Variety is chockful of tales to intrigue and amuse this morning. 20th Century Fox has greenlit the next thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, entitled The Happening. I have to confess, I haven't see a Shyamalan film since being underwhelmed by Unbreakable, but his most recent effort, Lady in the Water, took a right kicking. Fox must be hoping for a return to the smash hit succes of The Sixth Sense. An intriguing title, but it unfortunately calls to mind a line from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar: What's that buzz? Tell me what's a-happenin'!
Speaking of musicals, a film version of the hit show Mamma Mia will start shooting this summer in London and Greece. In case you didn't already know, Mamma Mia is not an all-singin', all-dancin' tuner about an Italian mobster with mother issues - that would be a Broadway version of The Sopranos. [Hmm, an interesting idea, but I suspect is a better musical medium for The Sopranos.] Mamma Mia is, of course, a show based around the songs of Swedish pop maestros Abba. Bet you can't guess who's starring in the film version. Unlikely as it sounds, the cast features Meryl Streep - and Pierce Brosnan.
In other news, LA Confidential and 8 Mile director Curtis Hanson has signed a multi-year deal with CBS Paramount to develop TV projects. Seems he wanted the chance to develop stories and characters that lasted longer than two hours. There's no shortage of film folk flocking to TV these days. Jerry Bruckheimer must be making a fortune out of the CSI franchise, while much-feted talents like Spike Lee and David Mamet have also been embracing long-form storytelling. So, is TV the new cinema?