Rossellini tapped for award-winning story

Nicolas Cage cast in two Louisiana films, The Hobbit good to go, and more.

Isabella Rossellini will star in a film adaptation of the book The Solitude of Prime Numbers.
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Isabella Rossellini and Alba Rohrwacher will star in the director Saverio Costanzo's adaptation of Paolo Giordano's novel The Solitude of Prime Numbers, which won Italy's leading literary prize, the Premio Strega, Variety reports. The book has since been published in 25 languages. Mario Gianani's Rome-based company Offside will produce, and Medusa is financing.

Nicolas Cage has signed on to star in the thriller The Hungry Rabbit Jumps and the 3-D action film Drive Angry, and walked away from a role as the villain in the super hero film The Green Hornet, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tobey Maguire's Maguire Entertainment and Endgame are producing The Hungry Rabbit from a script by Robert Tannen. Roger Donaldson will direct. The story follows a man who becomes involved with an underground vigilante movement after his wife is the victim of a violent crime. Drive Angry, meanwhile, is a revenge action movie that Patrick Lussier will direct for the independent company Nu Image/Millennium Films. Michael De Luca is producing. Both films will shoot in Louisiana.

Steven Soderbergh has committed to directing Knockout, a spy thriller about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance, Variety reports. The film will star the mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, who is the face of the fledgling female martial arts fighting circuit, the paper writes. Lem Dobbs (The Limey) is writing the script for Relativity Media, which is producing.

The Tolkien Trust, New Line Cinema and HarperCollins have settled a suit allowing Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro's films The Hobbit and The Hobbit 2 to proceed. The suit, over the participation of the author JRR Tolkien's heirs in the profits from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, settled at an estimated $100 million (Dh367m). Filming is expected to start on the two films next year.

Robert Redford has cast Robin Wright Penn and James McAvoy to star in The Conspirator, a film Redford will direct about the assassination of the American president Abraham Lincoln. Penn will play Mary Surratt, who was the only woman in the group accused of attempting to murder Lincoln. McAvoy will play a young idealist who defends her. Filming is due to begin in October. A new company, The American Film Co, produces. James Solomon wrote the script.

Disney has begun work on a new Winnie the Pooh feature film, the first to be produced by the studio in more than 35 years. Set for release in 2011, the movie will weave together five of the author AA Milne's stories about the "Bear of Very Little Brain". Disney-Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter broke the news at an event in London. It is not yet known whether computer-generated imagery will be used to animate the film. Disney's upcoming release The Princess and the Frog will be the company's first hand-drawn movie in five years.

Europe's Content Republic has signed a deal with Arrow Films to release 60 of its films online, Screen Daily reports. Among the titles are Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, Roman Polanski's Bitter Moon and several films from Claude Chabrol. The deal initially covers viewers in the UK, with distribution for other territories subject to rights clearance.

The cute desk lamp associated with the Pixar company has become the subject of a new lawsuit. Designed by the company's chief creative officer John Lasseter, the Luxo Jr, which has been used as Pixar's mascot for the past two decades, was originally created for an Academy Award-nominated short film of the same name. The Norwegian lamp company Luxo, however, has filed a suit in New York against Pixar and its parent company Disney for infringing on its copyright by selling limited-edition Luxo Jr lamps and launching an attraction based on an animatronic version of the lamp at Walt Disney World.