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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
LAW, EMILY WATSON and KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS are among
a 20-strong cast of actors set to star in ROBERT ALTMAN's
period film Gosford Park. HELEN
MIRREN and MICHAEL GAMBON could also be in the cast
of what will be Altman's first British ensemble piece,
according to Daily Variety. ``Lots of actors want
to be in the film but it is a question of fitting
it into their schedules,'' said a spokesman for Altman,
who has taken a house in England for a year. The story
of a hunting party murder, Gosford Park is due to
begin filming in March at Shepperton Studios and on
locations in the English countryside.
LOVE claims she was forced to pull out of the JOHN
CARPENTER film Ghosts of Mars because a female stalker
drove over her foot. The singer-actress has filed
a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Lesley
Barber, the ex-wife of her current flame, Jim Barber.
According to the suit, Love was a victim of Lesley's
``20-month campaign of stalking'' that began when
Love became involved with her husband. Love claims
her foot injury forced her to forfeit her role in
Ghosts of Mars and the $300,000 fee that went with
it. NATASHA HENSTRIDGE replaces her, while British
actor JASON STATHAM also stars.
father of Almost Famous star KATE HUDSON says he was
left off the guest list for his daughter's New Year's
Eve wedding to rock singer CHRIS ROBINSON. ``I was
not invited,'' singer-comedian BILL HUDSON tells People
magazine. ``Nor was her half-sister Emily or her half-brother
Zachary. ``Kate and Emily talk and you'd think everything
was on a rosy path, but I guess not. I didn't even
know she was getting married until three weeks ago.''
Kate, 21, was given away at the ceremony by actor
KURT RUSSELL, the long-time companion of her mother
Angeles homicide detectives say they have no suspects
in the killing of writer SUSAN BERMAN, who was found
shot dead in her home on Christmas Eve. Berman, 55,
wrote a best-selling memoir about growing up in Las
Vegas as the daughter of the late gangster Davy Berman,
Bugsy Siegel's partner in the Flamingo Hotel. She
also wrote about the Mafia in several books and in
a four-hour TV documentary she produced. She was working
on other Las Vegas-themed projects at the time of
her death, according to her manager. Her adopted son,
Sareb Kaufman, told the Hollywood Reporter: ``There's
a theory going around that the mob did it but I don't
think so. I don't think they would have anything to
do with this.''
PHOENIX, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe
for his role in Gladiator, is to join CLAIRE DANES
in an intense love story, It's All About Love. They
will play lovers who realise their relationship is
the one rock in an era on the brink of spiritual collapse.
Walt Disney is developing a sequel to the 1982 cult
science-fiction classic Tron. The original film, which
starred JEFF BRIDGES and BRUCE BOXLEITNER, was about
a video game designer who entered a computer and battled
software he helped create. The new plot will follow
an ambitious hacker who transports himself into cyberspace
to pull off the ultimate computer invasion. No cast
has yet been set although the original writer-director
STEVEN LISBERGER is working on the new script and
will once again direct.
The British martial arts expert and actor RAY PARK
is to play the title role in the film version of the
Iron Fist Marvel comic book. It is a major career
boost for Park, who is best known for his roles as
Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
and as the long-tongued Toad in X-Men. The martial
arts-themed Iron Fist tells the story of Danny Rand,
a child raised in a Far East secret temple, who returns
to the US as an adult to avenge his parents' murderer.
HOWARD is going against the Hollywood trend and refusing
to make a sequel to his Christmas hit, Dr Seuss's
How the Grinch Stole Christmas. ``There's not a chance
we'd want to do one,'' director Howard told the New
York Daily News, adding that he didn't realise the
film would be so successful. ``We always knew the
marketing would be good but it's the repeat business
that's a pleasant surprise,'' he said. ``The movie
works because of Jim Carrey's performance and the
time of the year. But another one? No.''
director, MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM, whose latest film
The Claim took three years to make, is returning to
England and low-budget film-making for his next project,
24 Hour Party People. The film follows the lives and
changing music scene among a group of friends in Manchester
from 1976 to 1992. Winterbottom, whose previous films
include Welcome to Sarajevo and Wonderland, is not
interested in making expensive projects. ``The sort
I started watching that made me want to make films
were not huge-budget ones,'' he says. ``I just try
and make films that I'm interested in.''
he tends to shun action films nowadays, SEAN CONNERY
would be more than happy to be offered a role in the
next Indiana Jones adventure. The 70-year-old actor
has fond memories of his role as Harrison Ford's cranky
father in the last instalment, Indiana Jones and the
Last Crusade. ``It was hard work with long days and
different locations all over the place, but it was
a fun movie because of the calibre of the actors and
the director, STEVEN SPIELBERG,'' he says. ``It was
a very, very pleasurable experience and I would be
happy to do it again.''
SCOTT is negotiating with actor-playwright SAM SHEPARD
to star in his Black Hawk Down, which is to begin
filming next month and is being produced by JERRY
BRUCKHEIMER. The British director wants Shepard to
play Garrison, a Vietnam War veteran who joins US
troops on a peacekeeping mission to Somalia. JOSH
HARTNETT, who starred in Bruckheimer's Pear Harbour,
will play a young soldier on his first combat mission.
SPIELBERG has withdrawn his application to build a
massive indoor horse riding ring in a residential
area of Los Angeles after complaints from his neighbours.
The Oscar-winning director had expected to spend ð5
million on the project for his wife, actress KATE
CAPSHAW. But he has said in a letter to planning officials
that he may resubmit his application after hearing
the concerns of the residents.
MOORE, famous for her raunchy scenes in Boogie Nights
and The End of the Affair, had her trickiest one yet
in the upcoming film World Traveler. Her love interest
is played by BILLY CRUDUP, who is the best friend
of Moore's boyfriend, BART FREUNDLICH, the film's
director. ``It was really uncomfortable for me,''
Moore tells Jane magazine. ``They kept referring to
it as the scene where the director's girlfriend kisses
one of his best friends. I hate it.'' She says: ``World
Traveller is a very personal film about being a parent.''
But she insists it is not based on her life with Freundlich,
who is the father of her three-year-old son, Caleb.
``Bart says we're going to wear T-shirt that says,
`This is not about us','' she adds.
MALKOVICH has offered the hotel he owns in southern
France as a venue for some of the scenes for his next
film, Ripley's Game, which is due to begin later this
month. It is based on another of the late PATRICIA
HIGHSMITH's novels about the psychopathic imposter
Tom Ripley. The story finds Ripley 20 years after
The Talented Mr Ripley at a dinner party where he
is insulted by another guest. Plotting revenge, he
sets up the man who insulted him to be blamed for
the murder of two Mafia hitmen who had been tracking
Ripley. The success of the Broadway revival of his
1960 play The Best Man has prompted GORE VIDAL to
adopt his novel Burr for the stage. He is at work
on the project, which will be his first piece for
the stage since he completed An Evening with Richard
Nixon and... in 1972. The playwright tells Daily Variety
the play-in-progress is ``about treason, incest and
George Washington's teeth''.
LEONI is happy to be playing second fiddle to dinosaurs
in the second sequel to Jurassic Park, which is filming
in Hawaii. ``I have a lot of friends who have kids
and I've been dying to do a movie where I can bring
them all to the premiere,'' she tells USA Today. She
also says there are adult advantages to the role.
``I'm the only girl, and I'm surrounded by these great
men - MICHAEL JETER, ALESSANDRO NIVOLA, SAM NEILL,
WILLIAM H MACY and TREVOR MORGAN, who plays my son.
``I feel like I'm surrounded by a bunch of brothers.
I've never had this much fun and maybe that's going
to show in the work,'' she says.
RUFFALO, who is being tipped for an Oscar nomination
for his role in You Can Count on Me, has signed to
co-star with ROBERT REDFORD in The Castle. MARK WAHLBERG
was originally due to play the role but pulled out
because of other commitments. In The Castle, which
begins shooting in mid-March, Redford will play a
convicted general who is sent to a maximum security
prison where he turns the convicts - including Ruffalo
- into his own army.
TED TALLY, who won an Oscar for The Silence of the
Lambs is now working on the screenplay for Red Dragon,
the THOMAS HARRIS book which first introduced Hannibal
Lecter to the world. Tally, who passed on writing
the screenplay for the soon-to-be-released Hannibal
because he found the book's violence excessive, is
altering theplot of Red Dragon to feature more of
Lecter because, he says, ANTHONY HOPKINS is willing
to return yet again in the role. In the book Lecter
is behind bars and gives an FBI agent tips on what
maybe in the mind of another serial killer. Instead,
Tally will spring him from prison and let him run
loose. ``But,'' he says, ``I never show Lecter eating
people. It's just too gross. I just imply it.''
former supermodel REBECCA ROMIJN-STAMOS had to learn
to ride a motorcycle while actor CHRIS KLEIN had to
learn to speed skate for their roles in the science-fiction
action-drama Rollerball. A remake of the 1975 film
which starred JAMES CAAN, Rollerball centres on a
futuristic sport that becomes increasingly popular
as its violence escalates. Klein, who stars as an
athlete who finds fame on the rollerball track, spent
six weeks training with members of Canada's Olympic
speed-skating team. ``I've had my fair share of falls
and I've got some pretty good bumps and bruises.''
PHILLIPPE is the actor being mentioned as the leading
contender to star in a feature film based on The Incredible
Hulk comic strip. According to reports Universal is
developing a screenplay which has theHulk's alter
ego BRUCE BANNER on the run after falling victim to
gamma technology. Unlike the television series, which
starred BILL BIXBY, Banner will find romance and also
battle Absorbing Man, a villain from the comic book
British author JOANNE HARRIS'S next book, Five Quarters
of an Orange, has been snapped up by Hollywood even
before she has finished it. ``It's about islanders
who take over a beach, but that's all I can say about
it right now,'' says Harris, whose Chocolat was bought
by producer David Brown and turned into a Golden Globe-nominated
NICOLE SMITH is annoyed at Playboy for running what
she calls ``tacky'' old pictures of her in its February
issue. The former outsize model, who was recently
awarded $300 million from her late husband's estate,
shows off her curves in a nude layout in theearly
90s. Several of the photographs show a smiling Smith
wrapped in mink and dripping diamonds, appearing to
gloat over her riches. Smith's spokesman, David Granoff,
says she refused to cooperate with Playboy's requests
for new pictures and an interview and said the current
unauthorised layout was ``a slap in the face''. ``These
pictures are very tacky,'' he tells the New York Post.
``They are annoying and they make light of her situation.''
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