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Gyllenhaal returning to Strip for cop drama

Jake Gyllenhaal’s come a long way since his “Bubble Boy” days a decade ago — especially when it comes to on-screen Vegas visits.

Playing the wrapped-in-plastic title role 10 years ago, Gyllenhaal took a neon-nights cruise down the Strip on the back of Danny Trejo’s motorcycle.

This week, the all-grown-up Gyllenhaal returns to the Strip for the gritty cop drama “End of Watch,” from writer-director David Ayer (whose credits range from “Training Day” screenwriter to “Street Kings” director).

“End of Watch” is expected to end principal production Tuesday in L.A. — which makes sense, considering the movie focuses on the partnership, and friendship, between two L.A. police officers. They’re played by Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, who’s reportedly not making the trek to Caesars Palace later this week. Watch for “End of Watch” in theaters next year.

Desert sea: The Luxor’s Titanic artifact exhibition is one reason the docudrama “RMS Titanic: Case Closed” is scheduled to dock here Wednesday.

But it’s not the only reason.

The 90-minute project, for the National Geographic and Smithsonian channels, explores a new scientific/weather phenomenon theory regarding the legendary luxury liner’s sinking on her maiden voyage.

While the production initially chose Las Vegas because of the resident Titanic exhibit, Glitter City’s legendary lights also will play a role in the docudrama, according to Bedlam Productions’ Karen Kirk.

“We want to film the lights of the city flickering with the warmth of the desert air,” she explains, because “this will help us understand the process of scintillation, one of the scientific points raised in our film.”

Crash science: If you think there’s nothing scientific about a demolition derby, just ask the Science Channel, which visits the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday for an upcoming documentary series titled “How the Universe Works.”

Turns out that “the way cars behave in demolition derbies” is “very similar to what happens when asteroids collide,” according to Pioneer Productions researcher Lizzie Bolton. “If they collide slowly, they kind of stick together, and if they collide fast, they destroy each other,” she notes.

And to capture the full impact of the crashes, production officials plan to install tiny cameras in one or two of the to-be-demolished cars, reports John Bisci, the speedway’s public relations manager.

Travel guide: Las Vegas is definitely in the running for Hedonism Capital of the World, so it figures a show titled “The Ethical Hedonist” would shoot here.

But the show, which debuts on Travel Channel International in January, plans to venture beyond the usual glitter and glamour to capture host Bob Kelly “living it up while also working to give back for the good times at his chosen destination,” according to publicity notes.

“Given our concept, we knew that a place like Vegas has a reputation for the hedonistic,” says producer-director Camilla Andersen, “but we hope to challenge ourselves and reveal the ethical side to life in Las Vegas, too.”

Quick takes: DIY’s “Kitchen Crashers” returns for another round of remodeling today through Thursday. The feature “Little Monsters” continues production at a private residence in Henderson and on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where writer-director David Schmoeller teaches film.

On a musical note, singer Josh Tatum is scheduled to shoot a video for his song “Everything I Need” Wednesday and Thursday, while Britain’s Discovery Channel planned to visit Coolio’s Las Vegas home this past weekend for a “Superfans” episode devoted to the rapper.

Carol Cling’s Shooting Stars column appears Mondays. Contact her at (702) 383-0272 or ccling@reviewjournal. com.

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