Movie File: Johnny Knoxville, Bow Wow, Keira Knightley, Dakota Fanning & More

The 'Jackass' has a fan in Quentin Tarantino.

Unapologetic “Jackass” junkie Quentin Tarantino has put himself into the Johnny Knoxville business, not only executive producing the actor’s new film “Daltry Calhoun” but hiring him to star in an upcoming version of an Elmore Leonard (“Get Shorty”) crime novel. “Yeah, he’s going to be in ‘Killshot’ as well,” Tarantino said. “It’s really cool.” Knoxville will play an FBI agent alongside Diane Lane and Mickey Rourke in the Tarantino-produced film, but he refused to reveal further details. “Oh, hell, I don’t want to give anything away,” Knoxville laughed. “But I’m very excited to be onboard for the film, and I think we’ll start [in Los Angeles] in a couple weeks.” Tarantino insists that the 2006 release will stay true to the novelist’s trademark mix of violence and humor, saying, “I want it to be as much Elmore Leonard as it possibly can be. I’m a big fan of the book, and the screenwriter did a terrific job of adapting it. I’ve owned this property for a while, so a lot of people have tried to adapt this script, and [Hossein Amini] just nailed it. I think it’s going to be another in a long line of wonderful Elmore Leonard adaptations.” …

“Actually, we’re not doing ‘Mr. President,’ ” Bow Wow said recently, offering a double-dose of information on his budding movie career. Instead of making the long-rumored comedy (a.k.a. “Mr. Prez”) about a teenager whose winning contest entry allowed him to lead the country for a day, the 18-year-old has instead agreed to star in a much more high-profile project. “The next movie we’re doing is ‘The Fast and the Furious 3,’ ” he said. The “Roll Bounce” star was reluctant to give any further details, but it has been previously announced that the film will be made without former “Furious” franchise stars Vin Diesel or Paul Walker, and that “Better Luck Tomorrow” director Justin Lin is taking the reins for the third installment of the fast-moving action series. As the first major star to sign on for the film, Bow Wow said it’s all part of his master plan. “We’re just trying to go hard and dominate everything, from movies to music, so everybody’s broke except for us.” …

Speaking of Paul Walker, his upcoming family-adventure film, previously titled “Antarctica,” has changed its name to “8 Below.” The movie, inspired by a true story, details a mission to save eight stranded bobsled dogs from certain death when they are left behind by Antarctic explorers. Directed by Frank Marshall and co-starring Jason Biggs and Bruce Greenwood, the Disney film is expected in theaters next February. The next time you hear a knock on your door and see that familiar green-and-white uniform through the peephole, you’ll want to open up: it might just be a movie star trying to sell you those Thin Mints. Eleven-year-old “War of the Worlds” star Dakota Fanning was inducted as the newest member of the Girl Scouts this week, and then took time to sign a few autographs before hosting a screening of the upcoming horseracing movie “Dreamer” for her new cookie comrades. Fanning rides “Dreamer” into theaters alongside Kurt Russell on October 21. …

With Joss Whedon slaving away at his “Wonder Woman” movie, the writer/director reported that he hears fans saying the film should star an unknown actress. “I completely agree with it,” he said. “That’s not to say I would rule an actress out just because she’s famous if she was right for the part. But I like the idea of an unknown because these are some tough booties to fill. It’s going to be difficult to find somebody who’s beautiful in that particular way, who’s got the presence and the acting chops and the physicality. It’s a really hard role, and people have an idea of her.” He added, “I think [the script will] be done in a few months’ time, and then I give it to the studio and they’ll say, ‘Boy, is it not done!’ So, you know, it’s a process. It should take some time, but I’m well into it, and I’m having the time of my life.” … Keira Knightley has kicked her swashbuckling fantasies into overdrive as she is filming the second and third installments of “Pirates of the Caribbean” simultaneously. The actress reported this week that her character Elizabeth grows so substantially in the two films, it had concerned her at first. “I’d never done a character twice before, so I was worried about the continuity,” she said. “But I figure it’s two years since we’ve done the last one, so she’s just grown up by two years.” Knightley also let slip that in at least one action sequence, Elizabeth will get to double her pleasure. “I get two swords instead of one,” she enthused. “After all my training for ‘King Arthur,’ I found it quite easy to learn the fight scenes for this one. And I’ve loved it — I’ve really, really loved it. I think it’s going to be wicked, and I think all the fans of the first ‘Pirates’ film won’t be disappointed.” The sequel “Dead Man’s Chest” is due in theaters next July; the still-untitled third film will follow at a later date. … The “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” remake, starring Nicole Kidman, is about to begin production in Washington, D.C., complete with a shiny new title. The sci-fi blockbuster, previously referred to as “Invasion,” is now being called “The Visiting.” The film, which co-stars Daniel Craig and Jeremy Northam, details a mysterious epidemic that alters human behavior; Kidman plays the psychiatrist who suspects that her son may hold the secret to stopping an ensuing invasion. …

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A huge audience may have paid to see “The Village,” but the backlash against director M. Night Shyamalan and his cinematic manipulations has Hollywood wondering if the writer/director feels pressure to abandon his trademark twists. Bryce Dallas Howard, star of “The Village” and Shyamalan’s upcoming “Lady in the Water,” says it’s not even a factor. “The only thing that compels Night to do something is his own passion for his work,” she said. “Whether or not it has a twist is completely irrelevant — it’s just storytelling. A good storyteller has several twists and turns in a film.” Although “Lady in the Water” is one of the most secretive sets currently in production, Howard reveals that the finished product will be quite different than “Signs” and other Shyamalan hits. “It’s very bold, and simultaneously it’s very romantic and sweet,” she said. “It was created because he started telling it as a bedtime story for his two little girls, and so there’s a lot of love in the film and a lot of childlike magic.” The film wraps in November and is slated for a July release. … Few underground cult films boast the rabid fanbase of 1999′s “The Boondock Saints.” Now, following half a decade of fan encouragement, a sequel is finally going into production, with actor Clifton Collins Jr. joining the cast as the best friend of the twin brother vigilantes. “I play Romeo; I’m more or less the third Saint,” Collins said. “[We're] defending the world, killing off the bad guys.” The actor said the film, titled “Boondock II: All Saints Day,” will be released theatrically and that notoriously feisty writer/director Troy Duffy (whose feuding with studio executives nearly killed the first film) will behave himself this time around. “I think the experience of ‘Boondocks I’ has humbled him a little bit,” Collins said. “A little bit — not a lot.” …

When writer/director Cameron Crowe comes calling, actors typically can’t put ink on the dotted line fast enough. Thus a pair of celebrities will no doubt be happy to hear that he’s working on a new script with them in mind. “There’s a couple actors I’d love to work with: Kate Winslet — I think she’s amazing — and Kirsten Dunst again,” said the “Almost Famous” mastermind, whose “Elizabethtown” stars Dunst and Orlando Bloom. Crowe explained that the new film will be the closest he’s ever come to a flat-out comedy and that he can only hope that his muses will say yes. “There’s nothing sadder than a comedy that isn’t funny,” Crowe said. “But it feels like it’s the time to do that. Hopefully it’s funny.” … George Clooney is taking a break from big budgets with the upcoming black-and-white drama “Good Night, and Good Luck,” which he stars in and directs. He admitted, however, that he’d be happy to step into the expensive shoes of Danny Ocean again if the opportunity arose. “There’s always the thought,” he said. “You have to have a good script, and we have to figure out what to do. But they sure are fun to make. You know, Brad [Pitt] and Matt [Damon] and Don [Cheadle] and all those guys are just such great, fun guys to work with. I would do another one in a heartbeat with [director] Steven [Soderbergh] if we had a good script.”

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