Pen To Paper: Back to School, Blinking and an arse-kicking Panda

Pay attention class, the wacky team that brought you Van Wilder: Party Liaison are doing their homework in preparation for Schooled, a high school movie from the point of view of the teachers.

Walt Becker, Ryan Reynolds' Dark Trick Films and Tapestry Films are currently developing the idea of life and love inside the staff room, working from a script by Becker and David Gallagher. Tapestry were behind summer comedy hit Wedding Crashers and are also currently developing Van Wilder 2, written by Gallagher and set in… Romania, of course. Where else?

Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way is going door to door in an effort to get some support for Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Blink. DiCaprio is set to star in the adaptation which will be scripted and helmed by Traffic scriber Stephen Gaghan. The format of the screenplay is being closely guarded, perhaps because the novel itself doesn’t exactly scream ‘mainstream movie’.

Gladwell’s book throws together short vignettes about people making knee-jerk judgments in a multitude of situations to argue larger points about how people make first impressions. The script itself is said to centre on a writer, based on Gladwell, whose life collides with various characters from the novel.

Dreamworks have been busy signing on stacks of talent for their superbly titled animal-animation Kung Fu Panda. Directed by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne, the flick is based in the Valley of Peace and centres on a bamboo scoffer called Po (Jack Black) who stumbles into a martial arts competition and is hailed as the chosen one. Dustin Hoffman will lend his voice to the role of Shifu, the double-hard kung fu master who takes it on himself to train hapless Panda Po. Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu will voice another of Po’s teachers called Master Viper, a feminine but lethal warrior.

Hong Kong legend Jackie Chan will play devastating kung fu warrior Master Monkey who shows up Po’s inadequacies in the ring, while Deadwood’s Mr Nasty Ian McShane has signed up to voice villain Tai Lung, a tough-nut snow leopard, intent on tearing apart the Valley of Peace.

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