WHO Tom Cruise
THE MOVIE "The Man From U.N.C.L.E."
THE DEAL The actor is in early talks to star in Guy Ritchie's big-screen adaptation of the beloved NBC spy series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Despite the perennial question -- is Cruise too old for action roles? -- the 50-year-old apparently beat out many younger actors for the "U.N.C.L.E." role, including Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling, all of whom were reportedly considered. The original television show, a cult favorite that ran from 1964 to 1968, followed the Cold War-era exploits of American spy Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and his Soviet-Georgian partner, Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum). Would Cruise be Solo? No word yet on the character he'd play.
THE MOVIE "Black Nativity"
THE DEAL The one-named hyphenate -- singer-songwriter-actor-model -- is joining this film version of the 1961 gospel-musical by Langston Hughes, Variety reports. Rotimi, 24, born Olurotimi Akinosho in New Jersey, has little acting experience outside his role as a drug dealer on the Starz drama "Boss," but he'll make his big-screen debut alongside Forest Whitaker, Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Nasir Jones. The film, about a street-wise Baltimore teen sent to spend Christmas with New York City relatives, features teen R&B singer Jacob Latimore in the starring role; the music producer is Raphael Saadiq. The film is due Nov. 27.
THE MOVIE "Hunky Dory"
THE DEAL Minnie Driver plays a drama teacher who tries to fight her students' apathy during a 1976 summer by staging a rock-pop production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest." Artists on the soundtrack include Lou Reed, the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Dusty Springfield, Electric Light Orchestra and, of course, David Bowie (the film's title is a nod to his 1971 classic album). The movie opens Friday at the Village 7 in Manhattan, but the Furman Film Series has a local sneak-preview screening.
INFO Thursday night at 7 at Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck. Tickets are $15. 516-829-2570; goldcoastfilmfestival.org.