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The Morning Roundup: Nichols, Scorsese and Mamet adapt Kurosawa, Tom Ford Directs a Movie, and More!

Written by: Mike Leader, Special to CC2K

ImageThis morning we've got scoops concerning Mike Nichols' adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's High and Low, Tom Ford's directorial debut, a Preacher adaptation directed by Sam Mendes, some scandals and smashes in the UK, plus music news. Chow down, it's time for The Morning Roundup!

High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) was one of Akira Kurosawa's late, minor masterpieces, a modern tale involving kidnapping and shady business dealings. However, an American remake is in the works, to be directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Angels in America, Closer). The script has been adapted by theatrical powerhouse David Mamet, and the production is being overseen by Martin Scorsese and Scott Rudin. I'm the first to bitch about remakes, but with talent this high-calibre, it might be excused!

– Erstwhile fashion designer / guru Tom Ford will be directing his first film , called A Single Man. The flick, co-written by Ford and David Scearce, will be an adaptation of the 1964 novel written by Anglo-American writer, and gay lib icon Christopher Isherwood. The film will star Julianne More, Colin Firth and Matthew Goode. Filming starts in November.

– Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) is on-board to direct a big screen adaptation of the Garth Ennis / Steve Dillon graphic novel Preacher. Preacher was among the first Vertigo comic books I read; Mendes has proven his credentials having made at least one classic movie in the past. Hopefully he can pull this one off, although it is quite a long and twisted tale. Nevertheless, I'm stoked. Holy moly!

– Empire has spoken to comic-book superstar Mark Millar about his dream Superman project: an 8 hour epic. I'm not the greatest fan of Millar, but this certainly sounds like an interesting take, now if only he could get some support!

– In other comic book adaptation news, Universal has bought the rights to the Villains comic book series.

– has a first look as Robert Pattinson as Salvador Dali in upcoming drama Little Ashes.

– Hot on the heels of Weezer's The Red Album (CC2k review here), frontman and all-round weez-meister Rivers Cuomo is prepping a second instalment in his Alone series of solo records. Expect more revelations, skits and covers from his (seemingly extensive) vaults. And hey, check that cover! Certainly the best 'do I've seen this year. More details over at Pitchfork.


– Mother Mary and Joseph! Get ready for some 40th anniversary, hyper-remastered, aggressively-expanded, super-shiny Frank Zappa releases. His solo debut, Lumpy Gravy (crazy cut up collage) and 1968 possible-masterwork We're Only In It For the Money (freaky hippy pastiche) will be jammed together to make Lumpy Money. The set will be a 3-disc 'Audio Documentary', featuring entirely different mixes and versions of both albums, as well as outtakes and studio offcuts. The set will be released through the Zappa Family Trust on November 25th.

– Think The Dark Knight was the big grosser of the summer? Well, over in the UK it is an entirely different story. Turns out that mediterranean islands and timeless Swedish pop is more palatable than grim and twisted Bat-fables. That's right, Mamma Mia is giving Titanic a run for the biggest-grossing film of all time in the UK. According to Variety, Mamma Mia has grossed $109 million, just shy of Titanic's $112.5 million.

– Double whammy of UK news! Big scandal in UK radio-land. Two of the BBC's biggest presenters have been landed in hot water after an on-air prank phonecall went too far. Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were set to interview actor Andrew Sachs (known for the role of Manuel in John Cleese's Fawlty Towers) on Brand's radio show. However, Sachs pulled out of the interview at the last minute. Instead, Brand, who has been making waves stateside after appearing in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and presenting the MTV awards, left multiple messages on Sachs' answerphone service, making lewd suggestions about Sachs' grand-daughter, glamour model Georgina Baillie. Not many people were impressed, as the BBC has received 10,000 complaints about the stunt. Some are even calling for Brand and Ross, who is currently the BBC's highest paid personality (and, when he wants to be, a pretty good authority on comic books and film), to be sacked. Even Prime Minister Gordon Brown has gotten involved. Yowzer! Check out the full details of this overblown matter at the BBC. HOLD THAT THOUGHT: The BBC decided to suspend both presenters while they conducted an investigation into the matter, but Brand has recently issued a statement annoucing his resignation from the BBC radio show altogether. Interesting stuff.

– And to finish up here we've got the first trailer featuring the (pretty preposterous) story for upcoming gaming-comics-crossover Mortal Kombat vs DC:



– …And here's a poster for the upcoming Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill) film, The Boat That Rocked (more over at Empire):