He might be one of the world's most famous Elvis Presley fans, but from time to time, Nicolas Cage likes to mix his "Hound Dog" with a little hip-hop. The Oscar winner is preparing to work alongside 50 Cent on the boxing drama "The Dance," insisting recently that Curtis Jackson's strengths as a rapper will also serve him well on the big screen. "I think that he has tremendous soul in his eyes," Cage observed. "That's what it's all about — can you convey feeling? And he does. I think that this is a great part for him, and he'll be brilliant in it." Based on the true story of prison boxing coach and former champion Billy "The Kid" Roth, the flick stars Cage as Roth and Jackson as the imprisoned fighter he takes under his wing, believing he could be a contender. "Dance" will mark Cage's first sports-themed movie in a career that has spanned more than 50 films, and the actor said he chose a boxing flick because it's particularly well-suited for the big screen. "It's drama, it's conflict, it makes for interesting entertainment, and it makes for good movies," he said of the sport. "And in this case, it's a true story." Written by Neil Tolkin ("The Emperor's Club"), the film is expected in theaters in 2008. ...

After roles in "Old School" and "House of Wax," Elisha Cuthbert is turning toward more serious material — or so it would seem. "I have a dark comedy that I did with Christian Slater called 'He Was a Quiet Man,' " the actress said. "I play a quadriplegic, so I'm in a wheelchair for the whole film. It's quirky. It's kind of out there and crazy." Also featuring William H. Macy, the film stars a mustached and balding Slater as a disgruntled worker plotting to kill his officemates — until a relationship with a paralyzed woman makes him rethink his actions. "There are some pretty intense moments in the movie where you just try and release all that anger and energy without moving your body," Cuthbert revealed. "It was a whole different experience for me." The flick is due in theaters later this year. ...

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Filming has resumed on "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," with Helena Bonham Carter and composer Nicholas Hooper joining the blockbuster franchise's fifth film. The studio has officially confirmed the previously reported news that Bonham Carter will play Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange, cousin to Sirius Black and loyal follower of Lord Voldemort. Hooper, who has scored several movies for director David Yates in the past, reunites with the incoming "Phoenix" director. Muggles can once again get their fix of the lightning-scarred sorcerer when the flick hits theaters in July 2007. ...

Fans of "Bruce Almighty" and "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin" are offering up their prayers for "Evan Almighty," an unorthodox sequel that could become next year's "Son of the Mask" as easily as it could triumph as the funniest film of the year. According to Jonah Hill, the Jim Carrey-free flick focusing on Steve Carell's pompous newsman Evan Baxter will be the latter, thanks to a unique combination of spectacle and silliness. "I play Steve Carell's assistant, and we got to have fun," grinned Hill, who acted in "Virgin" alongside Carell. "It's a crazy movie. It's going to be a monstrous movie ... just the scale of it, and how much money [they've put into] the special effects." The film picks up where "Bruce" left off, with God (still played by Morgan Freeman) turning Evan into a modern-day Noah — complete with beard and a newfound knack for constructing enormous arks. "We were on this ark that was the size of 10 buildings put together, at Universal [Studios]," Hill said. "It would shift down and up, and there was me and Wanda Sykes and John Michael Higgins standing on the side of the boat, and then 3,000 gallons of water would come down in a wave, shoot at us and knock us over. We did that all day." Also starring Molly Shannon and John Goodman, the comedy is scheduled for release next June. "I'll never be impressed by anything ever again," Hill laughed. "I've seen all these crazy sets and huge arks and animals and elephants. It's going to be a crazy movie." ...

After strong supporting work in flicks like "You, Me and Dupree" and "Anchorman," funnyman Seth Rogen finally gets his first starring role in the comedy "Knocked Up," which finishes filming this week in Las Vegas. The flick, due in 2007, boasts some significant cameos thanks to Katherine Heigl's character — an entertainment reporter whose ambitions come to a screeching halt when Rogen's slacker character gets her pregnant. "Because she works at E!, we have a lot of celebrities who were nice enough to come in and play themselves," Rogen revealed, adding that they cornered the unknowing celebs, including Owen Wilson, Steve Carell, Eva Mendes and Orlando Bloom. "We just planted ourselves on the red carpets, and when people came up, we said, 'Will you shoot a two-minute scene for our movie, wherein you make an inappropriate comment about her pregnant belly?' And most people were nice enough to do it." ...

Do you spend your free time searching for magical doorways in the back of your closet? Do you long for heartfelt, vaguely religious conversations with a talking faun? If so, you'll want to enter the newly launched "Chronicles of Narnia Ultimate Fan Contest." Devotees who successfully capture their fanaticism will be selected as finalists, with the winner earning a chance to blog from the set of "Prince Caspian," the soon-to-film second chapter of the epic series. Those who think they're up to the challenge can visit Narnia.com for further details. ...

One of the oddest-sounding movie projects currently in production is "Farce of the Penguins," a spoof comedy that features a dazzling array of stars, a newly resurrected writer/director and a truly bizarre concept. "It's the dirty version of 'March of the Penguins,' " laughed Lewis Black, the "Daily Show" star who provides one of the voices of the tuxedoed stars. "It's Bob Saget's interpretation of the penguin story. It's a total documentary, and it's [real] penguin footage. [Saget's] the lead penguin, and I'm the lead penguin's best friend. Samuel L. Jackson is the narrator." Due in theaters later this year, the mockumentary also features the wisecracking voices of Dane Cook, Jamie Kennedy, Tracy Morgan and dozens of other well-known comedians. "Bob's lined up 25 really great voices. It's not just completely filthy, but it's certainly a funky little movie," Black grinned, working himself into one of his patented rants. "It's penguins talking! I mean, it's just insane. If we can get people to just buy into that, this thing will work." According to Black, the film's shooting script still worked, even after being dialed down a bit by Saget, the former "Full House" star now known for being one of Hollywood's raunchiest comics. "Bob kind of toned down some of it," Black revealed. "The first version we did was so insane that we would have been arrested!"

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