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Development Roundup: Casting news for Sabrina reboot and Paradise Hills, new films from Taika Waititi, Henry Selick and Tim Blake Nelson

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Mar 15, 2018, 12:28 PM EDT (Updated)

Hey, sci-fi movie fans. We’ve got a whole bunch of exciting casting and development news for you in this overstuffed edition of our Development Roundup. So let’s buckle up and get started, because we’ve got a lot this time round.

First up, various news outlets are reporting that Ross Lynch will play Sabrina’s boyfriend Harvey Kinkle in Netflix’s upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot. Lynch will play “the son of a coal miner, a dreamboat and a dreamer, completely unaware of the dark forces conspiring to keep him and Sabrina apart,” according to a press release. Harvey was previously played by Nate Richert on the original ABC/WB sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Lynch, who played Jeffrey Dahmer in My Friend Dahmer, joins a cast that includes Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) as Sabrina, Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead) as Aunt Hilda, and Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) as Aunt Zelda.

The show will apparently be like Riverdale in that it will be a dark, hourlong drama based on something originally light and silly. This isn’t too surprising, since one of the executive producers of the Sabrina reboot is Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Still no word yet on what the name of the reboot will be or when it will air. 

Meanwhile, Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok and What We Do in the Shadows, is directing and starring in a World War II satire film about an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler, TheWrap is reporting. 

In Jojo Rabbit, Waititi’s Hitler is an imaginary friend to a 10-year-old boy who is desperate to join the dictator’s ranks during World War II. You read that right. 

However, Waititi assures us that the film won’t include a sympathetic depiction of the actual Adolf Hitler, but rather an imaginary version of the genocidal tyrant. You see, this Hitler will be the invention of a boy who misses his dad and, thanks to Nazi propaganda, imagines someone who is a combination of his father and the führer.

“It’s my version of… a lonely boy’s best version of his hero, which is really his dad,” Waititi tells TheWrap. Ah, a boy and his Hitler. That old touching tale.

Jojo Rabbit is looking to start production in late May and should be one of the first Fox Searchlight releases under its new owner, Disney.

(Via TheWrap

Netflix has agreed to finance and distribute Wendell and Wild, a stop-motion-animated feature directed by Henry Selick of Coraline and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas fame, Deadline is reporting. And get this: Oscar winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) is on board to co-write, co-produce, and even co-star in the film.

This film is also reuniting Peele with his old comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key to voice two demon brothers.

Selick is writing the script with Peele and Clay McLeod Chapman. Meanwhile, Selick and Chapman are also writing a book, to be published by Simon & Schuster around the film’s release.

(Via Deadline)  

Send in the clones. Actor and filmmaker Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) is set to direct the sci-fi action film Michael Zero, Deadline is reporting. 

The Millennium Media and Eclectic Pictures film, written by Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left), follows Michael Redmayne, who is forced to hunt down and kill his clones after they desert the war they were created to fight. But get this, they’ve got a good reason to go AWOL: They’re planning to wage war against the corporate state that made them.

Michael Zero will be Nelson’s third time working with Millennium Media, having directed and co-starred in the comedy Leaves of Grass with Edward Norton and the war drama The Grey Zone starring Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi.

(Via Deadline)  

Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver) is joining set to co-star with Emma Roberts and Danielle Macdonald in the sci-fi thriller Paradise Hills, Deadline is also reporting. 

Here’s what we know so far about the film: In the not-too-distant future, Uma (Roberts) wakes up one morning in the eponymous Paradise Hills, a private sanitarium on a remote tropical island where women are sent against their wills to become brainwashed—er, we mean, become perfect versions of themselves. So it sounds like it’s got a Prisoner-meets-Handmaid’s Tale vibe with just a dash of Stepford Wives. Gonzalez will play Amarna, a Paradise Hills resident who may be Uma’s only hope in escaping.

Written by Nacho Vigalondo (Colossal) and Brian DeLeeuw (Curvature), Paradise Hills is the directorial debut of Alice Waddington, whose short film “Disco Inferno” won her the Best Director award at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. 

(Via Deadline)