Movie File: Al Pacino, Jeff Daniels, Jason Lee, Keira Knightley & More

'Ocean's Thirteen' lures more stars; Farrelly brothers talk Stooges movie; Lee to voice Underdog.

George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh are likely screaming “Hoo-ah!” right now, as they’ve landed film icon Al Pacino for the role of a high-powered casino owner in upcoming superstar sequel “Ocean’s Thirteen.” The “Scent of a Woman” star is set to play Willie Banks, a new target in the crosshairs of Clooney’s Danny Ocean and his gang. The third film in the “Ocean’s” series is set to begin shooting in July, with locations including Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Based on a script by the gambling-savvy writers of “Rounders,” the film will also bring back Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Bernie Mac and the rest of the core “Ocean’s” group, along with a “Sea of Love” reunion between Pacino and co-star Ellen Barkin. The film is betting on a summer 2007 release. …

It’s one of the more top-secret projects in Hollywood, but according to Jeff Daniels, the “Three Stooges” remake envisioned by Bobby and Peter Farrelly will continue its slow casting process, because the “Shallow Hal” creators are no knuckleheads. “The Farrellys talked about it [to me] about a year and a half ago,” Daniels said. “They’re still playing around on the script.” Daniels said one of the filmmakers’ concerns is the Stooges’ height, so they’ll be in appropriate eye-poking range. “I think that a lot has to do with the casting of Moe. They’re centering on [that]. Whoever they get for Moe, and however tall he is, you know, will indicate who Larry and Curly are.” …

Have no fear, Jason Lee is here! The sarcastic “My Name Is Earl” star has signed on to voice the courageous canine star of “Underdog,” an upcoming live-action adaptation of the tongue-in-cheek ’60s cartoon. Lee will voice the continued adventures of mild-mannered Shoeshine Boy, as well as his super-powered alter ego who speaks in rhyme. The film will have Underdog dealing with adoption by a 12-year-old boy while saving Capitol City and his beloved Polly Purebred from the sinister Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage of “The Station Agent”). Overseen by “Racing Stripes” director Frederik Du Chau, the flick is aiming for a 2007 release. …

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It’s a state motto, it’s a way of life, and it may eventually be playing at a theater near you. It’s “Live Free or Die,” a buzz-worthy flick that won the Jury Award for Best Film at last month’s South by Southwest Film Festival. “We shot it in New Hampshire and Vermont,” star Michael Rapaport said of the quirky robbery flick, which gets its name from New Hampshire’s state slogan. The film also stars Zooey Deschanel and Paul Schneider (“The Family Stone”). “It’s a small movie about these two guys who kinda fall into this bad way and all this crime stuff. It’s got a really good cast. It’s kind of a dark comedy,” Rapaport said. Adding that the New England cold is a character in the film, Rapaport said he hopes the indie film’s success will continue as it makes its rounds on the festival circuit. “I think people are gonna dig it.” …

Keira Knightley is sniffing the sweet smell of a high-profile contract. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” beauty has landed the role of the new face of Coco Mademoiselle perfume. Following a long line of famous faces that has included Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman and Kate Moss, Knightley has been named as the latest Chanel fragrance pitchwoman. “Keira is really proud to have been asked to work with such an iconic house,” said Keira Knightley representative Adam Isaacs. “[She] is thrilled to follow the extraordinary women who have been associated with it before.” …

The producers of “Crash” are gambling their Best Picture power on “Even Money,” an upcoming drama about gambling addiction, featuring the similar formula of household names and peripherally connected plots. “There are several stories intertwined, which is why I don’t know a lot of the people who are in the movie,” laughed Kim Basinger, who hasn’t met Nick Cannon and other co-stars in a cast that also includes Kelsey Grammer, Forest Whitaker and Carla Gugino (“Sin City”). “Danny DeVito and myself worked together in almost every scene, with Ray Liotta. Danny is the guy that teaches me how to gamble. … I’m a gambling addict and writer. And a lot of deception goes on, and I lose my family’s entire life. My husband, my daughter — I lose them. I lose everything.” Basinger said “Money” is touring film festivals and will aim for a release later this year. …

Can you picture Morgan Freeman in a red suit and white beard, bellowing “ho-ho-ho”? According to filmmaker Jean-Claude La Marre, it will be a lot easier soon enough. “The picture is called ‘The Patient.’ … It’s like ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ meets ‘K-Pax,’ ” the writer/director said of his next project. “It is a family Christmas film with Morgan Freeman and Halle Berry. … Freeman plays a mental patient at a Harlem hospital psychiatric ward who believes himself to be Santa Claus. And Halle Berry plays the psychiatrist who’s evaluating him.” When Freeman’s character escapes the hospital and turns up at a Toys “R” Us, Berry wonders if the old man might just be telling the truth. La Marre says he envisions the film as a different kind of Christmas flick. “When I wrote the film, I was watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is one of my favorite films, but there aren’t any black people in it,’ ” he said. “I think it’s time for a black family Christmas movie.” La Marre plans to begin shooting the gritty but inspirational flick this summer and intends to have it in theaters for Christmas 2007. …

Bad news for fans of “The Bad Seed,” the 1956 horror classic about a homicidal 8-year-old girl: A long-discussed remake of the flick is now on hold after the breakthrough success of “Hostel” writer/director Eli Roth, who is putting the flick on the backburner while he concentrates on other projects. “The problem is, I love ‘Bad Seed,’ but I just don’t know how I’m gonna do everything,” Roth said, citing plans to make a sequel to his recent hit. ” ‘Hostel’ was originally going to be the movie that I was going to do between ‘Bad Seed’ and ‘Cabin Fever.’ … I’d just go and do this little film for 4 million bucks. And then ‘Hostel’ opened at #1 and became the main focus. … I love the project, and I’d love to do it, but at this point I don’t want to stop [the studio] from making it. … It’s taking a back seat.”

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