With Guillermo del Toro recently leaving the director's chair on the film adaptation of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson is in negotiations to take over directing duties. The two films will be shot consecutively.

David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow Part I & II) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) were two names thrown around as possible replacements, but the hope among fans of the franchise has been that Jackson would return.

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Source: THR

Just before 1 a.m. ET on Friday night, Congress approved an amendment banning the trading of derivatives based on boxoffice results.

The MPAA, NATO and various guilds have been actively campaigningy against the idea.

Media Derivatives, Inc. received approval from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission on June 15, and a decision for the Cantor Exchange was expected on June 28. But the latest move by Washington will force both companies into court if they want to challenge the ruling.

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Source: Pajiba's The Hollywood Cog

According to insiders, director Wolfgang Petersen (Poseidon) is reportedly circling a big-screen version of the popular "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots". On one hand, the idea might seem like a stretch, but other studios have films in development based on Battleship, the View-Master, and the Magic Eight Ball.

If the project materializes, it will go head-to-head with director Shawn Levy's upcoming action picture Real Steel, which is about future fighting competitions in which the opponents operate giant robots. 

Not much else is known about the project, although Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) may be writing the screenplay. Poseidon, Peterson's last film, was a massive commercial flop, grossing only $60.6 million against a $160 million budget.

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Source: THR's Heat Vision Blog

G.I. Joe star Channing Tatum has landed the starring role in Ion, which is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott for 20th Century Fox's specialty arm Fox 2000.

Writer Will Dunn reportedly shopped the script to studios previously without any luck, but in the wake of Avatar's $2.7 billion worldwide box office grosses, Fox reconsidered the sci-fi project. The story concerns a man who travels across several dimensions trying to reunite with his lover reincarnated.

Tatum's next high-profile project is The Eagle of the Ninth, from State of Play director Kevin MacDonald, which is slated to open on February 25th, 2011. Meanwhile, Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are hard at work on a script for a second G.I. Joe, which, if everything goes well, seems likely to hit screens in summer 2012.

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