Movie File: Nelly, Ryan Gosling, ‘Madagascar 2,’ Justin Timberlake & More

Rapper hits bowling alley; Gosling gets a little too close to inanimate co-star; Sacha Baron Cohen reprises lemur role.

After a successful acting debut in the football comedy “The Longest Yard,” chart-topping rapper Nelly will continue to embrace his athletic side — well, kinda. “I can’t really talk about it, but we’re working on a project with one of my all-time favorite pastimes going on,” he revealed. “Everybody does it: It’s a bowling flick.” The comedy aims to follow in the lofty footsteps of pin-spinning flicks such as “Kingpin” and “The Big Lebowski,” but for now all the “Hot in Herre” rapper could reveal was the title. ” ‘Rolling Thunder,’ ” he grinned, flashing his famous platinum teeth. …

You’d have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t think Rachel McAdams is an absolute doll. But these days, her real-life boyfriend Ryan Gosling may be taking that idea a bit too far. In October’s “Lars and the Real Girl,” which just finished shooting, the Oscar-nominated actor plays “a guy who falls in love with a sex doll,” he said. With a plot like that, the flick seems certain to be the first full-on comedy from the typically intense star. But before you start having painful flashbacks to “Mannequin,” Gosling was quick to point out that the whole movie is played straight. “It’s probably the closest thing to ‘The Notebook’ that I’ve done since,” he insisted. “It’s a real love story. He believes that she’s real, and there’s a whole love story.” Co-starring fellow awards-season heavyweights Patricia Clarkson and Emily Mortimer, the movie’s script comes from the brain of “Six Feet Under” writer Nancy Oliver. …

A few years back, the animated blockbuster “Madagascar” supplemented big stars like Ben Stiller and Chris Rock with a scene-stealing character voiced by relative unknown Sacha Baron Cohen. Now, the group is reuniting for a sequel, and Jada Pinkett Smith has some exciting news about her suddenly red-hot co-star: “Sacha is coming back,” she revealed, saying the “Borat” star will once again voice Julien, the wise-cracking lemur who likes to move it, move it. “I saw Sacha the other day and I asked him.” Pinkett Smith, meanwhile, is preparing to poke her hippopotamus character with Cupid’s arrow. “Gloria, she has a lot of fun this time. I think Gloria might even get a little boyfriend,” the actress grinned. “We just started working on it. The script is hilarious, and I think people are going to have a really good time with it.” Also bringing back David Schwimmer as Melman the hypochondriac giraffe, “Madagascar 2″ is expected in theaters in November 2008. …

Two ogres, a frog king, a donkey and a pair of ugly stepsisters — thank goodness Justin Timberlake is around to bring his good looks to Far Far Away. “He’s a joy. A really natural comedian, but a really strong actor too,” “Shrek the Third” director Chris Miller said of JT, who voices King Arthur in the upcoming flick. “He was one of the first [new] characters, but it was difficult to find the truth behind [him]. We batted him around for a year before Justin even came in,” Miller said of the 16-year-old Arthur. “The more we got together with Justin, the more the character developed. We were finishing in a really great place.” Timberlake gets animated May 18. …

Her days of running up walls in leather pants might be behind her, but “Matrix” star Carrie-Anne Moss can still do genre flicks with the best of them. She’ll prove it again later this year with “Fido,” a 2006 Toronto Film Festival hit that promises to flesh out zombie films in an entirely original way. “It’s ‘Pleasantville’ meets ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ ” laughed the actress. “It’s really out there but really great. It’s like ‘Pleasantville’ with the picture-perfect world, but people have zombies to take out their garbage. Everyone has one.” The ’50s-set film is already drawing comparisons to the breakthrough comedy “Shaun of the Dead,” and we can only hope this June release with children walking their pet zombies in dog collars turns out to be half as promising as its concept. “Everyone has [a zombie] to help them out, kinda like pets, but they’re humans,” Moss laughed. The movie co-stars Tim Blake Nelson and Dylan Baker, and Billy Connolly plays the titular “family pet,” whose short-circuiting behavioral collar leaves him fetching brains rather than tennis balls. …

Don’t open that door! Don’t go in that room! Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what’s next from “Shaun of the Dead” director Edgar Wright, whose fake trailer for a movie called “Don’t!” is one of the high points of the “Grindhouse” intermission. “Listen, if anyone wants me to make a movie out of that trailer, I’ll do it. That was the most fun thing,” Wright said of rumors that he’ll make “Don’t!” into a full-length feature. “There’s no continuity, no sound. It was literally just shooting the money shots, the best parts of the film.” Could there be a role in the proposed horror send-up for frequent collaborator Simon Pegg? Perhaps. But the “Hot Fuzz” star thinks he’s better suited to play, well, a man hidden entirely behind his suit. “I’d love to play Rorschach [the solitary main character in Zach Snyder's 'Watchmen' adaptation],” Pegg enthused. “God, can I brood!” …

It caused an international ruckus just a few months ago at the Sundance Film Festival thanks to a highly controversial rape scene involving the very underage Dakota Fanning, but “Hounddog” has virtually vanished in the weeks since. Over the weekend, the 13-year-old star told MTV News that the film is finally targeting a release date. “It’ll probably be out at the end of the year; maybe the beginning of next year,” she revealed. In the meantime, the newly teenage star is getting ready to start “Hurricane Mary,” a courtroom drama that will unite Fanning with her 9-year-old sister. “Elle is going to be in it as well, so that’s exciting,” she said of the film, which also stars heavyweights Chris Cooper and William H. Macy. “It’s the story of a mother and her twins.” Despite Internet rumors that Hollywood movie magic will be used to bridge the sisters’ four-year age gap, Dakota explained that Elle will be the only Fanning visible on camera. “I actually wouldn’t be in the movie. I’ll be doing some voiceover work,” she cryptically clarified. …

Rosario Dawson isn’t just a geek’s dream — she’s a self-proclaimed geek herself. Dawson is hoping to bring “O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce,” a comic book she helped create, to the big screen next year. “[My character] is this police officer that gets recruited into a force that polices magical crime in New York City,” Dawson said of the film’s setup. Aside from “looking forward to being able to explore [the story] on a bigger level, in a three-dimensional world,” Dawson said she’s most excited about crafting a strong female protagonist who kicks butt and takes names. “Mostly what I think is really important is for her to be a great woman, a great female character to watch,” Dawson said. “I see ‘Alien’ with Sigourney Weaver and I go, ‘Wow, that’s a badass chick I want to watch!’ ” Dawson added that the film will more or less follow the main story from the comic and will be released in October 2008.

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