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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
KIDMAN has reportedly promised 20th Century Fox she
will promote her new film Moulin Rouge worldwide.
The move leaves Kidman open to inevitable questions
about her pending divorce from TOM CRUISE. The Australian
actress, who is recuperating from a knee injury that
forced her to pull out of The Panic Room, is due to
begin work on British director STEPHEN DALDRY's The
Hours in London in May. She is also talking to Danish
director LARS VON TRIER about starring in his next
film Dogville. Von Trier, who won the top prize at
the Cannes Film Festival with Dancer in the Dark,
wrote the script for the 1930s drama with Kidman in
mind and has already cast the British actress KATRIN
CARTLIDGE in a co-starring role.
British actress KATE BECKINSALE will be returning
to Hawaii for the premiere of Disney's $100 million
Second World War epic Pearl Harbour. Producer JERRY
BRUCKHEIMER is planning a spectacular party, with
more than 2,000 guests, including survivors of the
1941 Japanese attack on the deck of the nuclear aircraft
carrier USS John Stennis. The film will be shown on
one of the world's largest screens and an 80-member
Hawaiian choir will perform, along with a Navy group
called the Sea Chanters. Beckinsale
and her co-stars, BEN AFFLECK and JOSH HARTNETT, spent
most of last year filming Pearl Harbour at the site
where the attack occurred and on locations around
the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
STREEP has signed to appear in director STEVEN SPIELBERG's
Minority Report, which has just started production
in Los Angeles. The Oscar-winning actress, who recently
finished filming The Women, will have a small role
in the sci-fi drama, which stars TOM CRUISE and COLIN
FARRELL. Based on a story by Blade Runner author PHILIP
DICK, Minority Report is set in a futuristic judicial
system in which killers are arrested and convicted
before they commit murder.
HOUSTON will meet James Bond producers BARBARA BROCCOLI
and MICHAEL WILSON to discuss co-starring with Pierce
Brosnan in the next 007 film. MGM spokeswoman AMANDA
LUNDBERG and Houston's representative, NANCY SELTZER,
would confirm only that a meeting is to take place.
The next Bond instalment is set to begin filming later
this year but as yet there is no title or any signed
contracts. The most recent Bond girl was DENISE RICHARDS,
who co-starred in The World Is Not Enough.
JOHN CLEESE is to star in his first American television
series, playing the medical director at a Fawlty Towers-style
hospital. Called HMO, the series stands for ``health
maintenance organisation'' and will focus on the absurdities
of the American system of health care. The former
Monty Python actor, who now lives in Santa Barbara,
California, has made guest appearances on 3rd Rock
From the Sun and been a consultant on other comedy
star STEVEN SEAGAL is back, slimmed down and toned
up, in a new hit film after a three-year absence from
cinema screens. Producer JOEL SILVER, who chose Seagal
to star as a Detroit cop in Exit Wounds, tells the
Los Angeles Times: ``I told him, `If you want the
part, you gotta lose the weight, get a haircut and
change your wardrobe'.'' Silver added: ``He's not
fat and he's not wearing any Navajo blankets.'' The
producer hired the rap star DMX to play Seagal's partner,
saying: ``I just thought mixing up hip-hop and martial
arts would be a great combination.'' Exit Wounds is
currently top of the US film box office charts.
HANKS and STEVEN SPIELBERG will premiere their 10-hour
Second World War TV series Band of Brothers in Normandy
on the anniversary of D-Day. ``We'll be sitting with
some of the veterans we're playing in the show,''
says DONNIE WAHLBERG, who stars in the series and
spent nine months filming the $100 million project
in England last year. ``It's going to be very, very
JODIE FOSTER, who turned down the role of Clarice
Starling in Hannibal, is deciding whether to star
in the Western, One Hundred Years On. Foster is being
wooed to sign on as a female cattle rancher whose
livelihood is threatened by greedy interlopers. While
it may not appear to be groundbreaking, all the major
roles - good and bad - will be played by women. Studio
executives hope this feminist spin will appeal to
Foster as she has already agreed to produce the film.
Australian actor-singer HUGH JACKMAN will be househunting
in London this summer. ``I've got more relatives in
London than I have in Australia,'' says Jackman, whose
parents were born in Britain. His urge to establish
a base in London with his wife and son was boosted
when he worked with former football hardman VINNIE
JONES and JOHN TRAVOLTA on the thriller Swordfish.
``Vinnie's a great guy,'' he said. ``We had a lot
of laughs together. He's very proud to be British
- he has Union Jacks stuck everywhere.'' Jackman,
who returns as Wolverine in X-Men 2 when it begins
filming in December, has also starred on the London
stage in Oklahoma!
CHRIS O'DONNELL has left the snow-covered mountains
of Vertical Limit for the California desert where
he is shooting the dark thriller 29 Palms. ``It's
a little change of pace for me,'' said O'Donnell,
who sports moustache and goatee for the role. ``It's
a little warmer than the top of a mountain.''
DEPP became a regular visitor to jailed international
criminal and drug smuggler GEORGE JUNG as he prepared
for his role in the film Blow. Depp, who portrays
Jung in the film based on the drug trafficker's life,
admits he became fascinated with him and would like
to see him freed. ``He really saw himself as a modern-day
pirate,'' said Depp of Jung, who will be in jail at
least until the year 2014. ``He needed the rush. The
excitement and the danger became the high for him
- the drugs were just incidental. ``He never thought
of himself as a bad guy. He won't get out of prison
until he's 72. ``Other people involved in the same
bust got two to three years. I think he's paid his
debt.'' PENELOPE CRUZ co-stars with Depp as Jung's
QUENTIN TARANTINO is planning a prequel to his hit
film Pulp Fiction which will star JOHN TRAVOLTA and
MICHAEL MADSEN. They have both committed themselves
to the project, according to New York magazine. The
film will be called The Vega Brothers after Travolta's
Vincent Vega character in Pulp Fiction and Madsen's
Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs. A source close to Tarantino
says the film-maker first plans to shoot Kill Bill
in which UMA THURMAN plays a coma victim and then
his Second World War picture Glorious Bastards.
HURLEY says Friends star MATTHEW PERRY is ``getting
better every day''. The actor, who is in rehab fighting
drug addiction, co-stars with the British model-actress
in the comedy Servicing Sara, which has halted production
until he returns. ``Of course I'm anxious to wrap
our movie which is on hold, but the most important
thing is his 100% recovery,'' said Hurley at a Tribute
to Style event in Los Angeles.
McBeal star CALISTA FLOCKHART is set to follow fellow
Americans KATHLEEN TURNER and MACAULAY CULKIN on to
the London stage. The 36-year-old actress is to play
heiress Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story - the
role KATHERINE HEPBURN assumed on stage and in the
1940 film. The production, which will also star GWYNETH
PALTROW's mother BLYTHE DANNER, will begin previews
on May 21 before a June opening. It is expected to
run for at least 10 weeks, according to the Hollywood
Reporter, depending on Flockhart's commitment to Ally
STANLEY TUCCI is to play comedian GROUCHO MARX in
a two-hour television film. It will be based on the
book Love, Groucho: Letters from Groucho Marx to his
Daughter Miriam by MIRIAM MARX ALLEN. The film will
trace the tempestuous 40-year relationship between
the cigar-smoking comic and his daughter. This all
takes place against the backdrop of his turbulent
personal life and showbusiness success, first with
his brothers and later as the host of the TV show
You Bet Your Life. No actors have yet been cast for
the roles of the other Marx brothers, Harpo and Chico.
Tucci's Marx role follows his award-winning portrayal
of the controversial newspaper columnist WALTER WINCHELL
in the made-for-TV film Winchell.
BARBRA STREISAND is reportedly interested in producing
a film based on the life of SYLVESTER STALLONE's mother
Jackie, starring SHIRLEY MACLAINE. Streisand has discussed
the project with Stallone, although it could be some
time before a script is written, according to gossip
columnist LIZ SMITH. JACKIE STALLONE was born in Paris
and has been a trapeze artist, a hairdresser, a dermatologist
and, most famously, a psychic.
cinematographer JACK CARDIFF will return straight
to work after receiving the first honorary Oscar ever
given for achievements. Cardiff, 86, will accept the
award at Sunday's Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles,
then begin work in England on a new low-budget British
film, Sabina Anima. It is based on a true story of
a Russian Jewish woman with mental problems who embarks
on a doomed love affair with psychoanalyst CARL JUNG.
``It will be interesting,'' Cardiff tells the Los
Angeles Times. ``The woman has mental disorders which
will allow me to use some strange lighting.'' There
is also a strong family link behind the picture, with
one of his four sons, MASON CARDIFF, assuming the
role of co-producer.
British TV personality and model KELLY BROOK is to
star in her own US television series. She will play
the lead in The (Mis)adventures of Fiona Plum, a weekly
comedy about a young, spoiled British witch. Her plum
role will see her banished by her father to Seattle
to work for a typical American family until she learns
to behave properly. It will air on the Warner Bros
TV network, along with the established witch comedy
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
hopes to persuade MTV and VH-1 to air her new video
on a regular basis after both said they plan to limit
it to only one late-night showing. Executives say
the video, directed by Madonna's husband GUY RITCHIE,
is too violent to be shown regularly. In the video
for What It Feels Like For a Girl, Madonna plays an
angry woman on a crime spree. Her publicist LIZ ROSENBERG
confirms: ``There is a lot of violence in the video.
It tells the story of a woman who has probably been
abused. ``It's very strong. It's not the last video
you'd want to see before going to sleep at night.''
An MTV spokeswoman said executives had not asked for
any cuts, but the network would only air the four-and-a-half
minute video once late at night. Three of this year's
Oscar nominees are in final negotiations to star together
in a fact-based romantic epic.
BINOCHE, nominated for Chocolat, BENICIO DEL TORO
(Traffic) and GEOFFREY RUSH (Quills) will head the
cast of The Assumption of the Virgin. Oscar-winning
writer-director ANTHONY MINGHELLA has written the
tale about the taboo romance between the painter FRA
LIPPI and a nun who poses for him. It will also star
one of last year's nominees, CHLOE SEVIGNY (Boys Don't
Cry), and will be co-produced by Minghella and his
American partner in Mirage Enterprises, SYDNEY POLLACK.
``Lippi is a hedonistic, extraordinarily physical
guy who, even though he was a monk, was a notorious
womaniser who fell in love with a deeply religious
nun,'' Pollack tells Daily Variety. The story, which
takes place during the Italian Renaissance in 15th-century
Florence, was discovered and brought to Mirage by
Minghella's wife, CAROLYN CHOPA.
ROBERT LUDLUM, who died last weekend aged 73, left
the outlines for as many as a dozen new books, according
to his agent HENRY MORRISON. Morrison tells USA Today
the author had told him: ``I've got more ideas in
my head than I can ever write.'' He said Ludlum's
background as a professional actor and director for
20 years had helped his writing, adding: ``Great characters
turned him on.'' Ludlum's works will be boosted by
the release in May of the film version of his thriller,
The Bourne Identity, which stars MATT DAMON. A new
hardcover, The Sigma Protocol, which he completed
before he died, will be in the stores in October.
US Secret Service is trying to trace a stack of fake
100-dollar bills stolen from the set of Rush Hour
2. Film-makers behind the highly anticipated sequel
to the 1998 action blockbuster, which stars CHRIS
TUCKER and JACKIE CHAN, minted tens of millions of
the fake bills for Las Vegas casino scenes. Somebody
stole a stack of the bills, which bear the phrase
In Dog We Trust, and managed to spend several of them
undetected. Secret Service officers have seized the
remaining false cash.
Malaysian-born action star MICHELLE YEOH will be speaking
in English for her next film. The former James Bond
girl will be using her athletic abilities as the star
of The Touch, a romantic action-adventure about a
family of circus acrobats. ``I enjoy action films
but I'd like to do a romantic comedy,'' says the 38-year-old
actress. ``It's less taxing on the body.'' Yeoh had
to learn Mandarin phonetically for her role in the
Oscar-nominated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
HANKS could receive his third Oscar this year for
his role in Cast Away, but behind the actor's famous
smile, there's secret heartache. His first wife, SUSAN
DILLINGHAM, mother of his children Colin and Elizabeth,
is dying of cancer. The couple married in 1982 and
were divorced in 1987. ``We tried to make out marriage
work, but we were both too young,'' Hanks says. Now
Hanks, who is married to actress RITA WILSON, is making
sure his ex-wife has the best medical care in the
few months she has left to live. A friend says: ``Tom
is feeling pain for Susan, for the loss their children
are going to suffer and sadness when he remembers
the happy days falling in love with Susan when they
were students together at Cal State University. ``Oscar
night is just bringing him one day closer to losing
knows CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and husband MICHAEL DOUGLAS
are doting parents to baby Dylan. But you may not
know their biggest terror is that their baby will
be kidnapped. Douglas, son of movie legend KIRK DOUGLAS,
admits his fears are rooted in an attempt to kidnap
him when he was just a little boy. ``When I was six,
living in New York City, a couple of guys approached
me outside my apartment building and I ran down into
the basement and hid under a boiler,'' he remembers.
``I could see them. They waited and waited. I will
never forget.'' Douglas knew the basement had a lift,
so he made a dash for the doors and made his escape.
``The elevator had one of those porthole doors. I
got into it, pushed the button, and I saw the guy's
face right in front of me as I was peering out before
the lift went up. It was pretty traumatic.'' Douglas
and Zeta-Jones won't reveal the level of security
that surrounds baby Dylan every day of his life, but
he says: ``Obviously, there are precautions taken.''
His new movie, Don't Say a Word, is about a man racing
to rescue his kidnapped child.
veteran JAMES GARNER, 73, has no time for his contemporaries
who keep trading in their wives for younger models.
``I can't say I agree with those May-December romances,''
Garner says. ``Yet I see it happening all the time.
``It's not unusual for a 65-year-old actor, producer
or director to be dating a woman who is only 30, or
sometimes even younger. ``Even if I were single, I
still couldn't see myself dating a younger woman.
To me, it's embarrassing. ``There's no fool like an
old fool, and these old goats - they don't even know
how foolish they look. I feel sorry for them.'' Garner
and his wife Lois have been married for nearly 45
years, and he says: ``We have the pleasure of a shared
history, but she can still surprise me and I still
Pop sensation MANDY MOORE is heading for big screen
romance. The teenage chart-topper is in talks to star
in a romance feature called A Walk to Remember, with
American actor ADAM WEST. Moore will play a naive,
innocent girl, made fun of by an older boy (West)
and his friends, until they discover she is dying.
The film is based on a book by NICHOLAS SPARKS, whose
novels Message in a Bottle and The Love Letter have
also been made into popular movies.
Aussie supermodel ELLE MACPHERSON, nicknamed simply
The Body, is still the most highly paid woman on the
catwalk. Macpherson earns a whopping 40.3 million
dollars per year. Strutting close behind her is Cindy
Crawford with 37.7 million dollars, then Claudia Schiffer
at 36 million dollars. Linda Evangelista and Naomi
Campbell follow with 29.8 million dollars and 28.9
million dollars, respectively.
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