WHO Brad Pitt
THE MOVIE "Pontius Pilate"
THE DEAL The actor may tackle the title role in this potentially big-budget Warner Bros. movie, Deadline.com reports. The script, by Vera Blasi (the 2000 Penélope Cruz vehicle "Woman on Top"), is said to be less a biblical epic than a character-driven drama casting Pilate as an ineffective Roman politician whose career reaches its low point sometime around AD 33. Pitt hasn't committed to the role and could still wash his hands of the project, but he already has three films wrapped up and ready for release this year: the zombie flick "World War Z," Ridley Scott's thriller "The Counselor" and an adaptation of Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, "Twelve Years a Slave."
WHO Cate Blanchett
THE MOVIE "Cinderella"
THE DEAL Disney's revisionist take on the classic fairy tale, starring Blanchett (said to be playing the wicked stepmother), just lost its director. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Romanek (the chiller "One Hour Photo" and the sci-fi drama "Never Let Me Go") recently dropped out, which Disney confirmed in a statement. The studio added, "We are committed to moving the project forward and have begun the search for a new director." As for casting the title role, actresses who have been considered reportedly include Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna"), Gabriella Wilde ("The Three Musketeers") and Alicia Vikander ("Anna Karenina").
WHO Chris Messina
THE MOVIE "Fairhaven"
THE DEAL The Northport-born actor, recently seen in "Ruby Sparks" and "Greenberg" (and on TV's "The Mindy Project"), is starring in a movie he also co-wrote. "Fairhaven," set in a small Massachusetts fishing town, stars Messina as a man who reluctantly returns home for his father's funeral and connects with two old friends, single dad Sam (Rich Sommer of "Mad Men") and former high-school footballer Jon (Tom O'Brien, the film's director and co-writer). The film is set for release tomorrow at Manhattan's Cinema Village. It may screen locally in the future but will be available Tuesday through iTunes, Amazon and other video-on-demand platforms.