News briefs: Abrams, Cruise on new Mission; Deadworld lives; Fox ain't Buffy

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Adam-Troy Castro
Dec 14, 2012

TV Guide reports (via SpoilerTV) that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will reunite with star Tom Cruise for a fourth Mission: Impossible movie.
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Dark Hero Studios partners David Hayter and Benedict Carver have joined with Pandemonium's Bill Mechanic to turn the comic book Deadworld, in which the dead have overtaken the Earth, into a zombie movie franchise, Variety reported; Hayter (Watchmen) will write the screenplay.
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Sony Pictures Animation has picked up the rights to The Familiars, an upcoming children's fantasy book series written by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, according to The Hollywood Reporter; the first book follows three young wizard apprentices who, after being whisked away to an evil kingdom by a nefarious queen, must rely on their animal companions—an alley cat, a blue jay and a tree frog—to escape.
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Roy Lee, one of the producers of a proposed new Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, denied to IGN that Megan Fox is being considered for the title role: "The rumors of Megan Fox being involved with Buffy are just rumors. ... While I think she would be great for our project, we are still in the early stages of developing the script."
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Jonathan Sadowski and Keir O'Donnell have been tapped to star in the pilot for Ghosts/Aliens, a live-action comedy for Comedy Central that also is being developed as a feature for Viacom sibling Paramount Vantage, according to The Hollywood Reporter; based on Trey Hamburger's supernatural comedy novel, the show centers on Trey Hamburger (Sadowski) and his loyal best friend, Mike Stevens (O'Donnell), two potheads who set out on a quest to expose the truth about the existence of ghosts and aliens.
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The Wizard of Oz drops on Blu-ray on Sept. 29 in a 70th-anniversary ultimate collector's edition, with nearly four hours of new and never-before-available bonus features in numbered, collectible packaging.