Casting and development roundup

More wheeling and dealing updates:

— Marc Forster is making the leap from small-scale dramas to big-time blockbusters. The director of Monster’s Ball has agreed to helm the next James Bond film, scheduled for a November 2008 release. His first task will be to work with Paul Haggis on a draft of the Neil Purvis/Robert Wade screenplay. Forster won’t have to worry about his male lead, though; Daniel Craig is already on board to reprise his role as 2007.

— Michael Apted (Amazing Grace) will direct the film adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third in the Chronicles of Narnia series.

— Frank Miller has agreed to write a screenplay based on Trouble Is My Business, a novella by Raymond Chandler. Clive Owen, who acted in the adaptation of Miller’s Sin City, will star and executive produce.

— Morgan Freeman has signed on for The Human Factor, based on an upcoming book about Nelson Mandela. Freeman will play Mandela, who in the story is serving his first term as president of South Africa, and will also co-produce.

— Kate Hudson will join Dane Cook in the cast of Bachelor No. 2, a romantic comedy to be directed by Howard Deutch. Men who have been dumped hire Cook take their ex-girlfriends out on horrible dates, which drive the women to get back together with their exes. Hudson plays an ex of Cook’s best friend. Hmmm, I wonder what happens when Cook takes Hudson out? (If you can’t guess, the film’s planned February 8 opening should be a clue.)

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