By Jenny Priestley
★ He's conquered comedy and musicals and now Tim Minchin is directing a movie. Larrakins is being made by DreamWorks Animation and tells the story of a bilby – a rabbit-sized marsupial that lives in the Australian desert – who goes on a quest after finding a dropped egg. "It's a bit Star Wars, a bit Gods Must be Crazy, a big road journey," he told The Age newspaper in Melbourne. Minchin was originally working on the film's score when DreamWorks bosses asked if he'd like to direct it too. No word yet on casting or a release date.
★ Nick Frost is also heading behind the camera this summer, directing a short horror film which he's also written. Little else is known is about the project which Frost revealed while promoting Cuban Fury in the US. He's a busy man at the moment. As well as his promotional duties in the US, Frost is about to debut his new show for Sky, Mr Sloane, which co-stars the always brilliant Olivia Colman. He's also working on a new pilot for the US, Sober Companion, as mentioned in this column a couple of weeks ago.
★ Is another star of The Hobbit heading to the West End? Following last week's news that Martin Freeman is to play Richard III, there are now rumours Richard Armitage (aka Thorin Oakenshield) could be starring in The Crucible at the Old Vic in London this summer. The play is due to open on June 24.
★ Meanwhile, acclaimed stage star Mark Rylance is in talks to play Johnny Depp's father in the upcoming Alice in Wonderland sequel. If the deal goes through, Rylance will play Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's father, who cannot hide his brightly-coloured hair beneath a top hat. Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter are expected to reprise their roles in the new film, which is being helmed by Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin.
★ If you haven't heard Screenjabber's new wrestling podcast then you definitely should – and I suspect my next bit of news might interest the guys: Hulk Hogan is coming to the UK. He's hosting SmackDown at the O2 in London on May 20.
★ Two indie stars have announced plans to take to the stage in New York this week. Michael Cera will star alongside Kieran Culkin in This Is Our Youth, opening at the Cort Theatre in August. Meanwhile Greta Gerwig is replacing Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Village Bike. The play opens in June and will mark Gerwig's stage debut.