Treasure Island: Steve Miner has signed on to direct a modern adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel in which a young man finds a map which leads him on an adventure to find a lost treasure. I find this an odd choice since Miner has only done a lot of TV (Dawson's Creek, Felicity) as of late. Miner's last feature was the massive critical and financial failure Texas Rangers starring James Van Der Beek.

Bad Santa: Garth, over at Dark Horizons, reports that Bill Murray, the Cohen brothers, and Terry Zwigoff (director of Ghost World) will all be teaming for this project about a con man posing as Santa in order to rob malls. He will even have an "elf" sidekick. With Murray attached, the fun is sure to ensue. I'm looking forward to this one.

The Last Samurai: Apparently, Tom Cruise is close to signing on this 19th Century tale of the fall of the Samurai. This one is being written by John Logan (Gladiator) and directed by Ed Zwick (Glory). With these people attached, it'll be nothing if not epic. I feel that Zwick is capable of getting one helluva performance out of Cruise, so I'm certainly hoping he'll commit. What I'm wondering is what a guy like Cruise could possibly be doing in 19th Century Samurai days...

The Rum Diary: Another Hunter S. Thompson novel is coming to the big screen, according to Reuters. And, surprise, surprise, both Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro (both from the last Hunter adaptation, the highly underrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) are interested. Also, Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor, 40 Days and 40 Nights) is apparently interested. While Fear and Loathing dealt with Thompson's glory (so to speak) days in the advent of his "gonzo journalism", The Rum Diary deals with his younger days.

It's an interesting read, full of the biting wit and social commentary one would expect from Thompson, and should translate well to the screen.

Kerouac out!

Brian B.