Gerard Butler Is Not Planning On Making Any Friends in Equatorial Guinea

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler will star in a Ridley Scott directed film about ex-British Army officer Simon Mann, who in 2004 tried to overthrow the president of Equatorial Guinea with a group of mercenaries. Mann was arrested in Zimbabwe, spent five years in prison there, and then taken to Guinea, where he was sentenced to 34 more years – until a presidential pardon set him free. Well, this certainly will not be the president of Equatorial Guinea’s favorite movie. Everyone knows the president of Equatorial Guine’s favorite movie is Flubber. Grade: B- [Deadline]

Luke Wilson and Kevin Connolly are joining Elvis & Nixon, the indie drama starring Eric Bana as the king and Danny Huston as the president based around the two’s famed 1970 meeting. Wilson will play Sonny, a member of Elvis’s Memphis Mafia that makes the trip to the White House; Connolly will play a limo driver named Ronnie. This is shaping up to be quite the cast, which bodes well for the success of the film, as well as is inevitable franchise spin-offs: a whole slew of movies, currently being planned, about Nixon and/or Elvis meeting various people. Grade: B [HR]

Rick Ross‘s highly anticipated album God Forgives, I Don’t has been pushed back from its December 13 release date to sometime early next year. And, yes, the delay does have something to do with that time Ross had two strokes in something like 45 minutes. Anyway, ungh. Grade: D [Billboard]

Scarlett Johansson told Women’s Wear Daily last month that she would be making her directorial debut on Summer Crossing, an adaptation of Truman Capote‘s book about an 18-year-old New York City girl breaking free of her rich, controlling family. Now, with production having been secured, the project is officially happening. This is in stark contrast to some of Scarlett’s other grand plans that never come to fruition, like that time she told everyone she was going to make a sculpture of Nicolas Cage made entirely out of gouda. Grade: B+ [Variety]

Elle Fanning has joined Bomb, the Sally Potter written and directed drama about a teenager growing up in the sixties living with a tumultuous family and hoping to save the world from nuclear war. According to Potter, “Elle has a subtlety and range beyond her years. Her unaffected enthusiasm for work is a joy. She can move you to tears and then light up the room with her radiant smile, the perfect presence at the center of this volatile story.” Grade: A- [Deadline]

Chuck actress Yvonne Strahovski is in talks for I, Frankenstein, the action monster movie. Aaron Eckhart stars as Frankenstein, who is pursued by demons looking for the secret to his reanimation; Strahovski will play a scientist studying reanimation and tricked into helping the demons build an undead army. This totally reminds us of that episode of Chuck where … you know … that … one thing happened? Grade: B [HR]

Tarsehm Sing is attached to direct Killing on Carnival Row, a fantasy noir-serial-killer thriller set in a future city called Burgue that looks like 18th Century London and is inhabited by humans and other creatures. Very important question: Do they have jetpacks in this futuristic city? Grade: B [Deadline]

Filed Under: Gerard Butler, Grading the Trades, Rick Ross, Ridley Scott, Scarlett Johansson

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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