It's been a busy week for Seann William Scott, who has signed on for two starring roles. The first, "The Optimist," centers on a man born without the gene for unhappiness and whose outlook on life changes when he falls for a cynical reporter. Scott will also produce the comedy, which "The Simpsons" veterans Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein wrote. The second, "Mr. Woodcock," is about a man who returns to his hometown to stop his mother from marrying his old evil high school gym instructor. Billy Bob Thornton is playing the teacher. ...

James Marsden, who played Cyclops in director Bryan Singer's two "X-Men" movies, will play Lois Lane's love interest in Singer's next movie, "Superman Returns." Singer has also cast a familiar face, Hugh Laurie from the FOX medical drama "House" that he produces, as the editor in chief of the Daily Planet, where Clark Kent works. ...

After finishing "The War of the Worlds" with Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg hopes to make an Abraham Lincoln biopic. Liam Neeson is in talks to star. ... Cruise, meanwhile, has signed on to produce a biopic on teen motocross champion James "Bubba" Stewart, described as the Tiger Woods of motocross. David Gordon Green ("Undertow") wrote the script, and Sam Jones ("I Am Trying to Break Your Heart") will make his feature-film debut as director. ...

David Duchovny told reporters at Monday's Critics' Choice Awards that a second "X Files" movie is the works with series creator Chris Carter for late this year or early 2006. "It'll be a stand-alone horror movie," Duchovny said. "Mulder and Scully investigate one particular case that has nothing to do with alien life. It has to do with supernatural stuff." ... Nick Stahl of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" has been cast as the lead in "A Cool Breeze on the Underground," about a private investigator whose first assignment is to track down the rebellious teenage daughter of a prominent senator who has gone underground in London. The thriller is based on the first of five novels by Don Winslow. ...

While promoting his 3-D documentary "Aliens of the Deep," opening January 28, director James Cameron revealed some details about "Battle Angel," his long-awaited directorial feature-film follow-up to "Titanic" based on the anime and manga property "Battle Angel Alita." "There's about an even split between characters that are [computer generated] and characters that will be played by actors," Cameron said. "But, of course, even the CG characters are played by actors, you just don't see their faces. As opposed to like on a 'Star Trek' show, where the actors wear makeup and you see the performance and hear the voice, with the CG characters you hear their voices and see their performance, but you don't see the physical surface of their skin. People are freaking out, like, 'Oh my God, you're replacing actors,' but to me it's a familiar paradigm." Cameron said he's been waiting to make the film until more theaters adopt the 3-D technology in which it will be shot. "Theoretically, we'll release it on 2-D 35 mm, 2-D digital and 3-D digital simultaneously," he said. ...

Nick Cannon is part of an ensemble cast lined up for "Jump Shot," a series of intertwining stories about gambling and drugs directed by Mark Rydell ("On Golden Pond"). Kim Basinger, Forest Whitaker, Jay Mohr, Kelsey Grammer, Ray Liotta and Danny DeVito are also on board for the drama, which begins shooting January 18 in Los Angeles. ... Matthew McConaughey has agreed to star in the romantic comedy "Failure to Launch," about a 30-something guy whose parents trick him into meeting a woman as to finally get him out of the house. Tom Dey ("Shanghai Noon") will direct in October. ...

Maria Bello, red-hot after "The Cooler" and "Secret Window" and appearing in the upcoming "Assault on Precinct 13," just wrapped "The History of Violence" with Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris. "It's a case of mistaken identity," Bello explained. "Viggo and I play a couple in the Midwest with a really traditional nice life, and Ed Harris, this mob guy, shows up and things get incredibly violent." David Cronenberg, best known for 1986's "The Fly," directed. "The funniest thing is he could be the most down-to-earth, calmest, sweetest guy," Bello said. "This one is the most commercial, the most accessible [movie he's made]. It's not as bizarre as the other ones." ...

The director's cut of the 2001 cult classic "Donnie Darko" that hit theaters last year is coming to DVD February 15. The two-disc set features never-before-seen footage, audio commentaries and documentaries. ... At least six pharmaceutical companies have sent letters to their employees telling them to watch out for Michael Moore. The documentarian behind "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" is currently shooting a film about America's troubled healthcare industry. ...

"Lost" and "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams, who has already agreed to direct "Mission: Impossible 3," has signed to helm "The Good Sailor" about the USS Indianapolis, which was sunk by Japanese torpedoes in 1945. About 900 sailors were left in shark-infested waters, and only 316 lived to be rescued five days later. ... Home video revenue set another record in 2004 with $24.5 billion in receipts, $21.2 billion of which came from sales and rentals of DVDs. In contrast, less than half of that, $9.4 billion to be exact, was made at the box office. "Finding Nemo" was the top seller with 28 million copies, followed by "Shrek 2" with 21.6 million copies. ...

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