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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
DOWNEY JR is the favourite contender to take the role
of Albert DeSalvo, the self-confessed Boston Strangler,
in a new film about the infamous serial killer. A
1968 film starred TONY CURTIS as the Strangler, but
the new version will be based on an article in Talk
magazine which casts doubt on DeSalvo's confession
and names the person purported to be the real killer.
PETE SAMPRAS was an attentive onlooker on the set
of the upcoming romantic comedy Buying the Cow, which
co-stars his new bride, BRIDGETTE WILSON. Actor JERRY
O'CONNELL, who had a sultry love scene with Bridgette,
says: ``It was great, except Sampras was right there.
We had this joke when we were getting ready to shoot
the scene. I kept saying, `Look out for low-flying
A museum is to be built in Hollywood to house the
memorabilia of THE BEATLES, FRANK SINATRA and other
stars who recorded on the Capitol label. The record
company will build the museum on land next to the
landmark Capitol Tower. ``Too often pop music doesn't
get the recognition that other forms of music gets,''
said Capitol president Roy Lott.
big-budget comedy film called Till Death Do Us Part
is likely to undergo a name change for British release
to avoid confusion with the famous 1960s television
series. The planned film, which will star MICHAEL
DOUGLAS and BILLY CRYSTAL, is an update of the 1979
comedy The In-Laws, which starred PETER FALK and ALAN
ARKIN. The plot focuses on a mismatched pair of fathers
whose offspring are planning to marry. The home life
of monsters will be explored in a new animated comedy
from the Walt Disney, Monsters Inc, which features
the voices of BILLY CRYSTAL and JOHN GOODMAN. The
studio recently screened a rough cut of Monsters Inc
and, says Roy Disney, ``we're all still kind of laughing
out loud''. He said the film ``is about the monsters
that live behind your closet door when you're a kid.
They have a whole world back there where they work
and go home to their wives and children''. It will
not be released until late next year as the studio
has the animated films The Emperor's New Groove and
Atlantis awaiting release.
PITT, currently in London filming Spy Game, is reportedly
interested in portraying a celebrity chef in Seared,
a project which would reunite him with director DAVID
FINCHER. Fincher, who previously directed the actor
in Seven and The Fight Club, is developing the film
which is loosely based on chef ANTHONY BOURDAIN's
book Kitchen Confidential and centres on the rise
to fame of a New York chef.
Now that MACAULAY CULKIN is a hit on the London stage,
his estranged father and former manager KIT CULKIN
is trying to forge a reconciliation. The 20-year-old
actor says his father sent him a congratulatory telegram
after the opening night of his play Madame Melville
telling him: ``You will, as always, be wonderful.''
``I thought it was very funny that it's been about
four years since I've heard from him and he's made
contact with me just because I'm getting back to work,''
Macaulay tells interviewer Barbara Walters on the
television programme 20/20. ``That says a lot about
the person.'' He says he has no interest in a rapprochement
with his father whom, he claims, made him live under
spartan conditions in their New York apartment. ``I
don't think he's willing to say some of the things
he should say,'' said Macaulay. ``He did some things
that were wrong and he doesn't know that.''
GRIFFITH is following a 12-step programme devoted
to ``fellowship and reading'' according to an official
at the hospital where she is undergoing treatment
for a drug problem. The 43-year-old actress, who is
married to ANTONIO BANDERAS, said in a written statement
that she had entered the programme at the non-profit
Daniel Freeman Hospital in Redondo Beach, California,
to break her addiction to a prescription drug she
has been taking for a neck injury. The Working Girl
Oscar nominee was previously treated for drug addiction
LOWE is happy to report he is back in demand as a
big-screen leading man following his success on the
hit television series West Wing. ``There are a lot
of offers and I've been very busy picking the movie
I'll do next,'' he says. ``It's wonderful to have
all these opportunities though there is the matter
of having enough gas to do them justice. After a season
of 22 shows, you're pretty much running on fumes.''
Among the projects he is lining up are a satirical
comedy and a remake of the Oscar Wilde tale The Picture
of Dorian Gray.
STEPHEN KING has joined the Rock Bottom Remainders,
an all-star band that has kicked off a three-city
tour to raise money for children. King plays guitar
with the Remainders - a publishing industry term for
books that don't sell - alongside fellow authors DAVE
BARRY, AMY TAN, RIDLEY PEARSON and SCOTT TUROW. ROGER
McGUINN of the Byrds and The Simpsons creator Matt
Groening are also expected to sing along on the tour.
Proceeds from the concerts will go to America Scores,
which supports after-school soccer and writing programmes
for inner-city kids.
ER actress JULIA MARGULIES and KYRA SEDGWICK, who
play lesbian lovers in the new film What's Cooking?
were so determined to be authentic that they went
to gay bars as a couple before filming began. The
writer-director, GURINDER CHADHA, who previously filmed
Bhaji on the Beach, said: ``They were wonderful...
totally committed to their roles.'' Chadha, who grew
up in London, based the film on how four different
families - Jewish, Latino, Vietnamese and African-American
- celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in their Los
Angeles homes. ``I've attended expatriate Thanksgiving
dinners in London and it's the one day Americans feel
very homesick,'' says Chadha, who is married to an
Park creators TREY PARKER and MATT STONE are anxious
for the US presidential election to come to a decisive
end so they can begin work on their new TV show. The
new series, First Family, will be based on the family
of whichever candidate is elected to the White House.
It is scheduled to go on the air in February but until
they know who the new president will be, Parker and
Stone cannot start writing scripts and planning the
shows. Meanwhile, they have included an election parody
in South Park in which the election for kindergarten
president is too close to call so a recount is held.
A new film about ELVIS PRESLEY is to be released,
featuring previously unseen footage from some of his
Las Vegas performances. The 50,000 feet of footage,
which includes 25 songs, was left over from the 1970
film Elvis: That's The Way It is, and has been preserved
in studio vaults, first at MGM and then at Warner
Bros. The new film, which will be shown on television
in America and in cinemas in the rest of the world,
will be called Elvis That's The Way It Is - Special
MYERS is temporarily abandoning his Austin Powers
character to play a real-life game show host in the
film Confessions. To be directed by X-Men director
Bryan Singer, Confessions is based on the autobiography
of Gong Show host CHUCK BARRIS, who purportedly was
also a CIA hitman.
EVERETT and JUDI DENCH will star in another film adaptation
of OSCAR WILDE's classic play The Importance of Being
Earnest, which will be released worldwide by Miramax
Films. The comedy of mistaken identity set in English
high society in the 1890s was previously filmed in
1952 with MICHAEL REDGRAVE and EDITH EVANS in the
leading roles. The new version will be directed by
OLIVER PARKER, who previously worked with Everett
on another Wilde project, An Ideal Husband. Instead
of having a honeymoon, ROD STEIGER and his new bride
JOAN BENEDICT are in Salt Lake City where he is co-starring
in the film Pool Hall Junkies. ``We've been honeymooning
for two years,'' says the 75-year-old Oscar-winning
actor. He plays a pool hall manager in the film, which
also stars CHRISTOPHER WALKEN and CLINT EASTWOOD's
daughter ALISON EASTWOOD.
film-maker MIKE NEWELL is to direct The Poetess, a
true story by writer WILL DAVIES about his years as
a Cambridge University student. Newell, whose films
include Four Weddings and a Funeral and High Fidelity
is taking over from American director CURTIS HANSON,
who will now be an executive producer on the project.
The story focuses on a girl student who was discovered
by a professor to have a great talent for writing
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES wants two more children according
to her fiance MICHAEL DOUGLAS, whom she will marry
this weekend in New York. ``Catherine wants three
so that will need negotiating,'' Douglas tells the
New York Daily News. Douglas, who watched the Welsh
actress deliver their first child, Dylan, in August,
added: ``I've got to talk about that third one.''
Meanwhile, she is supervising the redecoration of
the New York apartment he has owned for the past 15
years. ``She's comfortable and feels secure enough
with herself and our relationship that there's no,
`I can't be here, your ex-wife used to be here,'''
he said. ``As things go on and we get more kids, there'll
be things we have to do.''
GIBSON is relieved to leave behind historic battle
sagas and star instead in a romantic comedy What Women
Want. ``Patriot was all guys and this was all women,''
Gibson tells USA Today. ``I had a blast. It was indoors,
Armani suits, no knee breeches, no potholes to step
in and no explosions.'' In What Women Want Gibson
plays a sexist advertising executive who finds he
has the ability to read women's minds. ``It addresses
a situation that concerns most of us - the differences
between the sexes,'' he says.
PATRICK STEWART has signed up to star in the 10th
film to be based on the Star Trek television series.
The British actor, who plays Capt Jean-Luc Picard,
is the first crew member Paramount Pictures has signed
and is also the biggest box-office draw of the Next
Generation cast, having recently starred in X-Men.
The next Star Trek film will be the fourth led by
Stewart and is being written by Gladiator screenwriter
CLOSE insisted that Walt Disney hire the high-priced
Oscar-winning playwright TOM STOPPARD to polish the
script of 102 Dalmatians and provide her character,
Cruella De Ville, with a fitting exit. ``They wanted
her to be really humiliated and pathetic in the end
and I said, `I won't do that,''' she tells the Los
Angeles Times. ``I don't think it's funny. She deserves
some respect.'' Thanks to the British playwright's
intervention, she says, Cruella will rise again. ``She's
invincible. Evil is never really conquered, you just
have to watch out for it,'' she says.
AFFLECK and MATT DAMON, who last starred together
in Kevin Smith's Dogma are teaming up to work with
the film-maker again in his next project, Jay and
Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith says it will be the
fourth and final chapter in his New Jersey chronicles,
following Clerks, Chasing Amy and Mallrats. As well
as Affleck and Damon it will feature Smith and his
sidekick Jason Mewes returning in their roles as the
slackers Silent Bob and Jay. Filming is due to start
ZANUCK hopes to persuade Jane Fonda to return to the
cameras in a project he will produce. They have been
friends since 1962 when she starred in The Chapman
Report which was one of Zanuck's first productions
and only Fonda's third film. ``I wish she would return
to films. She's a great actress and looks absolutely
terrific,'' says Zanuck, who is producing a new version
of Planet of the Apes which begins filming this week.
``I want to develop a film for her.''
broke out on the set of the latest ISMAIL MERCHANT
and JAMES IVORY film, The Golden Bowl, according to
Ivory, who directed the period story based on a Henry
James novel. ``A great English house is the last place
you would expect to see people beating each other
up and yelling,'' Ivory told the New York Post. ``But
I was present at the historic moment.'' The director
would not confirm the participants but the newspaper
reports that MICHAEL SHEEN - the husband of actress
KATE BECKINSALE - punched her co-star JEREMY NORTHAM
after Northam berated her acting. Ivory said: ``I
was so busy looking at some footage that I didn't
notice that nobody was on the set because they were
outside fighting. No one had bothered to come in and
say, `I think there's going to be a little interruption
here.''' The next day, he says, Northam and Beckinsale
had their biggest scene together and ``they were very
well-behaved, in the best tradition of English acting''.
O'DONNELL is glad to be back in Southern California
after spending the New Zealand winter hanging off
cliff faces in the mountainous regions of Mount Cook
and Queenstown for his latest film, Vertical Limit.
``It was pretty intense because there were maybe four
or five hours in a day when we could shoot those mountain
scenes and it was the middle of winter,'' he says.
He and fellow actors BILL PAXTON and SCOTT GLENN went
through a one-month training course with professional
climbers before filming began. ``The time on the mountain
was so precious you had to know what you were going
to do,'' he said. ``If you walked through the snow
you couldn't film it again because you had messed
up the snow with footprints.'' He said the film, directed
by MARTIN CAMPBELL, who directed the James Bond adventure
GoldenEye, is ``non-stop, in-your-face action and
there were scenes where we were really putting ourselves
at risk in insane situations''.
who has been house-hunting in London, has sold her
Hollywood Hills home which she has had on the market
for the past five months. The buyer is JENNA ELFMAN,
who stars in the hit sitcom Dharma and Greg. She and
her husband paid three million pounds for the three-bedroom
Mediterranean-style house on two acres of land. Madonna
had owned the property since 1996. JR Ewing is back
and he's telling all.
HAGMAN, who has kept a low-profile since the television
series Dallas came to an end, will soon be back in
the public eye with his book, Hello, Darlin': Tall
(and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life. In it,
the 69-year-old actor says he will include stories
about the Dallas set, his experimentation with the
drug LSD, his recent liver transplant and adventures
with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, among other things.
When the book is published he plans to support it
with a travelling stage show based on his life.
GOODING put in several weeks of intensive training
for his role as the US Navy's first black diver in
Men of Honour, but even so he was never comfortable
under water. ``I'd done no diving of any kind before
this and I don't want to do any more,'' said the Oscar-winning
actor. ``When you get down in an environment as deep
as I went you realise that humans aren't supposed
to be under water. ``The things it does to your joints,
the time it takes to surface and decompress - I'd
rather swim on top and then go back into the house
and watch TV.'' Nevertheless, the real-life character
he played was Carl Breashear, who was full of praise
on the set every day. ``Cuba portrayed me very well,''
he said. ``He was energetic, he had a good attitude
and he was upbeat all the time.''
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