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6/08/2013

Christoph Waltz to Lead 'True Crimes'; Roland Emmerich Takes 'Emergence'; Hugh Laurie May Voice Paddington Bear



* Even before he earned his second Oscar for Django Unchained, Christoph Waltz was taking on a diverse array of roles, and now he can essentially write his own ticket. He'll next take on a crime procedural in True Crimes, which is based on a true story chronicled in a 2008 New Yorker feature on Polish writer Krystian Bala. He had been convicted of murder in 2007, but before that the case had gone cold for months. Waltz will play detective Jacek Wroblewski, who took on the case and targeted Bala after he published the novel Amok, which details an eerily similar killing. There's no director attached yet, but Roman Polanski was eying it a couple of years ago, and is still in contention. Waltz recently wrapped Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem, and will film Stephen Gaghan's Candy Store and Tim Burton's Big Eyes soon. [THR]

* Roland Emmerich's Independence Day sequels may never happen, but he's far from done with alien invasion movies. He and Centropolis Entertainment have picked up writer Nic Kelman's pitch for Emergence, described as a new take on large-scale alien invasion films and will contain "hot-button science elements." Emmerich will direct, and this is being eyed as potentially an original franchise-starter, a rarity in Hollywood nowadays. So expect the big studios to be willing to shell out a lot of cash for it down the road. This may be his way of replacing Singularity, a sci-fi film he had been working on, but it stalled out and he directed White House Down instead. [Deadline]

* Other than an extremely early poster that arrived almost exactly a year ago, we've seen or heard nothing about the Paddington Bear movie being developed by Harry Potter producer, David Heyman. Paul King (The Mighty Boosh) has been on board to direct, and now we know that producers want Hugh Laurie to voice the famous bear, who is known for his knack for mischief and love of marmalade sandwiches. Laurie isn't in talks just yet, but there is one confirmed addition. Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville has come aboard to play the live-action lead, that of Henry Brown, the uptight patriarch of Paddington's new human family. Production begins this fall for release in 2014. [TheWrap]