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Nicolas Cage

Digitalprofile/ZUMApress.com

Nicolas Cage has suffered a serious downgrade in sexy sidekicks.

After revving up Eva Mendes in his last comic book-based flick, Ghost Rider, the Oscar winner's now gets stuck with Christopher Mintz-Plasse, aka Superbad's McLovin, for his next comic go-round.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, Cage and Mintz-Plasse have joined Kick-Ass, director Matthew Vaughn's feature film based on the ultra-violent Mark Millar graphic novel.

The film revolves around a high school geek (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who decides to become a superhero despite a lack of superpowers or training. Things get complicated when he encounters real villains with real weapons.

Cage, a devoted comic book fan, will play an ex-cop out for revenge against a drug lord. Mintz-Plasse will take the part of Red Mist, the hot-headed teenage son of a mobster who's trying to track down Kick-Ass. Cameras roll this fall.

Meanwhile, the other big deal making the trade rounds today is literally out of this world.

Although Stargate: Atlantis wasn't reupped for a sixth season, the Sci Fi Channel has announced plans to launch a second spinoff of the cult hit, titled Stargate: Universe.

The new show will premiere early next year as a two-hour TV movie before sliding into its regular weekly time slot next summer.

Stargate, which has been airing on the tube in one form or another since 1997, is the cable network's longest-running franchise.

After debuting on Showtime, SG-1 came over to Sci Fi following its fifth season. Based on the film, the TV version centered on a secret military team whose mission was to probe the uncharted stargates throughout the galaxy. It ended its 10-season run in 2006.

Stargate: Atlantis, blasted off in 2004, continued that story as a team of explorers found their way into a new galaxy and encountered an enemy called the Wraiths. That show will wrap up with a two-hour movie this season.

The Universe action will be set in deep space and follow a new team of scientists and military men who stumble upon an ancient unmanned spaceship.

No word on casting but producers expect guest appearances from the SG-1 and Atlantis ranks.

Here's some other news making the rounds today:

  • Canadian company Peace Arch Entertainment has snagged the North American rights to Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest comeback bid, JCVD. The mockumentary features Van Damme playing himself as he encounters a real-life hostage situation in his native Belgium. The film will premiere at next month's Toronto Film International Film Festival and is expected to hit theaters in the fall.
  • 24 star Regina King will join Shark's Kevin Alejandro and Michael McGrady of Daybreak fame in LAPD, a new NBC pilot about a squad of detectives in Los Angeles. No word when it will air.