Melissa Leo joins 'The Equalizer'



* Is the seemingly eternal wait for a Bad Santa sequel finally over? Um, maybe. It seemed like it was back when Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) was hired to direct and rewrite one of the two competing scripts that was commissioned for it. But now it's back to square one as Deadline reports Entourage creator Doug Ellin has been brought on to potentially tackle both jobs. Whether he ends up behind the camera will depend on how things pan out with his Entourage feature film, which he's turned in a script for but has yet to land a start a date. If everything falls into place, Bad Santa 2 could shoot this fall, meaning we may see it next year. At this point, after so many years of waiting, I think it'd be better to just move on and leave the original alone as a great, standalone holiday classic.

* Paul Thomas Anderson is already filming his 1970s crime flick Inherent Vice, and he's stacked it with a fairly remarkable cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Martin Short, Kevin O'Connor, and Sean Penn. But there was one lead part left to be filled, that of Shasta, drug-addled gumshoe Doc Sportello's kidnapped ex-girlfriend. The part will go to a relative unknown, Katherine Waterston, and yep she's the daughter of Law & Order mainstay Sam Waterston. It's the biggest film in her career, although she's had starring roles in smaller films like The Babysitters and The Letter. She also has a major role in Kelly Reichardt's next film, Night Moves.

* Antoine Fuqua's feature adaptation of 1980s TV series The Equalizer may be adding another Oscar-winner to star alongside Denzel Washington. Melissa Leo (The Fighter) is in talks to join the film, which centers on an ex-CIA agent named McCall who takes dangerous jobs helping others in order to make up for his dark past. Chloe Moretz is set to play a prostitute seeking McCall's help, while Leo would play his former government handler.