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

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

TV Guide reports (via SpoilerTV) that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams will reunite with star Tom Cruise for a fourth Mission: Impossible movie.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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