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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
CRUISE and NICOLE KIDMAN are likely to make their
first public appearance together since their break-up
last year, at the Los Angeles premiere of The Others
on Tuesday. Cruise produced the film in which Kidman
stars. The former Hollywood golden couple are expected
to finalise their divorce next week - but Cruise's
spokeswoman Pat Kingsley has indicated they will both
be at the screening and will attend the party afterwards.
``They'll walk the press line. There's no script,''
Kingsley said. She did not know if Cruise, who has
been dating PENELOPE CRUZ, would bring a date with
him. Cruise was planning to miss this week's New York
premiere, which Kidman was also expected to attend.
In the film, set in wartime Jersey, Kidman plays the
troubled mother of two young children.
MICHAEL CRISTOFER had to use all his creative ingenuity
to hide ANGELINA JOLIE'S tattoos during her explicit
love scenes with ANTONIO BANDERAS in the romantic
drama Original Sin. ``I couldn't shoot around them
because there are too many of them,'' said Cristofer,
who also wrote the script for the story, set in turn-of-the
century Cuba. ``The make-up person did her best to
cover them and sometimes we would put a strip of nightgown
over one of them. For others that were still visible
when we were editing, we used computer generated images
to brush them away.'' In Original Sin Banderas plays
a wealthy Cuban sugar planter who advertises for a
bride and gets more than he bargained for when Julia,
played by Angelina Jolie, arrives on the boat from
WILLIS is giving all profits from the telecast of
a play he directed and starred in to help research
towards pancreatic cancer - the disease that killed
his brother Robert. The play, SAM SHEPARD's True West,
about two brothers, was put on by Willis at the Liberty
Theatre in Hailey, Idaho, w here he has a home. It
opened on June 26, three days after Robert died, and
closed on Sunday. It is being shown in America later
this year on cable's Showtime network.
the film of the MICHAEL CRICHTON novel which has been
in development for the past 18 months, will go before
the cameras in March with British actor GERARD BUTLER
in the starring role. Butler - who was recently rumoured
to be a leading contender to succeed PIERCE BROSNAN
as James Bond - will play the site manager on an archaeological
dig in France who is recruited to lead a group of
students back in time to rescue their professor. PAUL
WALKER, who recently co-starred in The Fast and the
Furious, will play Chris Hughes, an archaeology student
who is also the stepson of thestranded professor.
STREISAND is going into the studio to record her first
Christmas album since 1967. Sources say she will not
repeat any of the songs on the original album - which
included Jingle Bells, White Christmas and Ave Maria
- and is singing better than ever. She does not, however,
plan any personal singing appearances or concerts
to support the album, say the sources.
British filmmaker DANNY BOYLE, who last directed LEONARDO
DICAPRIO in The Beach, will be turning to comedy with
his next project, Solomon Grundy. The story, based
on British writer DAN GOOCH's novel, takes its roots
from the nursery rhyme and follows the whirlwind experiences
of a man who lives a complete life in one week. The
project is expected to use state-of-the-art technology
to depict thehero's life cycle.
GAMES The New Zealand director LEE TAMOHARI is expected
to direct the 20th James Bond film, which will begin
shooting early next year with PIERCE BROSNAN returning
as 007 for a fourth time. Tamohari has emerged at
the top of at least half-a-dozen A-list directors
vying for the as-yet-untitled projec t. Tamohari,
who made his film debut with the urban drama Once
Were Warriors, also directed the thriller Along Came
a Spider. The new Bond adventure will be released
in late 2002 to mark the 40th anniversary of the release
of the first Bond film, Dr No, which starred Sean
HUDSON, who was Oscar-nominated for Almost Famous,
will be donning period clothes for her next film,
The Girl With the Pearl Earrings, which is to be directed
by Briton MIKE NEWELL. She will play a 17th century
housemaid who becomes romantically involved her with
master, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The film,
based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier, takes its title
from Vermeer's portrait of an anonymous woman wearing
a pearl earring.
LAWLESS, whose hit television series Zena: Warrior
Princess ended this summer, is moving into alien territory
and joining the cast of The X-Files. She has signed
to appear in the first two episodes of the series
and is expected to extend her stay for longer although
details of her character are being kept secret. ``We
think we've found an interesting and unexpected way
to have her join the family,'' executive producer
FRANK SPOTNITZ tells Daily Variety. ``We're thrilled
to have the opportunity to work with Lucy whose work
we've admired for a long time.''
TARANTINO is facing a dilemma posed by the pregnancy
of his friend and Pulp Fiction star UMA THURMAN. Thurman,
who is married to ETHAN HAWKE, is expecting her second
child which means she will be unable to meet the autumn
start Tarantino wants for his latest film, Kill Bill
which he wrote especially for Thurman. He will now
have to either recast the leading role and rewrite
the script or push the film back until after Thurman
has delivered the baby and is ready to return to work.
Thurman was to have been the centre-piece in the drama
about a wronged woman who seeks revenge.
The British director STEPHEN NORRINGTON is Steven
Spielberg's choice to direct the epic kung fu action
adventure story Hammer Of God for DreamWorks Pictures.
Norrington, who wrote and directed the upcoming British
film The Last Minute, will begin work on Hammer Of
God after first directing NICOLAS CAGE in the horror
action film Ghost Rider. He told Daily Variety that,
``Hammer of God was one of the best epic kung fu ideas
I've ever heard,'' continuing: ``Add to that DreamWorks
and STEVEN SPIELBERG and my excitement has reached
a transcendental plane.''
KAYE, the British director who clashed with actor
EDWARD NORTON and New Line Cinema over the editing
of his debut feature film, American History X, is
now financing his own projects. ``I realised that
if I wanted control over my movies I'd have to finance
them myself,'' said Kaye, who is currently filming
Lobby Lobster in downtown Los Angeles. ``When I run
out of money I stop and make a commercial.'' Kaye
says he is not sure what Lobby Lobster is about. ``We're
writing it as we go along,'' he tells Entertainment
Weekly. ``It's honest film-making. I'm being honest
about not knowing what the movie is about, whereas
most directors pretend they know when they really
CRUISE has been involved in every aspect of production
of his estranged wife NICOLE KIDMAN'S latest film
The Others, according to Dimension Films chief Bob
Weinstein. Cruise is the producer of the suspense
film, in which Kidman plays a stressed-out, Bible-quoting
mother of two in an old, fog-shroude d house in the
Channel Islands. He was on the set during filming
in Spain, was involved in post-production and went
to a test screening, Weinstein tells USA Today. ``Both
of them worked diligently and professionally,'' he
said of Cruise andKidman. Kidman has vowed to attend
the film's premiere in New York on Thursday but Cruise
is not expected to be there.
The legal campaigner who became famous after being
portrayed by JULIA ROBERTS in Erin Brockovich is to
host an as-yet-untitled television show based on the
British series Challenge Anneka. America's ABC network
is currently in negotiations with British producer
Mentorn International for the rights to televise a
one hour special in which Brockovich will face a tough
challenge to perform a good deed in a short time.
BRITNEY SPEARS has finished work on her first feature
film, an as-yet-untitled coming-of-age story that
co-stars KIM CATTRALL of the Sex and the City television
series. In her acting debut, Spears plays a virtuous
student who teams up with two others to travel across
the country. On the way they meet a young musician
who persuades them to go to Los Angels to compete
in a music contest. The film also features DAN AYKROYD
as one of the people the travellers meet up with.
JENNIFER LOPEZ is to portray a modern-day Cinderella
who falls for a British nobleman in The Chambermaid,
an updated re-telling of the fairy story. The singer-actress
will play a young dreamer who takes a job as an hotel
chambe rmaid and meets the British guest but loses
him when she leaves herjob.
producers announced that NICOLE KIDMAN had been dumped
from Danish director LARS VON TRIER'S forthcoming
film Dogville for refusing to sign her contract, the
Australian actress has reportedly signed on the dotted
line. ``Our lawyers in New York just told me that
Nicole Kidman has signed the contract,'' producer
Vibeke Vindelv told Daily Variety. ``I just talked
to Lars and obviously we are both very happy.'' Dogville,
which is set in a small, US mountain village, will
begin filming in Sweden in January.
GIBSON's next venture is likely to involve heading
out to sea for a starring role in The Captain and
the Shark. Based on the book In Harm's Way, the film
will tell the true story of theUSS Indianapolis which
was sunk in the shark-infested South Pacific after
transporting components of the atomic bombs dropped
on Japan. Gibson is to play Capt Charles McVay, the
skipper who was made a scapegoat and charged with
failing to evade torpedo fire despite evidence from
survivors that his actions helped save some of the
men. The shark carnage was the subject of a chilling
speech by Robert Shaw's character in Jaws. McVay,
who received bitter notes from the families of the
sailors who died, committed suicide in 1968 at the
age of 70.
WALKER, who stars in the surprise summer hit The Fast
and the Furious, is in negotiations to star in a big
screen version of the 1970s television series SWAT.
The series, based on the Los Angeles police department's
Special Weapons And Tactics Squad, starred Steve Forrest
and Robert Urich and the film project has been in
various forms of development for years. It was initially
intended as a starring vehicle for ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
but the script has now been changed to make the project
of the British rock band THE WHO are working with
producer Bill Gerber on a film about the life of the
band's drummer KEITH MOON. By working with The Who
- Who Films will share the producing credit - Gerber
has been able to avoid the legal tangles that often
come with rock star biographies. ``Dealing with publishing
rights and record labels can get extremely complicated
but that has not been a problem for us because The
Who controls their own publishing and they are working
with us,'' says Gerber, who produced the 1997 JENNIFER
LOPEZ film Selena. ``Keith was a troubled man but
the story of how he became that way is truly fascinating.''
British director STEPHEN FREARS, whose last film was
High Fidelity, is to direct RICHARD GERE in Emperor
Zehnder, a film based on the life of the late adventure
photographer Bruno P Zehnder. Described as The English
Patient meets Out of Africa, the script is an epic
love story set in Antarctica. It chronicles Zehnder's
rise to fame as a world-renowned photographer and
environmentalist known for his penguin photography.
Zehnder, whose love of penguins was so strong that
he legally changed his middle name to Penguin, died
in an Antarctic storm in July 1997, aged 52.
British actor ALFRED MOLINA has signed a new deal
with CBS TV which calls for him to develop and star
in a television series for the network. Molina, recently
seen in Chocolat, starred for two seasons in the weekly
CBS comedy Ladies Man which ended earlier this year.
He has just finished filming his role as the painter
Diego Rivera in Frida, opposite SALMA HAYEK as Frida
Kahlo. winner HILARY SWANK, who backed out.
BANDERAS and Charlie's Angel co-star LUCY LIU are
teaming up again for the action film Ecks vs. Sever.
The duo, who starred together in 1999's Play it to
the Bone, will play two Terminator-like undercover
agents who think they are competitors but find they
have a common enemy.