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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
choreographer MICHAEL KIDD has been hired to create
a dance number for JULIE ANDREWS and CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER
in the live television production of On Golden Pond.
The actors, who starred in The Sound Of Music together,
take over the roles played on the big screen by Katherine
Hepburn and Henry Fonda in the 1981 film about an
elderly couple spending the summer at their lakefront
holiday home. The new production, to be screened in
the US on April 29, will be directed by Ernest Thompson,
who wrote the original play and has adapted it for
BALTHAZAR GETTY, the great-grandson of the late oil
billionaire J PAUL GETTY, is carving out a successful
acting career after checking himself into a Mexican
drug rehabilitation clinic two years ago. The 25-year-old
Getty, who appeared in a remake of Lord Of The Flies
when he was 13 but later succumbed to a heroin habit,
recently finished Deuces Wild, in which he co-stars
with Matt Dillon and Stephen Dorff. He is to next
play the black sheep of a wealthy California family
in the pilot for a Dynasty-style television series
called Pasadena. Getty, known as Balty to his friends,
has also joined the cast of the feature film In God
We Trust, playing a confidence trickster who gets
caught up in a robbery that goes awry.
LIV TYLER and her British boyfriend ROY LANGDON, the
singer with the rock band Spacehogs, are househunting
together in New York. ``It's a lot more difficult
than I thought it would be,'' says the 23-year-old
actress, who has spent most of the last 18 months
in New Zealand filming the Lord Of The Rings trilogy
and is currently promoting her latest film, One Night
At McCool's. ``I thought we'd see somewhere and know
instantly that it was the place we have been looking
for, but it hasn't worked out like that so far.''
The couple became engaged on Valentine's Day but are
keeping the date of their wedding a secret to avoid
sequel to the 1995 action comedy Bad Boys is finally
going ahead after being in development for five years.
The film's original stars, WILL SMITH and MARTIN LAWRENCE,
are reportedly still interested in returning in their
roles of two Miami cops and a new script is currently
being prepared. British actor JEREMY NORTHAM is making
his mark in Hollywood with a series of major film
roles. Northam, who has just finished filming his
role in ROBERT ALTMAN'S Gosford Park, is next due
to star opposite GWYNETH PALTROW in Possession. It
will not be the first time the two have teamed up
on screen, having co-starred in the successful film
adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. Northam is also
negotiating to take the title role in The Company
Man, about an unsuspecting employee who finds himself
working as a corporate spy in a world of deadly espionage.
GRANT has finally acquired a love interest in the
film adaptation of NICK HORNBY's novel About a Boy,
with RACHEL WEISZ set to fill the role. She is in
final talks with the directors, CHRIS and PAUL WEITZ,
as filming is due to begin next week. Grant plays
a womanising slacker whose fear of commitment leads
him to seek out relationships with single mothers
because they are easier to leave. But his plans go
awry when he becomes best friends with 12-year-old
son of a would-be target, and falls in love with Weisz's
character. Weisz's two most recent projects include
the high-profile films, The Mummy Returns and Enemy
at the Gates.
BRANDO's salary has been upped to a massive two million
dollars for four days' work on the comedy sequel Scary
Movie 2. Brando will play a priest who performs a
supernatural exorcism at the beginning of the film.
He was offered the role after CHARLTON HESTON turned
it down, reports Daily Variety, which says the producers
were shocked when he accepted. ``He will work four
days. He'll perform an exorcism. He'll mumble a few
words. He may even get killed,'' reports the newspaper.
Brando joins an ensemble cast which includes TORI
SPELLING, SHAWN and MARLON WAYANS, TIM CURRY and NATASHA
Friends star COURTENEY COX has hit out at rumours
that her marriage to DAVID ARQUETTE is on the rocks.
``I heard that I filed for divorce and kicked him
out and that he's a bad boy but none of the rumours
are true,'' she insists in the May issue of Seventeen
magazine. She says she find most of the reports ``so
stupid'' that they don't bother her. ``David makes
my life better,'' she says. ``I'm not the poet that
he is but I just love him.'' She even likes his off-beat
way of dressing, saying: ``We wake up in the morning
and before he has coffee he actually puts on an entire
outfit. ``Then he takes a shower and puts on another
one. Can I tell you how much laundry we have?'' A
20-minute clip of the highly anticipated computer-generated
film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has received
high praise from a test audience. The film, based
on the popular Final Fantasy series of video games,
took four years to complete and features an entirely
computer-generated cast who look hauntingly realistic,
according to those who saw the clip. Final Fantasy,
which will be released across America on July 11,
is set in the distant future when Earth's humans are
under siege by alien creatures.
FENN, who starred in the cult series Twin Peaks, is
to feature in the American version of the British
TV show Blind Men. She will play a pretty and earthy
kindergarten teacher who is married to one of two
rival window blind salesmen. DAVID THRELFALL, who
portrayed Joseph of Nazareth in the TV film Mary,
Mother of Jesus, is also joining the cast as the head
of the window blind company.
young British actor JAMIE BAMBER has landed a major
film role opposite hot American actress JULIA STILES
in Carolina. Bamber, best-known for his role as Lt
Archie Kennedy in the TV series Horatio Hornblower,
will play Heath, a charming, handsome man with whom
Stiles's character falls in love. He will also soon
be seen in the Steven Spielberg-produced television
mini-series Band of Brothers.
PAUL HOGAN says he will go to court in an attempt
to resolve a dispute with the Writers' Guild of America.
It is insisting he will not receive an on-screen writing
credit for his new film Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.
The Australian actor says he has written the original
screenplay, invented all the characters and developed
all the jokes for the film, in which he also stars
and is producing. ``I have an ongoing problem with
the Writers' Guild because I am also the producer,''
he tells the Hollywood Reporter. ``It's rather silly
and I think it has to do with the pending writers'
strike. The writers are threatening to strike against
the producers so they suddenly decided I wasn't a
writer anymore.'' Screenwriters MATTHEW BERRY and
ERIC ABRAMS are credited for the screenplay, but the
film's director, SIMON WINCER, is backing Hogan. He
says: ``I have never met the two other guys who have
got the screen credit. The script that I read and
the script that I shot - every single word was written
he is waiting for a script for the next James Bond
film, PIERCE BROSNAN will star in the action-adventure
film Defiance. Brosnan will also produce the film
in which he will play the leader of a renegade band
of soldiers battling a totalitarian government. He
had been expected to star in the RENNY HARLIN-directed
adaptation of RAY BRADBURY's A Sound of Thunder -
but the script is being rewritten, leaving a gap in
CAREY has broken the record for the most money ever
paid to a singer for an album. She has just signed
an $81.5 million deal with her new record label, Virgin,
to be paid at the rate of $16.3 million for each of
five albums, including the soundtrack to her upcoming
film Glitter. It tops the previous highest fees paid
to Janet Jackson and REM who were each getting $13.5
million per album in their most recent negotiations.
BRANDO is considering an offer to appear in a cameo
role in the Scary Movie sequel in return for one million
dollars. Brando has made it known he would like to
appear in more comedies and recently finished The
Score with ROBERT DE NIRO and EDWARD NORTON. Scary
Movie II is being directed by KEENAN IVORY WAYANS.
LENNON has accompanied his girlfriend BIJOU PHILLIPS
to the Caribbean where she will record a CD dedicated
to her father, Mamas and Papas founder JOHN PHILLIPS,
who died last month. ``He knew I was working on it
before he died,'' says Bijou. ``He was enthusiastic
MANHEIM, the star of the TV legal drama The Practice,
is to produce and star in a feature film she is developing
based on her own experiences on film sets. The project,
titled The Extra, centres on a delusional extra who
ruins the life of a movie star through stories in
the tabloid press.
The US version of the British comedy series The Royle
Family will feature health warnings whenever any of
the characters light a cigarette. Each time, the smokers
will have to comment on how bad the habit is for their
health. ``We would like the family to be very much
like the British one, but we have a few restrictions,''
says MAYA FORBES, head writer for the series, which
will air on the CBS network in America. The American
Royles will be called the Kennedys and feature a Boston
working-class family. To give the series an added
twist the character of Dave, played by CRAIG CASH
in Britain, will be black. ``I think Dave is one of
the funniest characters I've ever seen on TV,'' says
Forbes, ``but we liked the idea of black people and
white people sitting around watching TV in a comfortable
QUAID fills the role of Jim, the couch potato father
of the family, while his wife will be played by PAMELA
REED. JENNIFER LOPEZ and ROBERT DE NIRO are talking
about co-producing and starring in a remake of Love
Me or Leave Me. They would fill the roles originally
played by DORIS DAY and JAMES CAGNEY in the 1955 musical
romance. The original version was based on the true
story of 1930s torch singer RUTH ETTING. But the remake,
although set in the musical world, would be a fictional
story of a mobster who uses his connections to help
a singer's career. In it, Lopez would sing on screen
for the first time since she starred in Selena, the
1997 film musical about the Latin singer SELENA QUINTANILLA-PEREZ.
promotional trailer for the new SYLVESTER STALLONE
film Driven is being accused of exploiting the death
of racing driver DALE EARNHARDT. The trailer ends
with a shot of a race car smashing into a wall at
high speed in a manner similar to the crash in which
Earnhardt died earlier this year. ``It was like living
it all over again,'' an Earnhardt family source tells
internet gossip columnist MATT DRUDGE. ``The timing
of this movie is heartbreaking. It feels like they
are out to make a quick buck.'' Stallone wrote the
script and plays a veteran race car driver who is
hired to steer the career of a young hotshot driver.
``Dale was the greatest,'' said Stallone. ``I paid
attention to his racing style and life while I prepared
the movie. I hope Driven lives up to his standards.''
JULIA ROBERTS has snapped up the film rights to an
unfinished novel about a woman distraught by the close
relationship between her lover and his ex-girlfriend.
Her company will produce the film and, although she
is not expected to star in it, Roberts is said to
have a big female star in mind for the role. The unfinished
story, called Her, is by LAURA ZIGMAN, whose last
novel, Animal Husbandry, was adapted into the romantic
comedy Someone Like You starring ASHLEY JUDD and HUGH
JACKMAN. Roberts has recently finished America's Sweethearts
and is now filming Ocean's Eleven, the STEVEN SODERBERGH-directed
remake of a criminal gang's plan to rob a string of
The British director PETER KOSMINSKY is assembling
an all-star female cast for his first feature film.
Kosminsky will begin filming the drama White Oleander
on April 23 with MICHELLE PFEIFFER, ROBIN WRIGHT PENN
and RENEE ZELLWEGER. The main character, a girl who
lands in a number of foster homes after being separated
from her jail-bound mother, will be played by newcomer
ALISON LOHMAN. She was discovered after an extensive
search that included casting calls in eight cities
and auditions by most of Hollywood's hot young actresses.
FUGIT, who has not acted since Almost Famous, will
play an orphan. Boy band N'Sync star JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
has just signed a seven-figure deal to write his first
novel. The contract is unprecedented for a young celebrity
trying his hand at fiction but Ballentine Books are
banking on his millions of fans to send sales soaring.
The book will be called Crossover Dribble, but no
plot details have been released.
O'TOOLE, who has won seven Oscar nominations in his
50-year career, will never star in another film. The
68-year-old actor tells Entertainment Weekly magazine:
``I don't have the appetite to take on and sustain
the entire 20 weeks of a movie - and happily that's
unlikely to come my way. ``I think perhaps our Maker
has put a kind of mechanism into our personalities
that when we're past it, we know.'' Instead O'Toole,
who is promoting a DVD version of Lawrence of Arabia,
is writing a novel and learning how to operate lights
camera and sound equipment in preparation for making
ZETA-JONES, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for
her role in Traffic, is to star in a film based on
a British TV mini-series. Traffic was also based on
a TV series, called Traffik, and now the Oscar-nominated
Irish writer TERRY GEORGE, who wrote In the Name of
the Father, is adapting Trust for the big screen.
The Welsh actress will play a lawyer who defends her
psychiatrist husband when he is accused of a brutal
murder - but finds he is having an affair with one
of his patients. The setting is being moved from London
to New York. Zeta-Jones and her brother, LYNDON JONES,
will co-produce the film along with JILL GREEN, who
produced the original two-part mini-series.
ROBINSON could find she will have to take it as well
as dish it out when the quiz show The Weakest Link
makes its American television debut. The producers
want to spice up the US version by picking contestants
who will stand up to Robinson, and she approves. ``I
expect to be spending a lot of time in America,''
she said on a recent visit to the NBC studios in Burbank,
California, where the show will be filmed. ``I'm not
in any doubt. I don't see it failing.''
COSTNER is flying to Cuba this week to show his film
Thirteen Days, which depicts events surrounding the
Cuban missile crisis, to FIDEL CASTRO. He will be
taking his girlfriend CHRISTINE BAUMGARTNER and his
co-producer PETER ALMOND with him. Almond acknowledges
that the Cubans may ``quibble with any number of facts''
in the film and adds: ``We look forward to a robust
exchange of views with President Castro.''