Movie File: Hilary Duff, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Smith, Adrien Brody, Tony Hawk, Johnny Knoxville & More

Plus news on 'Green Hornet,' 'Star Wars' and a dog named Meatball.

Filmmaker and comic book enthusiast Kevin Smith will write
and direct a movie based on the Green Hornet, which started as a radio
program and then became a comic book and TV series (co-starring Bruce
Lee
). The billionaire vigilante superhero and his sidekick Kato
were created by Fran Striker and George W. Trendle, who
also created “The Lone Ranger.” Trendle’s son will executive produce
Smith’s movie. … Hilary Duff, who is shooting both “Heart of
Summer” and “The Perfect Man” this spring, has signed on for another
movie to shoot later in the year. The singer will star in the comedy
“Outward Blonde” about a materialistic New York girl who gets sent on
an Outward Bound program after failing gym class. …

Frankie Muniz will follow up “Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London,” due March 12, with a more risqué role. “I’m reading a bunch of parts now, so we’ll see which one I’ll do,” the “Malcolm in the Middle” star said at the NBA’s recent All-Star celebrity game. “It’s a really important time for me. I turned 18 and I need to set new standards, get into the real adult roles, the serious parts, so people will respect me as an actor.” … “The Jacket,” a drama starring Adrien Brody as a soldier convicted of murder who believes he is traveling through time during his treatment in a psychiatric hospital, has begun shooting in Glasgow. Keira Knightley (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and Mackenzie Phillips (“One Day at a Time”)
co-star. …

Pharrell Williams, Burt Reynolds, former “Jackass” stars Johnny Knoxville and Ryan Dunn, Carey Hart and
Tony Hawk will be driving sport race cars Thursday (February 19) to the Hollywood premiere of “Gumball 3000: The Movie” at Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Blink-182‘s Travis Barker, Good Charlotte‘s Joel Madden, Michelle Rodriguez, Ron
Jeremy
and Johnny Rotten are also expected to attend the event for the movie, which is a sort of real-life version of “The Cannonball Run” that follows the “Jackass” stars and their friends (Reynolds narrates) as they race 3,000 miles coast-to-coast, tallying up 14 arrests and $50,000 in fines. Maximillion Cooper launched the first Gumball 3000 race in Europe in 1999. …

The “Star Wars” trilogy will finally be released on DVD, in a four-disc box set due September 21. The package will include never-before-seen footage and other features, along with “the most comprehensive feature-length documentary ever produced about the ‘Star Wars’ saga,” according to Lucasfilm. … Walt Disney Co. has purchased Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the “Muppets” characters and plans to make new movies, TV shows, video games and other products with them. Disney first tried to buy the characters in 1990, but the deal fell apart when creator Jim Henson died that year. … Meatball, one of Adam Sandler‘s bulldogs, died of a heart attack January 27 at age 4. The dog is featured in a short film on the “Eight Crazy Nights” DVD, while his father, Mr. Beefy, co-starred in the comedian’s “Little Nicky.” …

Julia Roberts will not be the only beauty in the “Ocean’s Eleven” sequel, “Ocean’s Twelve.” Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined the all-star cast, which also welcomes back George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and Bernie Mac. … Jennifer Aniston has signed on to
star in an as-yet-untitled movie about a soon-to-wed young woman who discovers her family has a dark secret — that they were the inspiration for the movie “The Graduate” and her grandmother was the basis for the famed seductress Mrs. Robinson, played by Anne Bancroft. Ted Griffin, who wrote “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Matchstick Men,” will make his directing debut with the movie, which
he also wrote. George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh‘s Section Eight company is handling the production, which begins in April. …

Alison Pill of “Pieces of April” fame will follow up
“Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” with the drastically different “Dear Wendy,” written by Lars Von Trier (“Dogville”) and directed by fellow experimental filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg. “It’s about pacifists with guns and seeing how it takes a group of losers in West Virginia to a new level of feeling powerful and successful in their lives just by carrying guns and creating this whole
ritualistic society called the Dandies,” Pill explained. “And then what happens when something new is introduced with that and how jealousy and human nature sort of take over. It’s fascinating and was so amazing to shoot.” “Dear Wendy” will play at summer film festivals before opening
in Denmark (home to both Vinterberg and Von Trier) in November. …

Two men allegedly abused by Jesse Friedman are speaking out against “Capturing the Friedmans,” a favorite to win Best Documentary at the February 29 Academy Awards ceremony. The unidentified men wrote an open letter to Oscar voters complaining that Friedman was “being
paraded like a celebrity.” “If this film does win an Oscar, it will be won at the expense of silencing the plaintive voices of abused children once again, just as our own voices were silenced 16 years ago by the threats and intimidation of our tormentors, Arnold and Jesse Friedman,” the letter said. …