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week 46-00
ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...

MICHAEL CAINE was injured when he fell into a 12ft pit while filming the comedy Miss Congeniality, but was healed by Chinese medicine practitioners, according to the film's producer and co-star SANDRA BULLOCK. The pit was filled with lighting equipment when 67-year-old Caine toppled in, she said. "We all rushed over and we could just glimpse his purple shirt through all the metal,'' Bullock tells the December issue of W magazine. "I thought, `Oh my God! I've killed Michael Caine!' "He wasn't moving and we were really worried. But then he crawled out and he had all these cuts and gouges all over him. We had these Chinese medicine practitioners on the set and they tended to him right away. "The next day he came bouncing in and said he was fine. He claimed it was because of the Chinese medicine.''

ANTHONY HOPKINS has reportedly already expressed interest in portraying Hannibal Lecter for a third time in another sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. With Hannibal still awaiting release, the veteran producer DINO DE LAURENTIIS is already at work on bringing author THOMAS HARRIS's 1981 novel Red Dragon to the screen. The book was the first of Harris's novels to introduce Lecter and was previously filmed in 1986 as Manhunter with Brian Cox as Lecter. "Red Dragon is about the crime Hannibal Lecter committed and the way he was arrested,'' De Laurentiis told the Hollywood Reporter. "The audience would like to know - once and for all - why, where and by whom Hannibal Lecter was arrested.'' Hopkins has reportedly told De Laurentiis that he will return as the cannibal-psychiatrist if he thinks the script is a good one.

NICOLE KIDMAN is back in Spain to resume filming the psychological thriller The Others after taking a month off with a knee injury. She returned to California for treatment to the injury, which she originally sustained in Australia while filming Moulin Rouge. Produced by her husband TOM CRUISE, The Others, set in 1945, follows a mysterious woman whose children suffer a strange illness that forces them to avoid direct sunlight.

Two stars of the 1970s' television series Happy Days got together recently for a reunion at a New York theatre. RON HOWARD, who played Richie, went to see HENRY WINKLER - the Fonz - in his new Broadway show The Dinner Party. "I thought Henry was funny and had impeccable timing,'' said Howard, who directed the new JIM CARREY comedy How the Grinch Stole Christmas. "He was very un-Fonz-like.''

KATE WINSLET, who gave birth to a daughter, Mia, last month, will be choosing her future projects carefully to ensure she will be able to spend as much time as possible at home with the baby. "It's very important that Mia isn't bundled off to film locations,'' she says. "I won't be working for about six months and when I do it will be near home.'' The 25-year-old actress, who is married to assistant film director JIM THREAPLETON, will begin work in the spring on the period drama Therese Raquin, which she is also producing. "It will be filmed at Shepperton which is only half an hour from where I live,'' she said.

EMILY WATSON is to co-star with ADAM SANDLER in his next comedy, which has been specially written for them by writer-director PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON. The film will be on a smaller scale than Anderson's previous films, which include Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

Cast members of ER and NYPD Blue are joined in grief this week as they mourn the death of ANTHONY DWAIN LEE, a popular actor who guest-starred on both shows and was killed this week by police in a tragic mix-up at a Halloween costume party at a West Hollywood mansion. Police officer Tarriel Hopper, 27, and his partner Natalie Humphreys, 25, had been called to the celebrity-packed fancy-dress party held at the extravagant, turreted house nicknamed The Castle after neighbours complained about the noise. Approaching the mansion, Hopper spotted Lee and some other guests through a window and Lee saw him. Apparently believing that Hopper in his uniform was just another costumed guest, Lee aimed his own fake gun at the officer, who, believing he was under attack, shot dead the actor. Fellow party-goer Erik Quisling, 29, says: "I heard this `pop, pop', saw the holes in the glass, smelled the smoke, and then there was this guy on the floor totally dead. Another guest, a nurse, tried to revive him, but it was no good. The cop shot from outside through a window to inside the house and kills this guy four feet from me. One minute he was talking, the next minute he was dead.'' Police spokeswoman Charlotte Broughton says: "It does not appear that the officer did anything wrong. When someone has what appears to be an authentic weapon, you respond the way you're trained to respond. This is a tragedy. It's a very unfortunate incident.'' As well as his numerous TV appearances, Lee also appeared in Liar, Liar with JIM CARREY, playing the part of Fred. "He was a Buddhist. He hated violence. It is amazing he died this way,'' says Mitch Hale, one of Lee's friends. "He was an incredibly gifted actor and person. It's devastating. Why did they shoot someone at a Halloween party?''

Oscar-winning movie duo BEN AFFLECK and MATT DAMON are pushing ahead with their pet television project, which they describe as "a reality-based mystery drama''. What the two are planning is a 13-episode show - clues will be given in each to the whereabouts of a huge stash of cash to be won by the first lucky viewer to put the clues together. The show is intended to run on America's ABC network, but is still in the very earliest stages of development.

Hot shot Spin City star CHARLIE SHEEN is trying to stay faithful to the principles of his drug and booze rehabilitation groups - and that includes apologising to all the people you've hurt in the past. But Hollywood insiders are saying that he's run into a problem trying to apologise to an ex-girlfriend, because her husband forbids the star to contact her. The girlfriend in question is actress KELLY PRESTON and her husband is superstar JOHN TRAVOLTA, so we hear that Sheen is having to rethink his plan.

"People ask me if I went to film school. And I tell them, `No, I went to films'.'' - , director ofQUENTIN TARANTINO Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

Asked what she thinks of MADONNA, veteran singer and actress EARTHA KITT replied: "I don't. What is there to think about?''

BRAD PITT and JULIA ROBERTS, who starred together in the soon-to-be-released The Mexican, are becoming a cinematic team. They will next film the remake of Ocean's 11, beginning in January and are talking of joining up afterwards for the comedy, Replay. "We want to work together again,'' confirmed Pitt, who is in London filming Spy Game with Robert Redford. "She's got a great personality and she's tons of laughs on the set. She's just really natural.'' In Replay Pitt would play a man who dies of a heart attack and wakes up as a younger man to correct his mistakes, one of which includes losing the love of his life, to be played by Roberts.

OLIVER STONE is rewriting parts of the script for his epic love story Beyond Borders to make it suitable for British actor RALPH FIENNES now KEVIN COSTNER has dropped out. Costner follows the example of CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and MEG RYAN, both of whom were set to star in the project but then changed their minds. Fiennes will now star with ANGELINA JOLIE in the love story set against the backdrop of worldwide humanitarian efforts over several years. Filming will begin in February or March, when Jolie finishes work on Tomb Raider. Former tennis champion BILLIE JEAN KING will have a brief, as yet undetermined role in the film When Billie Beat Bobbie, about her triumph over BOBBY RIGGS in landmark 1973 male vs female tennis match. King will be played in the film by HOLLY HUNTER while RON SILVER will play Riggs, the 55-year-old former champion who challenged the 29-year-old King to a match that attracted the world's attention. King will also act as a consultant on the production, which has just begun filming in Los Angeles, while Hunter and her fellow Oscar winner GOLDIE HAWN will be executive producers. Bobby Riggs died in 1995.

JUDE LAW has chosen JOHNNY DEPP to co-star with him in Marlowe, a film which Law's Natural Nylon company is to produce in London in March. Depp is to play the Elizabethan playwright CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE while Law will portray William Shakespeare as an unsuccessful writer who pilfers Marlowe's work.

EDDIE IZZARD will portray CHARLIE CHAPLIN in The Cat's Meow, the first film from director PETER BOGDANOVICH in seven years. The British comedian will co-star with KIRSTEN DUNST and JENNIFER TILLY in the story of the scandal that surrounded Chaplin, actress MARION DAVIES and publishing magnate WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST. The film centres on the events that took place one weekend on Hearst's yacht when film-maker THOMAS INCE was shot, allegedly by Hearst in a jealous rage. Tilly will play gossip columnist LOUELLA PARSONS who, according to the script, found out about the murder and used it to blackmail Hearst into giving her a job for life with his newspaper chain. Production begins in Berlin and the Greek islands later this month.

HARRISON FORD's representatives are denying his recent date with The Practice star LARA FLYNN BOYLE had anything to do with the break-up of his marriage. Ford and his wife MELISSA MATHISON, who have been married for 17 years, confirmed that "we have been living apart for the past month. We sincerely hope we can work out our differences''. The 58-year-old star was recently photographed sharing a drink with Boyle, whose romance with JACK NICHOLSON has been on and off again. Ford's agent Patricia McQueeney said "there was no third party'' involved but declined to comment on whether Ford had remained faithful throughout his marriage. "It's a friendly separation,'' she said. "Whatever happens, they'll always be friends.''

BILLY JOEL has ended his short retirement from rock tours. The Piano Man, who said he would not tour again because he wanted to devote more time to composing classical music, is now going back on the road with ELTON JOHN. The two artists have worked together in the past and they are now putting together a tour which is expected to begin in California in February. A representative for Joel confirmed that the tour is "in the discussion stage and a schedule is in the works''.

The British director MICHAEL APTED is talking with JENNIFER LOPEZ about her starring in the suspense thriller Enough which he will direct for Columbia. Apted, whose most recent film was the James Bond hit The World is Not Enough, reportedly believes the actress is ideal for the role of a newly married young woman who takes martial arts lessons to combat domestic violence. It is being described as a cross between Sleeping with the Enemy and Double Jeopardy.

GWYNETH PALTROW is said to be in deep negotiations to replace ELIZABETH HURLEY as the face of Estee Lauder. The New York Post reports that Estee Lauder is not happy with Hurley's "increasingly risque image''. Executives also resent the fact she has been critical of the company since she was labelled a scab by her peers for making a commercial during the Screen Actors Guild strike. Hurley blamed Lauder executives for "not informing'' her of the well-publicised strike. The newspaper quotes a source as saying: "Paltrow is the hot young face that Lauder wants in its battle against Lancome, which recently hired UMA THURMAN, and L'Oreal, which enlisted French actress VIRGINIE LEDOYEN.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER says he nearly drowned while filming a climactic scene in his latest film, The 6th Day. The script called for the action hero to dive into water to elude his pursuers but he became disoriented. "When I came up for air I hit a platform. I was totally out of breath so I tried another spot but it was further under the platform,'' he told interviewers. Eventually a crew member pulled him to safety. "If there wasn't someone there it could have been fatal,'' he said.

JOHNNY DEPP, who portrayed cross-dressing film director Ed Wood in the film of the same name, does a gender switch for his new film Before Night Falls, in which he plays the dual roles of a military officer and a transvestite. "That's what acting is all about - getting under a character's skin,'' he said. "I had a blast - but the heels were hell.''

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