* Barely a month ago it looked like Richard Linklater would be the guy to finally direct an adaptation of Bill Bryson's humorous travelogue, A Walk in the Woods. It was certainly an interesting prospect because the story sounds an awful lot like his highly conversational Before Sunrise trilogy. But without any real explanation, Linklater is out and Robert Redford will pull double-duty as star and director. The story follows a veteran ex-pat writer who attempts to rediscover America by walking the Appalachian Trail (Mark Sanford has ruined that phrase forever) with his out of shape buddy, played by Nick Nolte. If that doesn't sound promising enough, Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) is the one who adapted the screenplay. [LA Times]
*The career trajectory of Simon Pegg has been an interesting one to watch. After breaking out in Shaun of the Dead, he made a few cautious steps into Hollywood (remember Run Fatboy Run?) and now is a fixture on a pair of major franchises in Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. Not too bad. His next film should be something considerably smaller, as he'll star in an adaptation of M.R. James' ghost story, Casting the Runes, to be helmed by Gremlins director Joe Dante. David Tully is adapting the script, which has Pegg as a celebrity gossip blogger investigating the strange connection between a mysterious self-help guru and an actor who recently threw himself in front of a subway train. [BleedingCool]
* Michelle Williams has been offered the lead in a new remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific. Michael Mayer (A Home at the End of the World) is slated to direct the film, which is said to stick closer to the 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by James Michener. Williams would play Nellie Forbush, an American nurse in the Navy who falls in love with a Frenchman while stationed in the South Pacific. Hugh Jackman is being eyed to play her French lover, Emile De Becque, while Justin Timberlake is on their wishlist to play Lt. Cable. It's still pretty early and nothing is signed, so we'll just have to sit tight and see what develops.