week in review digest

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Comics gotta serve somebody

MTV Films has picked up "Kanan Rhodes: Unkillable Servant of Justice," a comedy from Rainn Wilson and Bob Odenkirk (HR 1/5). Wilson will star in "Rhodes," and Odenkirk will direct. Odenkirk is producing along with Naomi Odenkirk, his wife and partner at their newly formed Type-O Prods. shingle. Written by Bob Odenkirk, B.J. Porter and Scott Aukerman, "Rhodes" follows the misadventures of a man who serves subpoenas with the suaveness, intensity and conviction of James Bond, though that's where the similarity ends.



Czech Republic taps Trestikova

MOSCOW — Filmmaker Helena Trestikova is poised to become the Czech Republic's new culture minister. Trestikova, 57, will replace former culture chief Cyril Svoboda after center-right party the Christian Democrats proposed her as part of a last-minute political deal to create a new cabinet in Premier Mirek Topolanek's government. Trestikova, famed for her documentary films about the relationships of six married couples, which she began shooting in 1981, is politically independent and known as a strong film industry advocate.



Hallstrom has 'New' TV deal

Lasse Hallstrom is making his first foray into U.S. television with the Fox drama pilot "New Amsterdam" (HR 1/4). The Oscar-nominated director is set to helm and executive produce the Regency TV project from writers Allan Loeb and Christian Taylor. Tentatively titled "New Amsterdam," the drama centers on a man cursed with immortality who works as a homicide detective in New York.



Paris, filming loves you

PARIS — Paris proved to be the city of lights, camera, action in 2006, with a 10% increase in film production in the French capital for the year, the Paris Mayor's Office reported this past week (HR 1/3). A total of 727 film shoots took place in the capital last year, compared with 660 in 2005. The city welcomed an average of 10 productions per day for a total of 3,432 days of filming at more than 4,400 locations. Ninety-seven French feature films were made, including 20 first-time efforts. Foreign features accounted for another 15 feature-length films, four more than in 2005. Despite a drop in the number of fiction films shot in Paris (137 in 2006 compared with 150 in 2005), the number of shooting days increased to 1,152 days from 1,130 in 2005.



Azaria's job 'Outsourced' for Col comedy

Hank Azaria is in negotiations to direct the comedy "Outsourced" for Columbia Pictures (HR 1/3). The funnyman who voices the characters of Moe Szyslak, Apu and Chief Wiggum on Fox's "The Simpsons" is set to make his feature directorial debut on the project. He helmed the 2004 short "Nobody's Perfect," an ensemble comedy featuring Ellen Pompeo, Maria Bello, Sarah Silverman and himself. "Outsourced" is set in motion after an U.S. factory is shut down and transported to Mexico. Two men from the production line venture south to get their jobs back.
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