Ricky Schroder, Michelle Williams, Vanessa Marcil

Phil Han/ZUMAPRess.com; George Napolitano/Getty Images; Lisa O'Connor/ZUMAPress.com

Ricky Schroder is drumming up some thunder down under.

The actor has signed on to direct the Sci Fi Channel movie Hellhounds, about a Greek warrior who teams with his loinclothed posse to rescue his bride from Hades, circa 500 B.C. The film, starring Men in Trees' Scott Elrod as the put-upon groom, is set to start shooting Sunday in Romania, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Schroder, the former Silver Spoons lad who grew up to carry a badge on NYPD Blue and most recently costar in The Andromeda Strain for A&E, has stepped behind the camera before for music videos and the boxing drama Black Cloud.

In other celebrity-gets-assignment news:

  • Welcome to the jungle, Vanessa Marcil. E! News has confirmed that the former Las Vegas beauty has a recurring role coming up on the NBC estrogenfest Lipstick Jungle, playing an ambitious music manager who promises Paul Blackthorne's character a gig scoring an indie film.
  • Current Spamalot player Drew Lachey has been tapped to host the star-studded Broadway on Broadway 2008 concert in Times Square, marking the launch of the coming theatrical season, which will be showcasing the talents of, among others, Katie Holmes, Haley Joel Osment, Daniel Radcliffe and Mary-Louise Parker. "I look forward to showing the Broadway fans from New York and around the world just what we have to offer," Lachey said in a statement.
  • The newest addition to the plucked-from-obscurity canon, MTV's Top Pop Group, has snared the Black Eyed Peas' Taboo, former Destiny's Child harmonizer Michelle Williams and choreographer Brian Friedman for its judging panel. Mario Lopez is hosting the competition series, which premieres Sept. 11.
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