Movie File: Justin Timberlake, Terrence Howard, Adam Sandler, ‘X-Men,’ ‘Spider-Man’ & More

Justin isn't getting any lovin' from Christina Ricci in 'Black Snake Moan.'

Yes, Justin Timberlake recently finished work on a flick with movie-geek-dream-girl Christina Ricci cast as a nymphomaniac, but that doesn’t mean that he got any love. “I am her boyfriend, but that doesn’t make me the object of her affection,” the pop star/ actor said recently of “Black Snake Moan,” due in theaters later this year. “I play a guy in the National Guard with a severe anxiety problem who gets called to go oversees, and then Samuel L. Jackson plays … a local-legend blues guitarist who is in town, and these characters come together in the weirdest way possible.” Adding that the film is written and directed by Craig Brewer of “Hustle & Flow” fame, Timberlake said the film is similarly character-driven. …

One of the hottest talents in Hollywood is on the verge of lining up two more projects that should keep him hustling and flowing for quite some time. Oscar nominee Terrence Howard‘s first target is “PDR,” a swim-team drama that would have him portraying the real-life story of an inner-city coach who inspired a group of wrongheaded kids to find their better selves through the backstroke. While that shoot takes place, the “Hustle & Flow” star will also shoehorn in face time for “August Rush,” an ensemble drama about a music prodigy (Freddie Highmore) who tracks down his biological parents (Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Keri Russell) with some help from Howard’s social worker. …

Like so many other cultural movements before it, the “Brokeback Mountain”-fueled acceptance of same-sex relationships may be on the verge of receiving one of pop culture’s highest compliments: getting spoofed in a movie. The unlikely romantic coupling of Adam Sandler and Kevin James are in talks to go “Brokeback” with “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” a long-in-development comedy script whose time may have finally arrived. Most recently rewritten by “Sideways” team Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, the film will be directed by “Wedding Crashers” helmer David Dobkin and follow the story of two firefighters who pretend to be gay in order to collect domestic-partner benefits. “Pronounce” has been in various stages of development since the late ’90s, with stars like Will Smith, Nicolas Cage and Vince Vaughn involved in a musical-chairs game that seems on the verge of concluding with Sandler and “The King of Queens” star James. …

Speculation that May’s revisiting of the X-Men franchise may be the final installment in the movie series will no doubt receive a Colossus-size boost with the revelation that “X-Men: The Last Stand” is the official title. Featuring returning stars Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry, it will be the first (and possibly last?) “X-Men” flick from director Brett Ratner. …

Veteran supporting star Bruce Greenwood (“Capote”) is the newest addition to a high-profile sci-fi thriller that is finally ready to shoot after a difficult pre-production process. “Déjà Vu,” also starring Denzel Washington and directed by Tony Scott, will start shooting in New Orleans next week and is targeting a late ’06 release, Greenwood revealed. “It’s a great, great script … it’s about time travel in a way that you would never expect. … [I play] an FBI guy who doesn’t suffer fools.” After Katrina-induced delays caused Scott to abandon the film, Greenwood says he’s glad to have the “Man on Fire” director back and is looking forward to working alongside Washington and co-stars Val Kilmer and James Caviezel. “It’s got a pretty roiling history, so it will be interesting to be down there and finally be on the set.” …

Oscar-nominated “Babe” star James Cromwell is the newest addition to the cast of “Spider-Man 3,” currently in production. The actor will play dad to Peter Parker paramour Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the film, due in theaters next May. That’ll do, James. That’ll do. …

After stealing scenes in movies like “8 Mile” and “Million Dollar Baby,” 26-year-old actor Anthony Mackie is getting ready for an upcoming sports drama that might finally cross him over into above-the-title stardom. “Crossover,” coming out through Sony TriStar in March, is “a street-basketball movie that’s gonna be off the hook,” he beamed like a proud papa. “It’s basically about these two cats that are street-basketball players that are trying to, like most street-basketball players, make their way into the NBA.” The film will attempt to do for street-balling what “You Got Served” did for underground dance-offs, while featuring appearances by many of the colorfully named superstars of the sport. “We’ve got a lot of And1 cats. We’ve got Hot Sauce, you know, and he’s just doing it. We’ve got I’ll Be Right Back, we’ve got Scooter, we got a bunch of cats that are doing it up, jumping over our heads … it’s kind of like a serio-comedy. There’s definitely some funny parts, but it’s about two high school kids trying to break into the next level.” …

When asked recently for an update on her crime thriller “Like Minds,” Toni Collette could only laugh. “I have no idea when it’s coming out,” she said. “It was shot over a year ago. It’s an English/ Australian co-production, and I play this forensic psychologist who’s trying to figure out whodunit, basically. There’s this amazing young English actor called Eddie Redmayne, and he and Tom Sturridge ['Vanity Fair'] form this psychic relationship where they literally link minds and perform evil acts. I’ve seen it kind of somewhat finished, and it was really great.” …

One of many hilarious cogs in the giant acting troupe that most recently starred in “A Mighty Wind,” Fred Willard is insisting that their next film will throw a curveball at fans of director Christopher Guest and his assembled loonies. “It is not a documentary-style film,” he said of “For Your Consideration,” due in September. “It’s improvised, but there’s no talking to the camera, there’s no interviews, it’s just the plot unfolding. [Guest] has put a little more into it. He’s taking it to the Toronto Film Festival, and it’s a big step forward towards doing a regular movie. I think he got a little tired of having them called ‘mockumentaries.’ ” Regarding his role in the Hollywood satire, Willard reported: “Well, of course, I’m the mindless guy. I’m a co-host of a talk show like ‘Access Hollywood,’ ” he laughed. “I had an idea for a very flashy red wig like I saw David Bowie wear in that style about 20 years ago. They said, ‘No, we’re going to cut your hair in a faux-hawk, à la David Beckham.’ They cut it all off, swept it up in a thing, and I must say that even if people don’t like me in the movie, I won’t go unnoticed.” …

Mexican heartthrob Diego Luna is best known for stealing hearts in “Y Tu Mamá También” and “The Terminal,” but soon the 26-year-old will attempt to show he can be equally desirable behind a camera, as he’s directing a documentary-like boxing film. The secretive project is filming under the working title “Chavez” and will tell the story of Julio Cesar Chavez, a Latino legend who won more than 100 fights before his retirement in 2001. “His life is amazing,” Luna said. “He’s the greatest boxer in Mexico, and one of the greatest in the world.” …

Shia LaBeouf is well-loved by reporters for possessing an honesty all too rare in Hollywood. It’s no surprise then, that when he discusses the “Love Boat”-like shoot of “Bobby” (with Demi Moore, Sharon Stone and Lindsay Lohan, to name just a few), he doesn’t pull any punches. “That was a circus tent, that was insane,” he grinned. He says the movie, which revolves around the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, “was shot in a lot of the real places, like the Ambassador Hotel. They had an X taped exactly where [Kennedy was shot]; it was a weird deal. There was asbestos falling … it was a nuts cast.” Directed by Emilio Estevez, LaBeouf said the assembled talents could make for a great film if all the pieces fall together just right. “I play Cooper, who is a student Kennedy advisor — I think that’s what he’s called. He’s basically draft-dodging and signs up with the Kennedy campaign so he doesn’t have to go to war.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Black Snake Moan,” “Bobby,” “Spider-Man 3″ and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”

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