Movie File: 50 Cent, Nicolas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio & More

Rapper beefs up for boxing movie with Cage; Martin Scorsese puts DiCaprio in Theodore Roosevelt's shoes.

Last year, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson made his movie debut in “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” telling his own life story with bloody, vivid honesty. Now the star is intent on taking his leading-man roles as seriously as his lyrics by becoming a muscular method actor and telling somebody else’s tale in “The Dance.” “I play a fighter in Angola State Prison, and Nicolas Cage plays the founder of the actual boxing program,” Fiddy said of the flick he’ll shoot sometime next year, which tells the true story of a veteran boxing coach and the prize-worthy fighter he discovers locked up in Louisiana. “Nicolas Cage is one of my favorite actors,” the rapper said of his new co-star. “He has a few films that I watched that I couldn’t believe the things that he was able to pull off.” This month, 50 Cent began an intense training program to bulk up for the boxing role, just as Cage has for films like “Kiss of Death” and “Con Air.” “I just started the boxing training, so I’ll be in top condition by the time we actually get ready to shoot it,” he said, adding that all the running and jumping rope will soon be followed by a very special tutorial. “I’m actually going to be traveling to Las Vegas to train with Roger Mayweather. He trained [WBC Welterweight Champion and nephew] Floyd Mayweather, who is pound for pound the best fighter right now,” 50 Cent said. The flick is targeting a 2008 release. …

President Theodore Roosevelt once famously urged, “Dare mighty things,” an edict Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have taken to heart with a recent string of high-profile, adult material. Now the 32-year-old actor’s next project will take things one step further, as he reunites with Martin Scorsese to step into Roosevelt’s shoes. “He was one of the true pioneers of our country, and he made a lot of radical changes in our country during tumultuous times,” the “Titanic” star said of our 26th commander in chief. DiCaprio will also serve as producer on the flick — a process that has already taught the star how difficult making movies really is. “You realize what a hard job it is to make something good. It takes years of rewrites and years of perfecting the story line and getting the plot structure right. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to be a part of,” DiCaprio said. “People go and see it for two hours and then they go home, but it’s years of work that goes into this stuff.” …

John C. Reilly has had one really random year, portraying a singing cowboy in “A Prairie Home Companion,” a yokel race car driver in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and a barely recognizable Sasquatch in “Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny.” With such buzz around his career, an actor might normally go searching for a high-profile biopic at this point — and Reilly plans to do exactly that, but in his own inimitable way. Directors Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and Jake Kasdan (“Orange County”) wrote the script, which spoofs the recent phenomenon of Oscar-baiting musician biographies. “I’m playing Dewey Cox,” Reilly said. “He’s kind of an amalgamation of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and we’re goofing on movies like ‘Beyond the Sea,’ ‘Walk the Line,’ ‘Ray,’ ‘The Commitments’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ ” Reilly’s “Boogie Nights” fans will also be glad to hear that the goofy star will follow in the footsteps of Joaquin Phoenix and belt out the tunes with his real voice. “We’ve been recording music for it,” he revealed. “It’s quite an ambitious, crazy project.” …

Somewhere, no doubt, a studio executive is screaming “Nerds!” after Fox Atomic shut down production on its “Revenge of the Nerds” remake, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Originally slated to shoot at Atlanta’s Emory University, the production was moved to Agnes Scott College when Emory balked at the film’s raunchy script. Rather than settle for a less-than-ideal location, producers shut down the shoot permanently. “There is little chance that this incarnation of ‘Nerds’ will come to be,” Fox spokeswoman Isabel White told The Reporter. The remake was to have totally different characters than the original and was set to star “Laguna Beach” alum Kristin Cavallari and “Napoleon Dynamite” sidekick Efren Ramirez as “a gypsy from Spain.” …

She may have been “a blessing … in disguise,” according to posters for the 1993 smash hit “Mrs. Doubtfire,” but Robin Williams insisted recently that fan prayers can’t bring that blessing back. Although the original “Doubtfire” made nearly a half-billion dollars worldwide, the star is adamant that there won’t be a sequel. “There will never be another one, I’m sorry,” the comedian said, slipping into Mrs. Doubtfire’s unique Scottish brogue. “God bless you, [it] can’t go because they haven’t written it.” …

Denzel Washington‘s next directorial effort shares the real-life story of a group of small-town students. “Wiley College had 400 students — a great little school in a nowhere little town — and they beat everybody in the country in debating,” the actor said of “The Great Debaters,” a flick that aims to rewrite the formula of sports movies by presenting a linguistically athletic tale. “They had a teacher and a good debating coach by the name of Mel Tolson, who is considered one of the great African-American poets of our time,” Washington enthused of the flick, set in 1935. “They [also] had a young 14-year-old freshman on the team by the name of James Farmer, who went on to start the Congress on Racial Equality and was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement, as instrumental as anyone else.” Washington begins directing the movie this March. …

Not too long ago, Disney announced a bizarre-sounding but high-profile animated flick called “Gnomeo and Juliet,” which would be produced by Elton John and also feature his music. At one promotional event, the Rocket Man himself showed up to dazzle the press with a performance — but now, according to his leading lady, Elton may have to change his tune. “I don’t think it’s happening,” Kate Winslet revealed this week, saying that the already-storyboarded movie about two lawn gnomes in love is getting mowed down. …

Beau Garrett‘s career is about to get a lot hotter — as a high-profile flammable female in “Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer.” “I play Frankie Raye, who becomes Nova,” the “Turistas” actress and model said. “She becomes a fire thrower.” Indeed, in the Marvel Comics Universe, Frankie Raye is not only transformed (which helps with her relationship to Human Torch Johnny Storm, played by Chris Evans in the films), but ultimately becomes a herald to Galactus — the destroyer of worlds. Although Galactus will appear in the second “F4″ flick, Garrett was careful to say that her character doesn’t develop her powers in the second flick. With Jessica Alba already discussing a “Fantastic Four 3″ in Vancouver, however, Garrett could be set up for juicer developments in the next film. “I can’t speak of fire,” she grinned, slyly adding, “Not in this film.” The second “Fantastic Four” movie is due in theaters next June. The first trailer (featuring a glimpse of the Surfer himself) is expected to be attached to either “Eragon” or “A Night at the Museum” prints next month.

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