Movie File: Nicolas Cage, ‘Gospel According To Janis,’ Sienna Miller & More

Cage to fill Mickey Mouse's shoes; Zooey Deschanel works on Joplin biopic; Miller's film choice was a 'no-brainer.'

Being the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas Cage had to step out of a pretty big shadow to prove himself in Hollywood. Now he’s about to step into an even bigger one. The “Ghost Rider” star is currently attached to star in a live-action remake of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a French symphonic poem made famous by, yes, Mickey Mouse in the 1940 animated classic “Fantasia.” “It’s a wonderfully imaginative fantasy and it continues me on my path to introduce more spiritual and fantastical approaches to pop movies,” Cage said of the remake, which will take place in modern-day New York. …

Janis Joplin sang that “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” but actress Zooey Deschanel knows there’s plenty at stake in her portraying the rock legend in the 2008 musical biopic “The Gospel According to Janis” — which is why the 26-year-old actress insists on doing it right. “She’s a very different singer from me, so I’ve had to do a lot of work to find the tone that was right,” Deschanel said. “But I’m not as interested in doing an imitation as I am in capturing the indomitable spirit she had, which was incredible.” The Penelope Spheeris-directed project doesn’t have a start date, but “I’ll be ready when it does,” Deschanel promised. …

It’s an epic fantasy adventure written by the genre’s modern master, but it was the chance to work with old friends that got Sienna Miller excited about “Stardust,” a film based on the popular novel by Neil Gaiman. “I worked with [director] Matthew Vaughn on ‘Layer Cake,’ and the man who plays the lead, Charlie Cox, was in ‘Casanova’ with me,” Miller enthused. “So it was just a no-brainer.” “Stardust” centers on Tristran (Cox), who promises that he will retrieve a fallen star to win the heart of Victoria (Miller), his one true love (in the land of Faerie, stars are not balls of gas, but beautiful women). Along the way, he meets a cast of fantastic characters, including goblins, gnomes, magic trees and witches. “I had two weeks off and [thought] ‘Let’s run around England in a corset!,’ ” Miller said. “[It's] not a big part at all, but fun.” …

In “Hustle and Flow,” Terrence Howard learned about redemption. Now he’s passing on those lessons to a whole new generation in “Pride,” the story of Jim Ellis, “a swimmer who takes little kids and shows them what it really means to be alive,” the Oscar-nominated actor said. Co-starring Bernie Mac and Tom Arnold, “Pride” is based on a true story. “Jim Ellis is such a beautiful man because he was able to [inspire] kids with life,” Howard told MTV News. Even though Ellis himself is not particularly well-known, playing a real person proved difficult for Howard, he said. “I like fiction because with fiction you have unlimited realms you can go to,” Howard said. “But having the constraints of begin forced to play someone’s life, it challenges you more as an actor.” Get out your swim trunks: “Pride” opens March 23. …

Even if Forest Whitaker takes home an Oscar on Sunday, he won’t experience true bliss until his next film, in which he plays, well, Happiness. May’s “The Air I Breathe” is based on Chinese fables. “I play Happiness, who is a banker with no life,” Whitaker said. “He’s scared of the world, won’t touch anything.” That is, Whitaker continued, until Happiness meets Pleasure (Brendan Fraser), “and he makes me explore my life, go out and start to awaken.” Then, when he runs into another character, Happiness is truly liberated. “Pleasure forces me to rob a bank, and I run into Sorrow, who is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar,” Whitaker said. “And, finally, once I pass Sorrow, I’m free.” “Breathe” is the first feature from Jieho Lee. “I think it’s going to be special,” Whitaker said. The film also stars Kevin Bacon, John Cho and Julie Delpy. …

It’s every writer’s worst nightmare — creating something brilliant only to see it changed in development. It’s also the plot of “The TV Set,” a new “comedy/satire” from filmmaker Jake Kasdan, reported star Ioan Gruffudd. “David Duchovny plays a writer bringing a television pilot to a network, and the network sort of butchers his whole original concept,” the man also known as Mr. Fantastic told MTV News. “I play an executive flown over from the U.K. especially to try to class things up a little bit.” “The TV Set,” which Gruffudd described as “an industry movie,” is Kasdan’s follow-up to the popular “Orange County.” “[Jake] is sort of like the old-fashioned auteur; you look up to him,” Gruffudd said. “You look to him for all the answers, and he has them all. He’s just brilliant.” Gruffudd can next be seen in Friday’s “Amazing Grace” and “The Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer,” opening June 15. …

Brian De Palma‘s 1973 horror classic “Sisters” — the story of homicidal twins who commit a secret murder — is being remade for modern audiences, said star Chloë Sevigny. “It’s been updated a little bit. They rewrote the script but stayed pretty true to the original story,” the “Zodiac” actress said. “It feels very ’70s. Very tense and very spooky.” According to Sevigny, preparing for her role as “the annoying journalist” who discovers the bloody truth meant going back to the source. “I’ve watched the first one several times,” the 32-year-old actress said. “I’d actually seen it, like, eight years ago the first time, and then I watched it again before [the remake].” The updated “Sisters” is being helmed by director Douglas Buck. …

From heartthrob underwear model to Academy Award-nominated actor … and then back to muscular hunk? “I’m in the gym listening to two guys every morning trying to get ready to do a boxing movie called ‘The Fighter,’ ” Mark Wahlberg recently said. “The Fighter” will reunite Wahlberg with his “Departed” co-star Matt Damon in the story of Micky Ward, a Massachusetts boxer who made an improbable run to the world lightweight title. Wahlberg can next be seen in “The Shooter” opposite Kate Mara and Danny Glover.

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