Movie File: Anne Hathaway, Brad Pitt, ‘Superman Returns,’ Johnny Knoxville, Robert Rodriguez & More

Jane Austen gets more movie love; Pitt is 21 again; 'Superman' returns three days early.

When it comes to cinema, Jane Austen’s literary canon gets mined nearly as often as Shakespeare’s. Now, the author of “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma” and “Sense and Sensibility” is once again due to get some big-screen love with “Becoming Jane,” a biopic that portrays her complicated pre-fame romance with impoverished Irishman Tom Lefroy and stars Anne Hathaway. “She’s a girl who is financially very dependent on her choice of husband,” Hathaway said of the Austen she’s seeking to capture. “She doesn’t have enough money. She’s not an heiress, so she won’t inherit [any money], so there’s a lot of pressure on her. But she has bigger plans for herself: She wants to write. Then, much to her surprise, she ends up falling in love with a poor man.” That role is played by James McAvoy, better known as Mr. Tumnus from “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Although the 23-year-old Hathaway has admitted to fears that her performance as Austen will not measure up to the lofty expectations of Janeites, she is convinced that director Julian Jarrold (“Kinky Boots”) will steer the currently shooting flick toward a successful 2007 launch. …

Men have been jealous of Brad Pitt‘s dashing good looks for years, so they likely won’t be thrilled to hear he’ll still have the body of a 21-year-old when he turns 50. But that shouldn’t stop fans from wanting to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” his long-overdue reunion with “Fight Club” mastermind David Fincher that will also star Taraji P. Henson. “I am ready,” the “Hustle & Flow” actress giggled while revealing that she had been cast in the age-defying drama. “I met [Pitt] already, and we really hit it off. It’s going to be amazing.” Based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald tale, the flick will tell the story of a 30-year-old woman in love with a man who begins aging backward when he turns 50. “It takes place in 1919, so it’s a period piece,” Henson said of the film, which the notoriously dark Fincher will direct. “All of the characters age — it’s sort of ‘The Notebook’ meets ‘Forrest Gump.’ Brad Pitt’s character is born with this rare aging disease and he ages backwards, and my character adopts him. So I get to work opposite fine, sexy Brad Pitt — and I have to play his mother!” Laughing, she added: “I’m hoping somewhere in the script we can write in that he has an Oedipus complex.” The film is scheduled to shoot this fall for a 2007 release. …

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As anticipation continues to build over “Superman Returns,” the Man of Steel keeps speeding up his comeback. Warner Bros. will now release the blockbuster in several major markets on Tuesday, June 27, a day before the film’s release. These 10 p.m. select screenings will be shown in IMAX theaters and utilize new 3D technology. The move makes “Superman” the first-ever live-action Hollywood film to convert selected scenes to IMAX 3D — check local listings to see if you can be among the super fans who’ll be lucky enough to attend. …

Switching channels from “Click,” director Frank Coraci is laying out plans for “Hawaiian Dick,” a non-Adam Sandler comic book comedy that will once again take him away from his “Waterboy” and “Wedding Singer” leading man. Sure, the title is plenty provocative, but Coraci isn’t overseeing a scandalous NC-17 flick — instead, it’s a supernatural detective thriller set in the land of aloha. “It’s about a detective right before Hawaii gets statehood in the early ’50s,” Coraci said. “I like to mix genres, and this has comedy, supernatural and thriller elements together. I think it makes for a unique kind of piece.” One guy who might not be bringing his own uniqueness to it, however, is Johnny Knoxville, who was attached to the project for months but isn’t necessarily the star that Coraci now has in mind. “We’re not sure who’s going to be in it or not yet,” the director sidestepped when asked about the “Jackass” ringleader. “We’re sort of just developing the script right now.” …

Lex Luthor’s villainous moll, Parker Posey, will return to the big screen later this year with “For Your Consideration,” a film whose melodrama will aim to be a bit more tongue-in-cheek than “Superman Returns.” The Oscar-bait spoof reunites Posey with Christopher Guest, who she previously teamed with for “A Mighty Wind” and “Best in Show.” Kelly Webb, Posey’s character, is “an actress out here in Hollywood. She’s done some improv but not very successfully. She’s part of a comedy troupe and she wasn’t very funny.” Giggling at the self-mocking parallels, the indie sweetheart continued: “She’s gotten cast in an independent movie called ‘Home for Purim,’ which is a period film set in the year 1945.” “For Your Consideration” co-stars Guest regulars Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge and Michael McKean and introduces jokester Ricky Gervais to the pack of mockumentarians. “My mother [played by Catherine O'Hara] is dying around the Purim holiday, and it’s set in Valdosta, Georgia, so it’s Southern and Yiddish,” Posey said of the fake, supposedly awards-worthy flick the characters will be starring in. She added one more detail about the November 17 release that will separate it from Guest classics like “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”: “There is a script,” she grinned. “Because there’s a movie within a movie. We filmed [actual scripted] scenes from the movie.” …

Gentleman, we can rebuild his relevance: “Six Million Dollar Man” star Lee Majors has signed on to “Brothers Solomon,” a comedy currently shooting around Los Angeles. Directed by Bob Odenkirk (“Tom Goes to the Mayor,” “Melvin Goes to Dinner”) and starring Will Forte (“Saturday Night Live”) and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”), the flick tells the story of brothers who develop a scheme to give their dad (Majors) a grandchild so that he’ll have the desire to wake up from his coma. The film is expected in theaters in 2007. …

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have already combined on several memorable projects that could best be described as the good (“Sin City”), the bad (“Four Rooms”) and the gloriously ugly (“From Dusk Till Dawn”), so it’s no surprise that their next collaboration, “Grind House,” is equal parts humorous, horrific and hokey. “It’s awesome,” Rodriguez reported last week of the flick, which is actually two smaller films with tongue-in-cheek trailers littered among them. “I was just filming last night. Quentin operates the second camera, and I’ll be done shooting soon and then I’ll be shooting his movie. It’s going to be wild.” The longtime friends are helping each other out with their respective films and expect the unorthodox project to hit theaters in April. Speaking about the trailers, Rodriguez added: “I can’t say anything about it because those are really surprises. Danny Trejo ['Con Air'] is in one, but there’s another one that’s huge. People are going to wish that one was the movie.” Finally, Rodriguez dropped the bombshell that there is already talk of a “Grind House” sequel, which would bring the fake ads from the first flick to fruition. “If those trailers are great enough,” he revealed, “they might be part of the feature we do for the next ‘Grind House.’ ”

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