News Bites: Monday, March 29th 2004

By Garth Franklin Monday March 29th 2004 01:35AM

Meet the Mo'Fockers: ""Soul Plane" scribe Chuck Wilson will write "Meet the Mo'Fockers" for Maverick Entertainment, based on a story he created with actor-comedian DeRay Davis. Comedy will also be Wilson's feature-directing bow. In the script, a high-society African-American man falls in love with a beautiful woman whom he believes possesses a social pedigree similar to his own. As he prepares to ask for her hand in marriage, he discovers his would-be in-laws are straight from the 'hood -- and that he had a one-night stand with the woman's mother..." (more info). Shadowmancer: "A producer and financier who've made no films have paid a fortune to secure screen rights to "Shadowmancer," a fantasy novel that has drawn comparisons to the "Harry Potter" series. The 18th-century ghost story follows three children's battle against an evil vicar out to control the world who has the ability to enlist the dead as his forces...." (more info). The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe: "Rhythm & Hues has landed the role as lead special effects studio on the Walt Disney Studios and Walden Media fantasy epic. R&H is expected to create more than 700 shots for the pic, which will start lensing this summer in New Zealand..." (more info). The Prizewinner of Defiant, Ohio: "DreamWorks and Revolution Studios are joining forces to make "The Prizewinner of Defiant, Ohio," with Julianne Moore in line to star. Project will mark the feature directing debut of Jane Anderson, who wrote the script and is coming off the acclaimed telepic "Normal," which starred Tom Wilkinson and Jessica Lange..." (more info).Gambit: "Jennifer Aniston has committed to star in "Gambit," the remake of the 1966 British caper film that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine, her rep confirmed. The project had been set up at Universal Pictures, with Burr Steers signed on to write and direct..." (more info).

Irish Jam: "Eddie Griffin is set to play the leading man in "Irish Jam," a quirky feature about Irish villagers who find that their hometown is up for sale, so they set up a poetry contest offering the local pub as a prize as a way to raise money. It comes as quite a surprise when a rapper/con man (Griffin) from Los Angeles wins. Due to go into production in May, its being directed by John Eyre..." (more info). Ruprecht: "Walt Disney Pictures has picked up this broad comedy pitch by "The Simpsons" writers/executive producers Josh Weinstein and Bill Oakley. The story recounts how, in Victorian times, Santa left presents for all the good children and Ruprecht was responsible for leaving switches and coal for the naughty ones. Ruprecht went away when the partnership soured, and has now resurfaced, determined to balance out Christmas and today's naughty kids with some overdue lumps of coal, causing a battle that turns Christmas on its head..." (more info). Alien vs. Predator: A breakdown of the recent Howard Stern/Paul W.S. Anderson interview is now up at MarksFriggin.

Bruce Campbell's Next: The actor talked a bit about his upcoming schedule to Regular Reviews. DVD News: Details and artwork are available for assorted titles such as Monster, The Perfect Score, Das Boot: Uncut, The Butterfly Effect, Eurotrip, Everybody Loves Raymond: Season 1, Club Dread & Monster. Garden State: Screen caps from the trailer fo the Zach Braff flick are up at The Trades.

Indiana Jones 4: Moviehole reports that Australian screenwriter Stuart Beattie ("Derailed", "Pirates of the Caribbean") has been hired to rework the fourth "Indiana Jones" movie. Kingdom of Heaven: Two pics of Orlando Bloom on-set are up at The Trades. Law & Order: Trial By Jury: Jerry Orbach has decided to leave NBC's Law & Order. The actor has played Detective Lennie Brisco for 12 years on the show but he may be on the fourth "Law & Order" spinoff which will follow a criminal's case from arraignment to verdict by jury.

National Treasure: Three pics from the Nic Cage film are up at LatinoReview. RIP Peter Ustinov: The famed star best known for his work as Agatha Chritise's detective Hercule Poirot in several films (eg. "Death on the Nile", "Evil Under the Sun") has passed on, see The BBC for details. Seed of Chucky: Filming has already started on "Seed of Chucky" in Romania according to Hannah Spearitt when talking from Romania to T4 in the UK.

Smallville (TV): Krypton Site reports that ABC Family has outbid both The Sci-Fi Channel and Spike TV to own the rerun rights to The WB's Smallville which will start airing in Fall 2004 on ABC Family.

Spider-Man 2: A glimpse at the international trailer is now up at AICN. The Pink Panther: More details on the David Beckham cameo in the remake can be found up at BBC. Van Helsing: Some new theatrical banners for the Hugh Jackman flick are up at Latino Review. Various Clips: A glimpse at "Catwoman" can be found here. Eight clps apiece are up from Home on the Range & The Prince & Me. Thanks to 'Kellvin', 'Clint' , 'Kenny', 'Dust Bunny', 'Nuanda', 'Antoine', 'Eamon', 'Jas', 'Patrick', 'Jacob', ' Austin 3:16', 'David' & 'Tom'