If what I'm hearing turns out to be true, Josh Brolin is poised to steal Men In Black III right out from under his higher-profile co-star Will Smith, playing the younger version of Tommy Lee Jones's Agent K in what already looks like a damn good impression. Of course, this would be far from the first time Josh Brolin showed up in an ensemble film and blew everybody away, from his terse Llewellyn Moss in No Country for Old Men to his Oscar-nominated turn as Dan White in Milk. But once again Brolin's turn as second-banana may be leading to an even bigger role, and this time a starring one.

Over at Showbiz 411, they're hearing that the Ford-Firestone lawsuits of 2000 may become fodder for a movie, adapted from Adam Penenberg's book Tragic Indifference. Josh Brolin could play the Erin Brockovich-style lawyer who stuck up for the victims who were injured or killed when their Ford Explorers rolled over after the weak Firestone tires exploded. MIchael Douglas had been attached for the lawyer role when he first optioned the book 10 years ago, but he's now ready to bow out and let the younger Brolin take over, while Douglas and 2929 Productions remain on board as producers. Showbiz also notes that "names mentioned" for the key role of paralyzed victim Donna Bailey include Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Laura Linney, but you can probably add any prestigious over-40 actress to that list with things in such early stages.

Below is the official description of the book from Amazon. We'll let you know if this rumored new life for the project ever goes forward, but for now you can count on our support for Brolin to play that role-- or really, any role. Even if he doesn't have the power to single-handedly make Men in Black III great, he's welcome anywhere.

Tragic Indifference is the gut-wrenching account of the biggest product liability case in history: the Ford-Firestone fiasco, where delaminating Firestone tires caused Ford Explorers to lose control and crash at highway speeds. The result was a massive recall, consumer panic, and congressional hearings. It all culminated in a lawsuit that would become a watershed for all future auto safety lawsuits.

In February 2000, reports began to surface of an alarming number of rollover cases involving Ford Explorers traveling on Firestone's Wilderness AT tire. As the stories drove a national frenzy of news coverage, no one seemed to know what was causing the devastation. Until one lawyer, who had been campaigning for years to get Ford to acknowledge the dangerous flaws in the design of the Explorer -- an engineering flaw greatly exacerbated by the use of Firestone's tires -- stepped forward to demand that Ford executives take responsibility for the lethal design of their trucks.

More than a courtroom drama, Tragic Indifference reveals the web of individual stories beneath the national headlines. Weaving together harrowing depictions of the accidents and their consequences with the stories of the men and women who labor to police the auto industry and its reckless cost-cutting, Tragic Indifference will transform the way you view the government, the courts, and the media. Above all, this book shows the price the public pays in wrecked and mangled lives when companies focus more on shaving costs than making quality products.

At the center of the story is Tab Turner, a charismatic trial attorney from Arkansas, who has made a career out of forcing Ford and other automakers to own up to their unsafe practices and to admit that they knowingly trade human lives for profits. Given the almost complete lack of government regulation over the auto industry, Turner has become, in essence, the court of last resort for victims of callous auto companies.

Tragic Indifference also recounts the struggles of Turner's client Donna Bailey, a single mother and outdoor enthusiast who led troubled teens on backpacking trips, as she fought back from the brink of death to confront those ultimately responsible for her accident. Her case became a benchmark for all others that followed.

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