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The Dark TowerThere are plenty of reasons to be excited for Ron Howard's planned "The Dark Tower" adaptation, and now here's another one to add to the pile. "Heroes," "Battlestar Galactica" and "Falling Skies" writer/producer Mark Verheiden has been tapped to co-write and produce the planned NBC TV series segment of "Dark Tower" along with producer Akiva Goldsman.

First, here's what we know. Javier Bardem has been chosen from a pool of hopefuls to play the Gunslinger, with names like Naomi Harris rumored for other roles. Ron Howard will be directing the initial "Dark Tower" film and the first season of the television series, with the director of the later movies and seasons to be determined at a later date. Goldsman will write both the first film and the series, and now Deadline has the news that Verheiden is co-writing the series, with Stephen King and Brian Grazer along as producers as well. Sounds like a solid enough plan to us!

But who is Verheiden? What makes him a smart choice for "The Dark Tower"?

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Winter's TaleYou might not know him for his name and face, but you absolutely know Akiva Goldsman for his work: he won an Academy Award for his work on "A Beautiful Mind," handled script duties on "The Da Vinci Code," and he also wrote "Batman & Robin." Nobody's perfect!

Goldsman has also had his hand in many projects as a producer, but one area of the filmmaking world he hasn't explore too greatly is directing. He's stepped behind the lens for some episodes of Fox's fantastic sci-fi series "Fringe," but in the feature world, he's stayed away from the camera. Until now.

Deadline reports that Goldsman will mark his feature filmmaking debut with "Winter's Tale," an adaptation of the 1983 Mark Helprin novel of the same name. Goldsman, who wrote the screenplay himself, will start shooting the project in the spring of 2012 once he, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have finished the first installment of "The Dark Tower." Read More...

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'Star Trek'Newcomers may not realize it, but the "Star Trek" franchise is rife with some truly bizarre casting choices, particularly within the film series. Kirstie Alley, John Larroquette, Alan Ruck, Kim Cattrall, F. Murray Abraham… lots of folks you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see popping up in a sci-fi feature, particularly one with "Trek’s" devoted fanbase.

J.J. Abrams’ just-released "Star Trek" continues on in the same tradition, with a number of the director’s friends and colleagues appearing in various extraneous roles. Read More...

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