the vine


Future or past for Rodriguez?

"Grindhouse" might have taken a drubbing at the boxoffice, but director Robert Rodriguez is very much in demand. He is in talks to direct a live-action feature version of futuristic 1960s cartoon "The Jetsons" for Warner Bros. Pictures, being produced by Denise Di Novi and Donald De Line. At the same time, the helmer has met with Will Ferrell and Universal execs for helming duties on "Land of the Lost," based on Sid and Marty Krofft's prehistoric-set 1970s fantasy TV series, to which Ferrell is attached to star. While no offers have been made, sources say "Jetsons" has the edge because its script, whose latest draft is by Adam Goldberg ("Fanboys"), is further along. One possible hurdle the studios will have to contend with is Rodriguez and the DGA. Rodriguez left the guild in March 2004 when it refused his request to share the director's credit with Frank Miller on "Sin City." Rodriguez could direct a studio movie if he declared himself under "financial core" status with the DGA, paying partial dues but remaining a nonmember. The whole production would be done under the DGA auspices, with a DGA supervisor on the set. For Endeavor-repped Rodriguez, who is less concerned about such matters, the question is whether he wants to do a space movie or a dinosaur movie. (Borys Kit)

Pickup talk

CW's hot drama pilot "Gossip Girl" is moving a step closer to a series pickup as it has been approved to begin staffing, while another female-centered CW Network drama, the three-year-old "Veronica Mars," is inching closer to a renewal after a trailer for the proposed revamped version of the series got a warm reception at the network, sources said. The nod to "Gossip Girl," about rich teens in New York, puts co-creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz in the enviable position of having two pilots — along with "Chuck" at NBC — given permission to begin staffing days before the networks make their series pickups. "The O.C." creator could conceivably oversee both shows if they're picked up to series as he has been working with co-creator Chris Fedak on the pilot for "Chuck" and co-creator Stephanie Savage on "Gossip." Meanwhile, CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff is said to have been very impressed by the trailer "Mars" creator Rob Thomas filmed for an alternate fourth season of the show, which fast-forwards a couple of years and has the title character (Kristen Bell) studying at the FBI Academy. Cult favorite "Mars" had been on the verge of cancellation, but its fortunes have improved significantly in the past week with the announcement that "Gilmore Girls" won't be coming back and because of Thomas' well-received fourth-season idea. (Nellie Andreeva)