Movie File: Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Matthew Broderick, Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood & More

Kate Hudson gave birth to her first child Wednesday, a son she

and husband Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes named

Ryder Russell Robinson. ... Nicole Kidman, who won the Best

Actress Oscar a year ago, is the first presenter announced for the 76th

Academy Awards, scheduled for February 29 at the Kodak Theatre in

Hollywood. ABC will again televise the event. ...

Tom Cruise recently told the U.K.'s Empire magazine that

he's interested in playing Marvel Comics' millionaire-industrialist

superhero Iron Man in the long-in-development New Line Cinema

adaptation. "He's a fascinating character, but we've got to figure out

how it's going to work," he said. "And everyone is doing a Marvel

character these days. How do we make that new, create something fresh

where it doesn't feel like, 'Oh, here comes another superhero story?' " ...

The hit Broadway musical "The Producers," which is based on Mel

Brooks' 1968 comedy film of the same title, is returning to the big

screen. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, who starred

originally in the Broadway version they recently returned to after a

22-month break, will co-star in the movie, which Brooks is penning. ...

The Directors Guild of America has nominated Peter Jackson

("Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), Peter Weir

("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"), Clint

Eastwood ("Mystic River"), Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit") and

Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation") for their Outstanding

Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award. The winner of the DGA

honor has not also won the Best Director Oscar only six times since

1949. ...

"Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," which played in theaters in early

2003, "Finding Nemo" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the

Black Pearl" scored nominations for Favorite Motion Picture of the Year

for the 30th People's Choice Awards. Nominees, which also included

"Elf" and "Bruce Almighty" in the comedy category, are chosen by a

nationwide telephone poll and online voting. ... "Lord of the Rings"

stars Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan have been chosen

as monarchs for Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. Wood will ride with

the Krewe of Bacchus on February 22, and Monaghan will star in the

following night's parade with the Krewe of Orpheus, founded by Harry

Connick Jr. ...

Jennifer Esposito ("Don't Say a Word") and Jason Isaacs

("Black Hawk Down") have joined the ensemble cast of "Crash," which

also includes Ludacris, Sandra Bullock, Don

Cheadle, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Ryan

Phillippe, Larenz Tate and Nona Gaye. The indie film

follows several stories as they unfold on the streets of Los Angeles.

... "Scrubs" star Zach Braff will voice the title character in

the Disney cartoon "Chicken Little," a part written originally for an

egg layer. Braff's next movie, "Garden State," which he also wrote and

directed, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. ...

Callum Blue, the English actor best know for Showtime's "Dead

Like Me" series, will co-star opposite Anne Hathaway in "The

Princess Diaries 2" as a suitor set up to marry the young princess. The

sequel to Disney's 2001 hit also stars Julie Andrews and is

being directed by Garry Marshall, both of whom worked on the

original. ... The rights to Dark Horse Comics' beloved Grendel have

been snatched up by John Wells' production company, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The script will focus on a character from creator Matt Wagner's "Grendel: Devil's Legacy." ...

David Thewlis ("Timeline") has been added to the cast of

director Ridley Scott's 12th-century epic "Kingdom of Heaven,"

starring Orlando Bloom as a peasant who becomes a knight and

saves a kingdom. Liam Neeson will play Bloom's father. ...

Meanwhile, Billy Connolly, also of "Timeline" (and "The Last

Samurai," among countless other films) has been cast in "Lemony

Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," based on Daniel

Handler's children's book series. Jim Carrey, Meryl

Streep and Jude Law are also starring, with Brad

Silberling ("Moonlight Mile") directing.

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