Development roundup

A quick look at May’s wheeling and dealing so far:

Rowan Atkinson and Peter Howitt are on board for a version of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. Atkinson will play Mr. Micawber, the title character’s overly optimistic landlord. Howitt, who helmed Johnny English, will direct from the screenplay he co-wrote with Douglas McFerran.

Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Type A Films, is developing a project called Under the Bridge, based on the nonfiction book by Rebecca Godfrey. Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen) is in talks to helm the picture, which covers the 1997 killing of a high school student and the subsequent investigation.

DreamWorks has won the war for Peter Jackson’s next picture, The Lovely Bones. The studio beat out Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal and Sony by committing at least $65 million to the film — small potatoes compared to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but a sizable budget for the adaptation of the Alice Sebold novel. Shooting is scheduled to start in October.

Twentieth Century Fox is beginning work on a sequel to 1987’s Wall Street. Oliver Stone, who directed the original, won’t be involved this time, but word is that the studio would like Michael Douglas to reprise his role as the manipulative Gordon Gekko. Edward Pressman will produce, and Stephen Schiff will do the screenplay.

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