J.J. Abrams is ready to rumble.
After rebooting the monster movie with Cloverfield, the über-producer is now teaming up with David Seltzer, the scribe who penned the original Omen, to put a new spin on the disaster genre with Earthquake.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, the film is not a remake, per se, of the 1974 film that starred such Hollywood legends as Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, Walter Mathau and George Kennedy, and whose trembling sets Universal eventually featured on its studio tour.
Instead, Abrams and Seltzer will collaborate on a new screenplay that will likely follow Cloverfield's lead—with the intimate relationships of various characters taking precedence over the big action sequences unfolding in the background.
As usual, the Lost mastermind will coproduce Earthquake with his Bad Robot partners, Bryan Burk and Sherryl Clark.
Abrams is currently finishing postproduction on his risky reboot of Paramount's Star Trek franchise, with the highly anticipated prequel set to be released in May 2009. After boldly going where no man has gone before, he probably will enjoy being earth-bound for a while.
Meanwhile, the wheeling and dealing continues on the tube side.
Mining its '70s programming for all its worth, CBS has given the greenlight to an updated version of Hawaii Five-O, one of the Eye network's most popular detective series, which ran from 1968 to 1980 and headlined Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett and James MacArthur as Danny "Dano" Williams.
The revamped Five-O squad will be shepherded by Ed Bernero, writer and executive producer of CBS' Criminal Minds. It will once again chronicle the inner workings of a fictional Aloha state police division while retaining much of the original's template as possible, including new twists on McGarrett's trademark line "Book 'em, Dano" and that classic theme song.
The updated show will film in Hawaii, natch, and will likely premiere in the 2009-10 TV season, around the same time CBS plans to debut a redo of another of its '70s crime series staples, The Streets of San Francisco.
In other big TV news:
•DreamWorks Animation is joining forces with India-based Paprikaas Interactive for Mad Santa, a new 'toon series for NBC which will feature characters from the studio's 2005 big-screen hit Madagascar. Production gets under way in 2009 and the show is being targeted for a Christmas premiere, according to local media in New Delhi.
•HBO has sealed a deal with iTunes that will see the latter roll out the red carpet and make available for purchase and download all four seasons of the pay cable net's hit comedy Entourage. The first two seasons can be downloaded for $1.99 an episode starting today, while season three will be made available Aug. 18, and season four on Aug. 26. Season five is set to debut on HBO Sept. 7.
•ABC and Warner Bros. TV are conjuring up a small-screen version of 1987's hit supernatural film comedy The Witches of Eastwick, which starred Jack Nicholson as the devil and Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon and Cher as the witches under his spell. Several pilots have been in the works over the years but had never been successfully brought to air.