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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
has dropped its plans for a sequel to Basic Instinct
as SHARON STONE filed a lawsuit for 10 million, saying
producers had promised her the sum. She claims producers
ANDY VAJNA and MARIO KASSAR agreed to pay her the
money even if the film never got made. Stone is also
seeking a share of gross profits if the film is ever
produced, regardless of its title or who plays her
role. In her lawsuit, Stone says she rejected other
offers, learned her lines, attended wardrobe and make-up
sessions and moved to a health and fitness spa to
prepare for Basic Instinct 2. Since she agreed to
return in her role as the ice pick-wielding novelist
Catherine Tramell last June, a series of leading men
have been considered but no one was hired. Among those
who were rejected or turned down the role were MICHAEL
DOUGLAS, KURT RUSSELL, BRUCE GREENWOOD, BENJAMIN BRATT
and PIERCE BROSNAN.
director SIMON WEST had an unusual condition attached
to his contract with Paramount Pictures to bring video
game Tomb Raider to the screen. ``I said I'd do it
only if I could change every single thing in the script
apart from the name,'' West told a Los Angeles press
conference. ``It had been written by Americans for
Americans and it was full of jokes about drinking
tea and visits to the Queen and funny red buses and
cheery Cockneys. It was like a vision of England from
the 50s. ``I looked on it as a matter of national
pride to change it and make it like James Bond on
acid - slightly sadistic, supercool, with a surreal
Quinn, who died last week aged 86, has a scene in
a forthcoming film in which he plays his own death
scene. In Avenging Angelo, Quinn portrays a Mafia
don whose daughter seeks revenge when he is murdered.
Quinn finished filming his scenes just before he died.
His co-star, SYLVESTER STALLONE, who plays the don's
bodyguard, said: ``Anthony was a generous man, a brilliant
actor and a true professional. I will miss him.''
Double Oscar winner DUSTIN HOFFMAN is virtually taking
over the film adaptation of SCOTT TUROW's legal thriller
Personal Injuries. Hoffman has bought the film rights
to the project and will produce, direct and star in
it for the Walt Disney Company. Hoffman will play
a lawyer who is pressured into assisting in the FBI
in a sting operation after being caught bribing juries
to win favourable decisions. It will mark his directing
MILLS says she has persuaded her boyfriend SIR PAUL
McCARTNEY to perform ``some new stuff'' for the audience
at her Adopt-a-Minefield benefit in Los Angeles on
June 14. PAUL SIMON will also perform and JAY LENO
will be the host of the event, at the Regent Beverly
Wilshire Hotel, where Mills will present an award
to an activist who lost a leg to a mine.
NICOLE KIDMAN has two more weeks work to do in England
on STEPHEN DALDRY's film The Hours before heading
back to Australia for a long holiday. ``I don't want
to work for the rest of the year,'' she tells USA
Today. ``I'm just trying to take care of my kids and
stay close to my mum and dad.'' Kidman, who turns
34 on June 20, plays Virginia Woolf in The Hours,
co-starring with MERYL STREEP, JULIANNE MOORE and
British actor TIM ROTH had to conceal his feelings
towards gun advocate CHARLTON HESTON when they worked
together on writer-director TIM BURTON's Planet of
the Apes. ``I have great disagreements with everything
he stands for,'' Roth tells the July issue of Premiere
magazine. ``I had to treat him with respect, as I
would any actor, and so I did.'' Heston, the president
of the National Rifle Association, starred in the
1968 original Planet of the Apes and plays Roth's
ape father in the new version, which is due to be
released this summer.
Director WOLFGANG PETERSEN will follow up The Perfect
Storm by returning to sea to film the story of the
heroic Antarctic explorer SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON. He
wants RUSSELL CROWE or MEL GIBSON to star in the film,
which will tell of Shackleton's death-defying journey
across sea and ice to save the crew of his icebound
ship Endurance. ``I never get tired of ship movies,''
said Petersen, who also directed the German submarine
classic Das Boot. ``But this may be the last. This
time I get to destroy the boat by crushing it and
putting it under the ice. ``In a way the film will
be the opposite of The Perfect Storm. In this one
they all survive,'' he tells USA Today. ``And it's
very nice to have that for a change.''
Action star JACKIE CHAN is keeping the martial arts
to a minimum in favour of acting for his next film,
Tuxedo, a drama produced by STEVEN SPIELBERG. ``I
don't like people always talking about Jackie Chan
the action star,'' he said in an interview in Los
Angeles to promote his latest film, Rush Hour 2. ``I
want to be an actor. An actor has a life that goes
on forever.'' In Tuxedo he plays a taxi driver who
cannot resist trying on the clothes of a wealthy man
who has slipped into a coma. As with most Spielberg
projects, details of the plot are being kept secret.
th e hit Broadway show The Producers moves to London,
it will have two British stars in the roles currently
played by NATHAN LANE and MATTHEW BRODERICK, according
to the show's creator, MEL BROOKS. The two leading
contenders, he said, are ALAN CUMMING and ALFRED MOLINA
``and a whole lot of people who can dance and sing''.
Brooks tells Daily Variety that, following the success
of The Producers, he is contemplating turning his
1974 film comedy Young Frankenstein into a stage musical.
Producer MACE NEUFELD is looking for a major Hollywood
star to take the leading role in a remake of the 1950
film State Secret. Neufeld, currently working on the
film adaptation of TOM CLANCY's The Sum of All Fears
with BEN AFFLECK, believes State Secret has all the
elements of a contemporary political thriller. The
original starred DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR as an American
surgeon who travels to an Eastern European country
for a medical function and finds the country's leader
has been murdered and replaced by a lookalike. ``You
can still set it in an Eastern European country and
make a great chase film that makes a pretty strong
political statement as well,'' said Neufeld, whose
recent credits include Bless the Child and The General's
PETER CHELSOM's film Town and Country, which starred
WARREN BEATTY, DIANE KEATON and GOLDIE HAWN, is officially
the biggest film flop of all time. The film, which
cost 60 million to make has earned a paltry 4 million
in four weeks of release and has now been pulled from
US cinemas. According to The Top Ten of Everything,
Town and Country has beaten the previous biggest money-loser,
GEENA DAVIS's pirate film Cutthroat Island, by several
million dollars. Another Warren Beatty film, Ishtar,
features prominently on all lists of flops.
original cast member SHERRY STRINGFIELD, who walked
out after the show's third season, is to return for
the next three as Dr Susan Lewis. Stringfield said
she left the show because she became tired of the
media circus that surrounded the top-rated drama and
she ``needed a life''. Now, she says, she is returning
because ``I just felt like really working again and
it was the obvious choice for me. It's a great show
and I certainly didn't leave on bad terms''. She tells
Daily Variety she has no regrets that her cast mates
became the highest paid dramatic television stars
of all time after she left the show. ``I was happy
for them,'' she said. ``But I totally believe I did
the right thing at the time.'' MAX BROOKS, the 29-year-old
son of MEL BROOKS and ANNE BANCROFT, is following
his parents into showbusiness. He has sold his first
script, More Than Meets the Eye, about children who
become their favourite action figure toys. He has
a hard act to follow because his father's hit show
The Producers made entertainment history on Sunday
by winning 12 Tony awards. ``I've no desire to become
the next king of Jewish immigrant comics, but I am
so proud of my old man,'' commented Max.
WILSON is set to take the leading role in the British
National Theatre's production of Oklahoma! when it
moves to New York next season. He is currently starring
in the Broadway production of The Full Monty. Oklahoma!,
which starred HUGH JACKMAN during its London run,
is directed by TREVOR NUNN and choreographed by SUSAN
TURNER is currently on tour to promote his latest
album Here and Now - his first in 23 years. The 69-year-old
singer says it has taken him so long to make it because
he was afraid to perform solo after his wife TINA
TURNER left him in 1976. Now he tells Entertainment
Weekly: ``I have nothing against Tina. She's just
another act. I'm totally disconnected with her.''
JOHN TRAVOLTA and BARBRA STREISAND are hoping to fulfil
their long-held ambition to do a musical together
if they can find the right material. ``We've talked
about it for 22 years,'' said Travolta, who is promoting
his latest film, Swordfish. ``I've been pitched at
least a couple of thousand musical ideas over the
years and seen about a thousand scripts. It's not
that we don't want to do it - no one is creating the
right material.'' Travolta made his name with Saturday
Night Fever, but has not appeared in a musical since
Grease in 1978.
HOPKINS' next role will be as a mysterious man who
moves in upstairs to a brilliant boy in the film adaptation
of the STEPHEN KING book Hearts of Atlantis. In the
King story he turns out to be an alien but director
SCOTT HICKS has made him an ordinary earthling. ``We've
chosen to keep the story grounded in the real world,''
he tells USA Today. ``I decided you were ultimately
more engaged with the character if he was a real human
being.'' He has also stayed away from special effects
although the story tells of how the man's eyes behave
in curious ways. ``Once I had Tony Hopkins I thought,
`I've got one of the greatest special effects in the
world','' said Hicks. ``Hopkins has an extraordinary
ability to commune with the camera in a way that few
CLOONEY and his producing partner, Oscar-winning director
STEVEN SODERBERGH, are to develop a film based on
the life of a wily undercover US revenue agent. Clooney
is also expected to star in the film, playing GARLAND
BUNTING, who became the scourge of bootleggers in
North Carolina during the late 1950s. Soderbergh is
putting the finishing touches of Ocean's Eleven, which
stars Clooney, BRAD PITT, MATT DAMON and JULIA ROBERTS.
the success of the animated comedy Shrek, plans are
already u nder way for a sequel. Based on WILLIAM
STEIG's children's book of the same name, the fairy
tale, featuring the voices of MIKE MYERS, EDDIE MURPHY
and CAMERON DIAZ, has grossed nearly 100 million in
its opening two weeks. Shrek took nearly five years
to bring to the screen, but the sequel will be a much
more rapid process. ``Part of those five years was
shaping that world and defining the characters,''
said co-writer and co-producer TERRY ROSSIO. ``The
real fun of the sequel is revisiting those characters.
Now we can go back and get into some of those unexplored
newly-wed BROOKE SHIELDS is cutting short her honeymoon
with writer-producer CHRIS HENCHY to begin rehearsals
in New York for her next project. The former wife
of ANDRE AGASSI will replace GINA GERSHON as Sally
Bowles in the Broadway musical Cabaret - a role originally
played by LIZA MINELLI.
SINATRA's widow Barbara has moved out of the Beverly
Hills home where they were living when he died and
moved into a high security, high rise block of flats
nearby. BARBARA SINATRA, who was recently mugged while
walking in the street near her house, paid 2 million
for the four-bedroom penthouse.
British director SIMON WEST was already thinking about
a follow-up to Tomb Raider while he was still shooting
the movie. ``ANGELINA JOLIE and I were talking about
a sequel until the last day of filming,'' he says.
``I had to cut out so many ideas that there is enough
material to do a sequel straight away.'' West, whose
previous films include Con-Air and The General's Daughter,
is still working on a plan to bring the cult television
series The Prisoner to the big screen.
pop singer ENRIQUE IGLESIAS will make his acting debut
in ROBERT RODRIGUEZ's Once Upon a Time in Mexico,
which begins filming this week. Iglesias, the son
of Julio, will play one of three mariachis alongside
ANTONIO BANDERAS and MARCO LEONARDI. The star-packed
cast also includes JOHNNY DEPP, QUENTIN TARANTINO,
SALMA HAYEK, MICKEY ROURKE and WILLEM DAFOE. Once
Upon a Time in Mexico is Rodriguez's third instalment
in the trilogy that began with 1992's El Mariachi
and continued with 1995's Desperado, which also starred
comic scenes in Rush Hour 2 where CHRIS TUCKER and
JACKIE CHAN cannot understand each other are based
on fact. Producer ART SARKISSIAN says: ``They hadn't
seen each other since making the first Rush Hour and
when they did meet up again they were still having
trouble understanding each other. ``It works in the
movie because it really is how they are. They genuinely
try very hard to get what the other is saying.''
NICKS is vowing to prod her former Fleetwood Mac stars
back into the recording studio even though CHRISTIE
McVIE has said she will not return. ``I'm going to
make it happen. I'll haunt them,'' she tells USA Today.
FLEETWOOD and JOHN McVIE are eager to reunite and
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM is already studying 17 of Nicks's
demo tapes, according to Nicks. ``We've given Christine
three years and she doesn't want to do it anymore.
Without her influence it goes back to me and Lindsey
singing, which is how we started,'' she says. ``It
puts the focus back on guitars so we can have more
touches of the blues and ZZ Top-type rock we love.
It's going to be fun and absolutely different.'' Fleetwood
Mac, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of Rumours
in 1997 with a reunion tour, will not return to the
stage before recording and releasing new material,
says Nicks. ``We're not going to sell out and go on
the road just to make money,'' she said. ``We could
have done that every year since 1983.''
ALAN CUMMING, who wrote, directed and starred in The
Anniversary Party with JENNIFER JASON LEIGH, is now
planning his next directing job. ``I want to do a
film about people in London,'' Cumming tells Entertainment
Weekly magazine. He says he plans to make a documentary
about his friends, then fictionalise it and shoot
it as a feature film. ``Some of the people are actors
and some are normal people, so if I do the documentary
first, they can get used to the camera,'' he adds.
He will begin work on it after he finishes his first
novel, Tommy's Tale, which is due at the publisher's
later this year.
PRIESTLEY, who left Beverly Hills 90210 two years
ago, has signed on for another television series.
He will star in the drug drama Dope, which follows
the path of a kilo of heroin that bands together a
disparate group of characters.