Movie File: Chris Brown, ‘Ocean’s Thirteen,’ Michelle Trachtenberg & More

Brown reveals next project; Don Cheadle exits 'Ocean's' series; Trachtenberg goes goth.

He stomped the yard to big box-office bucks earlier this year and just wrapped his second movie, a holiday drama that will be in theaters “This Christmas.” Now, chart-topping sensation Chris Brown will keep his burgeoning movie career strong with “Phenom,” a basketball drama that will allow the 17-year-old to indulge in the third love of his life. “Basketball is my thing, other than singing and dancing, and that’s what I’m gonna show the world,” Brown told MTV News this week, revealing the movie info for the first time anywhere. “It’s still [casting], and the director [is up in the air]. I’m trying to get ['Training Day' director] Antoine Fuqua, but there are so many different people we’re trying to pitch it to as far as the actors and director is concerned. It’s still up in the air. But I know we’re gonna start on it by the top of next year.” The Grammy-nominated R&B singer knows the word “phenom” all too well, so it seems natural that he’ll reunite with the makers of his first two films to star as a young baller on the rise. “[We] wanted to pick a movie that I could be comfortable with, and that I could really do something in it.” Brown expects his third feature film to begin shooting in early 2008 for a late ’08/ early ’09 release. …

Could several members of George Clooney‘s gang be headed for a downfall in “Ocean’s Thirteen”? According to Don Cheadle, the summer blockbuster will be his last in the series — contradicting the other stars who’ve indicated they’ll come back for more. So is this the end for British explosives specialist Basher Tarr? “It’ll be [in theaters] June 8, and I’m taking Basher out in a way I couldn’t have anticipated,” the Oscar nominee said, confirming he’s saying goodbye. “I hope other people don’t see it coming either.” …

Production on a “Halo” movie recently sputtered, but another guns-and-aliens Xbox juggernaut is getting its shot in Hollywood. Variety reports that New Line Cinema has claimed the film rights to last November’s 360 hit “Gears of War.” Stuart Beattie, writer of “Collateral,” is signed on to write the adaptation. The game’s outspoken lead creator, Cliff Bleszinski, is slated to executive produce. The studio is hoping for a 2009 release. …

Michelle Trachtenberg is the latest star to join the cast of “Kids in America,” a comedy/drama set in the 1980s. The flick is hoping to be to that decade what “Dazed and Confused” was to the ’70s and “American Graffiti” was to the ’50s. Trachtenberg began filming scenes in Phoenix last week, playing a dark-haired, fishnet-stocking-clad goth girl whose affection for the Cure and New Order clashes with the Flock of Seagulls mentality surrounding her. The flick takes place at a party during one long night in 1988 and stars Topher Grace and Anna Faris. …

Could Sabretooth be plotting to take another bite out of Hugh Jackman? According to massive actor/wrestler Tyler Mane, discussions are under way to have his evil mutant from the original “X-Men” movie return for the highly anticipated Wolverine spinoff flick. “We will see,” an optimistic Mane revealed recently. “There is talk of a Wolverine-Sabretooth [plot], and we will see what happens with that.” Mane might have some competition from Vinnie Jones, however, who has insisted in the past that his Juggernaut will be the target of those famed adamantium claws. Nevertheless, Mane’s comments would seem to support fans who believe the prequel will have Logan seeking revenge against Victor Creed — who eventually became Sabretooth in the “X-Men” comic book series. “We will see,” Mane said cryptically. “You never know.” …

There are few things as alive at the box office these days as the undead, so Nick Cannon is looking forward to continuing the momentum of flicks like “28 Days Later” and “Resident Evil” with his very own brain-chomping zombie flick, “Day of the Dead.” “It’s gonna be real big and be out this summer,” he grinned. “It’s a horror flick, the first time I ever got a chance to really get out there and be a part of some grimy, gruelly stuff.” Cannon’s flick is a quasi-sequel to “300″ director Zack Snyder‘s 2004 “Dawn of the Dead” remake, unofficially following its events and even casting “Dawn” star Ving Rhames — but in an entirely different role. “It’s a George A. Romero remake,” Cannon explained of the links between the films. “You’ve seen ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and all that stuff, so this is like the third installment.” The only other things we know is that the flick also stars Mena Suvari, the zombies will be hungry and Nick and Ving will be kicking some undead ass. “I play a character called Salazar,” Cannon said. “He’s a cat that’s in the military. He thinks it’s just a regular routine barricade to quarantine the town. And then it turns out to be zombies.” …

One of the more intriguing cult movie explosions of the past few years has to be “Bubba Ho-Tep,” the 2002 horror/comedy that put Elvis and JFK in a nursing home fighting a mummy and has made far more of a splash on DVD than it ever did in the theaters. Now Paul Giamatti is hoping to join Bruce Campbell for a prequel entitled “Bubba Nosferatu and the Curse of the She-Vampires,” in which Gimatti would play Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, to Campbell’s King. “Hopefully that will happen,” the “Illusionist” star told MTV News this week, explaining that the pre-production process is still trying to get off the ground. …

If you haven’t caught the bizarre billboards for “Captivity” yet, you’d better look quickly. After receiving an onslaught of angry phone calls, Lionsgate Films is rapidly removing the ads that feature Elisha Cuthbert being abducted, locked behind a chain-link fence, tortured and apparently left for dead. The campaign invaded New York and Los Angeles last week but will soon be replaced with alternative marketing. The flick, about a man and woman being held captive, arrives in theaters May 18. …

Will the follow-up to “Casino Royale” offer Daniel Craig the same mix of rugged action and charm that made the first film such a success? According to Oscar-winning writer/director Paul Haggis, the next James Bond script is on the way — but it might not involve him. “They haven’t asked me yet. We’ll see,” responded Haggis, who penned the “Royale” screenplay alongside two other writers. “Daniel was a remarkable Bond, and when I was writing it, I looked at the short list and thought, ‘I’d love to get Daniel Craig,’ but [my wife] Deborah said, ‘He’s not that sexy, though.’ Then recently, I have this other picture I’m thinking of doing, and there’s a small part in there. I thought I’d offer it to Daniel, and she said, ‘You can’t; he’s much too sexy!’ ” Laughing, the “Crash” director added that he’s determined to work again with Craig one way or another. “I love Bond, and I loved working with Bond,” Haggis said. “So yeah, I’d do it again.”

[This story was originally published at 6:01 a.m. EST on 03.21.07]

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