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Sony gets GHOST RIDER Lucy Liu in Charlie Chan and much much more…. Sony Pictures, hot off the landmark success of SPIDERMAN is negotiating with Marvel Entertainment to take over rights to GHOST RIDER, which has been put into turnaround by Dimension Films. Will Ferrell has signed to star in ACTION NEWSMAN, a romantic comedy about a 1970’s news anchor with raging hormones and perfect hair. His inflated ego becomes threatened when a female newscaster arrives who has mastered serious journalism. Ferrell co-wrote the script with SNL writer Adam McKay who will direct the picture for Regency Films. Brent Forrester, former writer for THE SIMPSONS and UNDECLARED, will write THE SHADOW PROJECT for Dreamworks. The film will mix live-action and CG animation while telling the story of the opposing worlds of humans and their shadows. Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to THE COMPANY: A NOVEL OF THE CIA, the best-selling spy thriller by Robert Littell. The story is a fictional reenactment of the US intelligence community from the beginning of the cold war to the fall of the USSR. It weaves real life characters like John F Kennedy into a story about CIA operative, KGB , M16, and Mossad. Annette Bening has signed to take on the role of a widowed mother in the Disney remake of FREAKY FRIDAY. The story follows Benings character as she tries to deal with her tomboy teenage daughter. When the two reveal their desire to see things from the others perspective, they wake up having switched bodies. FRIDAY was a big hit for Disney in 1976, and starred a young Jodie Foster in the role of the daughter. Ben Kingsley is in talks to star in A SOUND OF THUNDER, based on the classic short story by Ray Bradbury. Edward Burns and Catherine McCormack will co-star in the film about a time traveling safari to prehistoric times and the havoc they wreak on the future. Kingsley is also in negotiations to take the lead in SUSPECT ZERO, a suspense thriller about an FBI agent chasing a serial killer who hunts other serial killers. Gene Hackman is in talks to join the cast of RUNAWAY JURY for director Gary Fleder. John Cusack will play the lead, and Dustin Hoffman is also in negotiations for a role in the adaptation of the John Grisham best-seller. Mathew Perry will star in two films for Paramount Pictures. The first is a drama called ONE OF US, about a man who becomes entangled with two aliens looking for a test subject. Perry’s character falls in love with the female alien. The second film is an untitled comedy. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters will star in CALENDAR GIRLS, for director Nigel Cole. It follows 12 English matrons who pose nude for a Calendar to raise money for charity. Lucy Liu is in negotiations to star in a reinvention of the detective franchise CHARLIE CHAN for 20th Century Fox. Liu will serve as executive producer, John Woo and Terence Chang will produce. Harrison Ford is in talks to star in A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES for Universal and director Joe Carnahan. Ford would play an ex-cop turned detective who tries to help a drug dealer find the men who kidnapped and killed his wife. Anthony Edwards, James Woods, Darryl Hannah, Peter Coyote, Kyle MacLachlan, Claire Forlani, Rick Overton and Clark Gregg are among the actors signed for the cast of NORTH FORK, the final film in the Polish Brother trilogy. Brothers Mark and Micheal Polish also directed and produced the films TWIN FALLS IDAHO and JACKPOT. Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke will star in a new groundbreaking experiment from director Richard Linklater. The film will center on a 7 year boy, played by Eller Salmon, and will follow him over the course of his maturation to 19 years old. Linklater and his cast will actually film year by year for the next 12 years. Arquette and Hawke will play the boys artistic parents.

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