Movie File: Hilary Duff, Frankie Muniz, Vivica A. Fox, Zach Braff, Ewan McGregor, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser & More

Hilary Duff has been cast as a small-town girl who spends the summer at a Los Angeles performing-arts school in the music drama "Heart of Summer." Shooting is scheduled to begin in mid-January. ... Meanwhile, Duff isn't starring in "Agent Cody Banks 2," but she needn't worry about the secret agent falling for another girl. "She's not a love interest," Frankie Muniz said of his sequel co-star, Hannah Spearritt of British pop group S Club 7. "She actually ends up being another agent, for like British CIA or whatever it is, so it's kinda cool." ...

Vivica A. Fox has been cast alongside Peta Wilson (TV's "La Femme Nikita") in an action movie called "Vertical." Shooting is scheduled for early next year in South Africa. ... Danny DeVito, doing press for his role in Tim Burton's "Big Fish," has revealed that production is under way on "Be Cool," the sequel to "Get Shorty." DeVito is also producing "Garden State," written and directed by "Scrubs" star Zach Braff, who also co-stars with Natalie Portman. ... "Barbershop" and "Scary Movie 3" star Anthony Anderson has been cast in "King's Ransom," a comedy about a businessman who stages his own kidnapping when he realizes he might lose his riches to the wife he's trying to divorce. ...

"Mystic River" was deemed Best Film of 2003 by the National Board of Review, who named "The Last Samurai," "The Station Agent," "21 Grams," "House of Sand and Fog," "Lost in Translation," "Cold Mountain," "In America," "Seabiscuit" and "Master and Commander" as the year's Top Ten Films. Sean Penn was named Best Actor for "Mystic River" and "21 Grams," Diane Keaton won Best Actress for "Something's Gotta Give," Alec Baldwin took Best Supporting Actor for "The Cooler," and Patricia Clarkson earned Best Supporting Actress for "Pieces of April" and "The Station Agent." ...

Ewan McGregor will voice the title character in "Valiant," a computer-animated comedy from the producer of "Shrek." The movie, which is being made now, is about a pigeon who overcomes his small size to become a hero in Britain's Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. ... And in other animated movie news, the producers behind "Ice Age" have optioned the rights to Tor Seidler's children's book "Wainscott Weasel" about a weasel who saves a nearby pond from famine. "Ice Age" director Chris Wedge will likely direct, after finishing "Robots" and "Ice Age 2." ...

Sandra Bullock will star in the romantic comedy "Prime" about a 22-year-old painter from Brooklyn who falls in love with a 37-year-old career woman from the Upper East Side. The painter role has not been cast, but Meryl Streep will play a therapist, and Ben Younger ("Boiler Room") will direct from his own script. ... Bullock has also been cast alongside Brendan Fraser, Ryan Phillippe, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon in "Crash," an ensemble drama scheduled to shoot in Los Angeles beginning next week. ...

Kevin James, who is developing a film inspired by the Chicago Cubs fan who notoriously interfered with a foul ball during the National League finals, is not the only "King of Queens" star with big-screen aspirations. "I think everyone who's been on the show for a while is getting that itch to start doing films and stuff," Victor Williams said. "My strength is drama. I came out here with the idea that I was gonna land myself in a dramatic series. That's my strength. I never knew I'd be on a sitcom." ...