Jean-Pierre Jeunet is coming to America. The idiosyncratic French filmmaker, whose carefully wrought and seemingly hand-made works include Delicatessen, Micmacs, Amélie, A Very Long Engagement and, ah, Alien: Resurrection, is finalising his cast for the soon to shoot The Young and Prodigious Spivet. It's the story of a 12-year-old scientific prodigy, living in rural Montana with his parents, who receives an award from the Smithsonian Institute for creating a perpetual motion machine. Unaware that the recipient is a child, the Smithsonian invites the boy to Washington and he accepts, deciding to travel across country by jumping freight trains.
This will be Jeunet's first English-language feature since the one listed in the previous paragraph that no-one wants to remember, and it appears to mean that several members of his de facto actor's company won't be featured. There's no place for Audrey Tautou, although he has found a role for the diminutive Dominique Pinon, a totem-like presence in Jeunet's offbeat pocket universes. Newcomer Kyle Catlett plays the gifted T.S. Spivet, and the characters he'll encounter will be played in part by the likes of Judy Davis (The Eye of the Storm, Absolute Power) and Helena Bonham-Carter (The King's Speech, The Gruffalo's Child).
Brooks the clown
Slightly disconcerting news: Albert Brooks, who we'll never quite look at the same way again after his malignantly murderous turn in Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, will return as the voice of Marlin, the overly protective clown fish father, in a sequel to Finding Nemo. How badly can Nemo's first day at an aquatic high school really go?
Seth goes west
For years Seth MacFarlane was heard and not seen. As the creator, head writer and voice lead of a handful of successful American animated sitcoms, most notably Family Guy, the 39-year-old strung together one-liners and a blizzard of 1970s and '80s pop culture references without entering the mainstream. That changed with the release of Ted, last year's amusing comedy about a grown man and his foul mouthed teddy bear that put Mark Wahlberg opposite a digital creation voiced by director MacFarlane. Ted's success – it has tallied over half a billion dollars worldwide – earnt MacFarlane the hosting gig on the Academy Awards later this month.
Once television audiences figure out that Billy Crystal hasn't had a facelift they might be ready for MacFarlane's next movie, which he'll co-write, direct and act in. A Million Ways to Die in the West is a raunchy comedy inhabiting a Western in the vein of Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, with MacFarlane is a man who loses his love interest after his farmer character backs down on a gunfight. The man looks for a teacher to help him, and finds the wife of a notorious outlaw. It's unknown whether audiences want to see MacFarlane's face in a movie, but he has a pair of high profile co-stars in place, with Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Chloe) and Charlize Theron (Prometheus, Monster) taking on the respective roles of the girlfriend and the six shooter mentor.