–Unstoppable, Tony Scott and Denzel Washington’s follow-up to their Taking of Pelham 123 remake, was almost stopped when Washington left the project for two weeks back in July over unspecified concerns (most likely having to do with the size of his paycheck). But then the two-time Oscar winner had a change of heart and the project is no speeding along towards a start date, picking up the lovely and talented Rosario Dawson in the process. Loosely based on a true story, the film casts Washington as a locomotive engineer who teams up with a brash young conductor (Star Trek’s Chris Pine) to halt a runaway train carrying highly toxic chemicals. No word on Dawson’s character, but due to the age gap, we’re betting she strikes sparks with Pine rather than Washington.
-File this under “We’ll believe this when we see it.” The website bloody-disgusting.com is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. will be taking over Tom Cruise’s fangs as vampire rock star Lestat in a new film version based on Anne Rice’s popular series of novels. Expect this project to live or die depending on how well Downey’s first outing as Sherlock Holmes performs at the box office this winter.
-Coming off his turn in the critically acclaimed Iraq War movie The Hurt Locker, Anthony Mackie joins the cast of the new thriller The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Adapted from a Philip K. Dick short story, the film involves a congressman whose career is threatened when he strikes up a relationship with a ballerina with a shady past.
-Texas-born Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker is getting in touch with her Mexican roots by agreeing to star in her first Spanish-language film, Day of Grace. Set to be shot on location in Mexico City, the film will tackle one of the country’s major problems—kidnapping.
-Apparently Jon Hamm never saw Watchmen. The Mad Men star has agreed to appear in director Zack Snyder’s new movie Sucker Punch, about a young girl who is locked away in a mental institution and enters a parallel reality where she and the rest of the young inmates turn into gun-toting bad grrrls. Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Jena Malone round out the cast.
-50 Cent’s former onscreen flame Joy Bryant has joined the cast of NBC’s upcoming series Parenthood, based on Ron Howard’s 1989 comedy of the same name. She’ll play a single mom who returns home to San Francisco so that she can pursue her dreams of being a dancer and introduce her son to his absent father.
-And now for something completely different: the surviving members of the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python will reunite in October to mark their 40th anniversary and hype an upcoming IFC Channel documentary Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut).