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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
Dr Mark Greene could die of cancer as scriptwriters
plan his exit from the programme, according to sources
at hit series. ANTHONY EDWARDS has announced he wants
to leave the show when his contract expires next year
season for family reasons. ``I love to act but I don't
want to act every day for 10 months a year and not
see my kids,'' said 38-year-old Edwards. His decision
reportedly came as a surprise to the show's producers,
and he follows GEORGE CLOONEY and JULIANNA MARGULIES,
who have both left the show in the past year.
former supermodel ELLE MACPHERSON shares a passionate
on-screen kiss with STEVEN SPIELBERG's wife in the
film A Girl Thing. Macpherson plays a tough lawyer
on a first date with a woman, played by actress KATE
CAPSHAW. She tells US Weekly: ``Kissing Kate Capshaw
wasn't difficult. She's a very good kisser.'' Meanwhile,
Capshaw said: ``Does Steven mind me kissing someone
else? Yes - resoundingly yes. But he's very supportive.''
Sundance Film Festival has seen MICK JAGGER as a producer,
drumming up interest in the 20 million-dollar movie
Enigma. So far there is no US distributor for the
film which tells how British mathematicians cracked
Nazi coded messages during the Second World War. Playwright
TOM STOPPARD penned the film, MICHAEL APTED took the
helm, while KATE WINSLET, DOUGRAY SCOTT and JEREMY
NORTHAM are the main stars. Apted has said Paramount
Pictures declined to back the film because of its
complicated story and possible eventual expense. Meanwhile,
Jagger said of the film: ``It doesn't have a distributor,
it's not from a big studio, it's made with independent
money and in England.''
sensation MARC ANTHONY has turned down a major film
role to take the smaller role of SALMA HAYEK's lover.
Anthony, who previously appeared in Bringing Out the
Dead, will play a college professor in the movie In
the Time of Butterflies. It is based on the true story
of three sisters slain in 1960 for their opposition
to Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo. ``They
wanted me to play a husband but I picked a smaller,
more poignant role,'' he tells the New York Daily
News. ``Bragging rights, you know. I'm a Latino man
and she's the hottest Latina out there.''
'N Sync members LANCE BASS and JOEY FATONE are to
star in a romantic comedy, On the Line, which is set
for production in March. They will play best friends
on the trail of a woman they met on a commuter train.
Bass will also be one of the producers of the project,
along with 'N Sync manager JOHNNY WRIGHT.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR has signed to appear in a dozen more
episodes of the TV series Ally McBeal as the love
interest of CALISTA FLOCKHART's character. The 35-year-old
actor, whose guest appearances on the series this
season boosted ratings and won him a Golden Globe
award, is due in court again next Monday on drug charges.
If convicted he faces 56 months in jail. Depending
upon what happens in court, he is expected to be back
on the Ally McBeal set later next week.
With a Golden Globe award for the Chinese martial
arts drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, director
ANG LEE is now turning to different pastures. Lee,
who has helmed diverse films like Sense and Sensibility
and The Ice Storm, will next direct Same Old Song
a contemporary musical set in New York. ``It's really
a very small romantic comedy with musical elements,''
he says. ``I want to do something refreshing.'' To
prepare himself, Lee has been watching a wide range
of musicals ranging from ERNST LUBITSCH films to Hong
Kong operettas to Indian musicals. ``It's a new genre
for me. I've never done it so there's a process of
learning,'' he tells USA Today.
IFANS is to co-star with KEVIN SPACEY in The Shipping
News. The Welsh-born actor will play an English newspaperman
named Nutbeem who is the foreign editor of a Newfoundland
newspaper called the Gammy Bird. Ifans, who played
Hugh Grant's room-mate in Notting Hill and then appeared
in Little Nicky and The Replacements begins work on
the film in March. Spacey plays a newspaper reporter
who moves to the Newfoundland coast after his cheating
wife is killed in a car accident. He then falls in
love with a lonely single mother played by JULIANNE
MOORE. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by
E Annie Proulx, The Shipping News is being directed
by LASSE HALLSTROM.
low-budget film featuring BRITNEY SPEARS playing an
airline flight attendant is due to be released in
late spring. Longshot, which was filmed in 1999 also
features Spears' boyfriend, 'N Sync's JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE,
in a cameo role as a parking valet. But her role is
a small one. ``We only had her for half an hour,''
says Longshot director LIONEL MARTIN. ``She plays
a flight attendant and the captain of the plane is
KENNY ROGERS. The movie has a bit of that Airplane!
feel.'' The singer makes her first full-length feature
film debut later this year in an as yet untitled film
financed by her record label, Jive Records. The film
will follow her and two friends across America to
a music contest.
BASINGER has lodged a protest with New York's famous
Stage Deli because the restaurant has named a bacon
and chicken sandwich after her. Basinger, 47, is a
strict vegetarian, a vocal animal rights activist
and supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals, which has also protested to the restaurant.
But the Stage's manager, Gil Kashkin, told the New
York Post: ``Like we do with every celebrity, we asked
her what her favourite foods were and she told us
chicken and bacon.''
JOE ESZTERHAS has signed a deal to write two books,
and one will be an expose of what goes on behind the
scenes in Hollywood. Eszterhas's films include Basic
Instinct and Showgirls, and his last book was the
controversial American Rhapsody. He has promised to
have this book ready in time for the Oscars next year.
Miramax Films's controversial film O is to be released
this spring after sitting on the shelf for more than
a year. Set at a private school, this version of William
Shakespeare's Othello has a rape scene and a bloody
ending in which four of the leading characters die.
Its release was originally delayed because of the
Columbine high school massacre in Colorado. Then came
the presidential campaign in which Vice President
Al Gore and running mate, Senator Joe Lieberman, sought
to crack down on Hollywood violence. Miramax believes
such a long delay has helped the film. Its then unknown
young stars, JULIA STILES and JOSH HARNETT, are now
becoming big names. O will be released shortly after
Pearl Harbour, the big-budget Second World War drama
in which Harnett co-stars with BEN AFFLECK.
another star name has been added to the celebrity-studded
cast of the Ocean's Eleven remake. ANDY GARCIA is
to play the owner of a casino which is the target
of a gang of robbers led by GEORGE CLOONEY's Danny
Ocean. Garcia's character is seeing Ocean's girlfriend,
who will be played by JULIA ROBERTS in the reworked
version of the 1960 film which starred FRANK SINATRA
and his Rat Pack. The new version, directed by STEVEN
SODERBERGH, also stars BRAD PITT, MATT DAMON and CHRISTOPHER
NATASCHA McELHONE, whose leading men have so far included
ROBERT DE NIRO, HARRISON FORD and JIM CARREY, will
be escaping the British winter next month. The London-born
actress will be going on location to Cambodia and
Thailand to star with MATT DILLON and JAMES CAAN in
Beneath the Banyan Trees. Dillon makes his directorial
debut, also playing an American con man involved in
a failed insurance racket, while McElhone will be
his love interest. Filming begins on February 12 in
Cambodia for five weeks, then moves to Thailand for
another three. TREVOR NUNN has persuaded GLENN CLOSE
to make her London debut as Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar
Named Desire. The director also wants NICOLE KIDMAN
to return to the British stage after her acclaimed
performance in The Blue Room. He is hoping to tempt
her to star in Ibsen's The Lady From the Sea. Kidman
has just finished filming the supernatural thriller
The Others in Spain.
SHEPHERD has been sacked as the host of her daily
TV talk show Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
The show has suffered from low ratings ever since
it went on the air last year. It was the Moonlighting
actress's first venture as a talk show host. She is
being replaced by a panel of five people, including
former Penthouse Pet, SAM PHILLIPS, and JOHN DE LOREAN's
ex-wife, CHRISTINE FERRARE. ``Cybill was fine but
the format of the show just didn't work,'' said a
ROBIN WILLIAMS is joining ANTONIO BANDERAS and RENEE
ZELLWEGER to star in the story of the 1911 theft of
the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. Williams will play
the role of Marquis in the romantic comedy Lovers,
Liars and Thieves. He and fellow thief Phoebe, played
by Zellweger, convince a Louvre carpenter - Banderas
- that the Mona Lisa belongs in Italy. The film, which
is due to begin shooting in Europe on April 2, has
been in development for six years. Williams has just
finished filming the suspense drama One Hour Photo
and the black comedy Death to Smoochy. Zellweger as
Bridget Jones's Diary awaiting release while Banderas
recently finished co-starring with ANGELINA JOLIE
in Original Sin.
Elliott director STEPHEN DALDRY is packing the cast
of his first Hollywood film, The Hours, with well-known
actors and actresses. His three stars, MERYL STREEP,
NICOLE KIDMAN and JULIANNE MOORE, will join British
stage actors EILEEN ATKINS and STEVEN DILLANE, along
with Emmy winner ALLISON JANNEY, CLAIRE DANES and
ED HARRIS. The story of three women in different eras
begins shooting in London and New York next month.
star JASON STATHAM, now in Hollywood demand, has signed
to co-star with the martial arts expert JET LI in
the sci-fi thriller The One. The British actor will
play a futuristic agent who patrols the universe trying
to stop a renegade played by Li from going on a killing
spree. He has just finished filming The Ghosts of
Mars with ICE CUBE and NATASHA HENSTRIDGE.
SILVER will play boxing trainer ANGELO DUNDEE in the
MUHAMMAD ALI film biography Ali. WILL SMITH stars
as the former heavyweight champion and, director MICHAEL
MANN is looking for stars to make cameo appearances
as MALCOLM X, MARTIN LUTHER KING and boxing fan IDI
L JACKSON is denying rumours that he will play the
REV JESSE JACKSON. ``No chance at all on that one,''
CONNOLLY is heading for Australia to join JUDY DAVIS
in The Man Who Sued God, which begins shooting in
Sydney next month. The Scottish comedian, whose wife
Pamela is Australian, will play a fisherman whose
boat is struck by lightning. When insurers refuse
reimbursement, deeming the incident an ``act of God'',
he tries to sue God. Connolly was recently seen in
the comedy An Everlasting Piece and has Beautiful
Joe with SHARON STONE awaiting release.
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