Movie File: Bono, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson & More

U2 frontman, Lindsay appearing in Beatles flicks; Gideon tells young Marines' stories in 'Underdog.'

While not everyone likes musicals, it’s pretty hard to find somebody who doesn’t dig the Beatles. So Evan Rachel Wood is confident her upcoming movie “Across the Universe” will appeal even to filmgoers who convulse when they hear the words “Moulin Rouge.” “There’s only about 30 minutes of dialogue; the rest of it is, like, all Beatles songs,” revealed the 19-year-old “Thirteen” actress, who stars in the 1960s-set flick. She’ll also display her real voice on several classics. “They’re just the most beloved songs in all the world, and John Lennon is one of my heroes, so you don’t want to disappoint anybody when you’re covering it. You just hope people like it, and then you get on set and [director] Julie Taymor makes you sing it live.” The flick features cameos by Eddie Izzard and Joe Cocker, as well as U2 frontman Bono. “[That day] was really unreal for all of us. We were very surprised by how down-to-earth he was,” Wood remembered. “He didn’t go run back to his trailer between every take; he hung out and talked with everybody.” As for the big show-stopper, Wood added: “I didn’t sing it, but my favorite number in the movie is ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun.’ I think it’s pretty great.” The high-concept flick will koo-koo-ka-choo its way into theaters in early 2007. …

That’s not the only Beatles-related flick in the works.
Fresh off her outside-the-box roles in the dramas “A Prairie Home Companion” and next month’s “Bobby,” teen queen Lindsay Lohan will cry “Hey Jude” in “Chapter 27,” a flick about the infamous Mark David Chapman and the days leading up to his assassination of John Lennon. “I play a girl named Jude [who] meets [Chapman] a few days before and they became friends. She was kind of there through the whole thing,” Lohan explained of the gritty role opposite Jared Leto‘s madman. “I think she got to a point where she could have fallen in love with him, but she didn’t because he stood her up on one night when they were supposed to meet.” Lohan, a Beatles fan herself, insisted Lennon’s legacy is still important — and that the film will serve to keep his pacifistic values in view. “I think John Lennon is a legend who stood up for what he believed in,” she said. “That is so important, especially [considering what] we are going through in the world.” …

After covering the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina and the Kashmir earthquake, MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago needed a way to “get all the dark stuff out,” the 28-year-old reporter said. Yago found an outlet in “Underdog,” a movie script inspired by his war correspondence that he wrote and recently sold to Focus Features. The flick centers on the disgraced return of a young soldier and his attempts at reconciliation with the mother of a friend who died in combat. Recalling the many nights he would receive phone calls from young soldiers, Yago acknowledged that the Iraq conflict “is not black and white. It’s going to take a lot of years for these guys to make sense of the experience they’ve had. And their families too.” According to Yago, 75 percent of the Marine Corps are 22 years old and younger. “I wanted to tell [their] story as best as I could, and it came out this way,” he said. …

Talk about climbing the company ladder. Jessica Simpson, who was last seen at a dead-end job in “Employee of the Month,” is going corporate. The “Dukes of Hazzard” star will trade in her Daisy Dukes for business suits in “Blonde Ambition,” a remake of the ’80s classic “Working Girl,” which tells the story of a ditzy secretary whose unique business methods transform a Manhattan, New York, company. “Remember the Sigourney Weaver part, the mean boss?” exclaimed Andy Dick, who’s currently in talks to join Simpson in the flick. “I’m her assistant. I’m more present than the boss. I’m the evil one. It’s going to be good.” The original film featured Weaver, Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith, in an Oscar-nominated turn as the opportunistic secretary who pretends to be her boss. We’ll have to wait awhile, however, to see if Simpson has an Oscar in her future — “Ambition” is currently in the casting stages. …

Gabrielle Union wants to spend the holidays with you, and she’s so eager to put a present under the tree that her holiday film might get squeezed out just weeks after she shot it. The Queen Latifah-produced movie, “The Perfect Christmas,” also stars Latifah as the narrator and Terrence Howard. “We just wrapped like a month ago, and they are trying to get it out for Christmas,” Union said. Currently flying through post-production, the romantic comedy is Queen Latifah’s attempt to bring a holiday classic into the 21st century. “It’s a remake of ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ kind of a hip-hop version of it. It’s hilarious,” Union said. “We’ve got Charlie Murphy, Katt Williams, Faizon Love, Morris Chestnut — just an amazing cast, a funny cast. It’s going to be a great family fun film.” …

Is it the future, or is it a fad? Keeping pace with “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau, fellow Marvel filmmaker Tim Story is using his MySpace page to give updates on the currently filming “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Story, who also directed last year’s “Fantastic” flick, has been dropping bite-size morsels like “lots of locations … our ‘Fan 4′ travel quite a bit through this one” and even acknowledged recently leaked images of Jessica Alba‘s wedding scene. “I know you all must have had a good time checking out the wedding photos,” the director wrote. “Whadayagonnado? We were kinda exposed.” MySpace blogs for Favreau and Story can be found by simply typing their names into the site’s search engine. …

If it seems like you’ve been hearing about the comedy “Ride Along” for years, it’s probably because you have. Nevertheless, writer/director Greg Coolidge is holding out hope that the Ryan Reynolds/ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson buddy flick will see the light of day. “It’s about a third-grade teacher who is forced to go on a ride-along with his future brother-in-law,” Coolidge explained. “And he turns out to be a crooked cop.” The “Midnight Run”-like script was originally slated to shoot in late 2005 but currently remains in development. …

Nearly 10 years after he broke through with “Shakespeare in Love,” Joseph Fiennes is getting ready to take on another awards-baiting flick based on a creative legend. So what’s the first step in his training to play 18th century Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi? “I guess it will start with the old fiddle,” said Fiennes, admitting that he’s not very musically inclined himself. “No, that’s my one regret. I wish I could pick up an instrument and be a rock star like Vivaldi. That is something I have got to work on.” The film will co-star Malcolm McDowell, Jacqueline Bisset and Gérard Depardieu, and Fiennes compared it to the recent Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line” as a movie about Vivaldi’s early years. “It’s coming along,” Fiennes said. “I’m working with the director and the script. … I knew nothing about [Vivaldi] and I read this script and there is this amazing early part of his life where he works in Venice with disenfranchised youths, and that was fascinating to me.” The movie, about the man who began studying for the priesthood at age 15 and eventually composed the classic “Four Seasons” concerto, will film in Venice and Vienna next year. …

Get ready to start jumping up and down like an angry ape. A brand-new, extended DVD of Peter Jackson‘s “King Kong” is on the way. If you haven’t already picked up the shiny “2-Disc Special Edition” released in March, get ready to enjoy 13 additional minutes of previously unreleased action footage, 230 new visual-effects shots and more than a half-hour of deleted scenes. If you’ve already got “Kong” sitting on your library shelf, well, you might want to get yourself to a DVD-buyback store faster than an ape can suck down a banana. Jackson’s “Deluxe Extended Edition” will swing into stores November 14.

Check out everything we’ve got on the Beatles, Jessica Simpson and “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.”

Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, reviews, interviews and more.

Want trailers? Visit the Trailer Park for the newest, scariest and funniest coming attractions anywhere.