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ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...
CAREY has defied the advice of doctors and her record
company to embark on a promotional tour of Japan and
Australia for her new Glitter CD. The singer, who
is still recovering from a breakdown, had been told
to take six months off to recuperate from her two
recent spells in hospital. But she was reportedly
galvanised by the response to her appearance two weeks
ago on the national celebrity telethon for terrorist
victims. Observers say her decision to make the trip
was also fuelled by her desire to steal some of the
limelight from JENNIFER LOPEZ and BRITNEY SPEARS,
who have both had lots of publicity lately.
LOPEZ, who married her dancer boyfriend CRIS JUDD
last weekend, is forming something of a bond with
Britain. She has just finished working with director
MICHAEL APTED on the thriller Enough, and will have
a British male co-star for her next film, the romantic
comedy Chambermaid. Casting is still under way for
the actor to play a British gentleman guest at a luxury
Chicago hotel where Lopez's character is working as
a chambermaid. Lopez joined the project after the
original star, HILARY SWANK, changed her mind.
FONDA has not ruled out a return to acting, although
it would take a special project to attract her, according
to her son, actor TROY GARITY. ``My mum has become
very spiritual in what she calls the third act of
her life,'' he says. ``She has achieved a lot of things
and there are still things she wants to do. But if
there is a script that meets her expectations or furthers
one of her causes, she would consider it.'' Garity,
whose father is Jane Fonda's former husband TOM HAYDEN,
is rapidly making a name for himself as an actor.
He is currently co-starring with BRUCE WILLIS, BILLY
BOB THORNTON and CATE BLANCHETT in the comedy adventure
of the cast and crew who worked on the upcoming Second
World War romantic drama Charlotte Gray are being
asked to reunite for producer DOUGLAS RAE's next project.
On Green Dolphin Street, like Charlotte Gray, is based
on a book by SEBASTIAN FAULKS and will be directed
by GILLIAN ARMSTRONG. It centres on an affair between
a British diplomat's wife and a Washington reporter,
set against the backdrop of the presidential race
between JOHN F KENNEDY and RICHARD NIXON in 1960.
Charlotte Gray, which stars CATE BLANCHETT in the
title role, is to be released in December so it can
qualify for the Academy Awards.
DIANE KEATON, who sold her home in Beverly Hills to
MADONNA for 5 million, has bought another house 60
miles down the coast in Laguna Beach. The five-bedroom
house, which is by the Californian beach, was built
in 1924, and was in the process of being upgraded
when Keaton bought it. The 55-year-old actress has
made a hobby out of refurbishing older houses and
is well-known for her taste in decor and architecture.
As for acting, Keaton is developing a 10-part television
series on the women's rights movement. A film about
raging forest fires in the western United States will
be the first to pay tribute to firemen in the wake
of the World Trade Centre tragedy.
has bought the rights to SEBASTIAN JUNGER's book Fire,
a collection of magazine articles featuring reports
from the front lines of various hot spots around the
world. Junger previously wrote the book The Perfect
Storm, on which the subsequent film starring GEORGE
CLOONEY and MARK WAHLBERG was based.
Big Breakfast reject KELLY BROOK has been dealt another
blow with the cancellation of her planned American
television series. The Misadventures of Fiona Plum,
in which Brook was to have played a bratty British
witch banished to nanny service in the US, has been
scuttled by creative differences, according to a Warner
Bros spokesman. ``We had some creative issues with
the programme and the shape it was taking,'' he says.
``We felt it best not to continue with the programme.''
Negotiations are now under way for the 21-year-old
model to appear in Smallville, the new series about
a teenage Superman, in which she would play Lex Luthor's
WINSLET is negotiating to star in director ALAN PARKER's
The Life of David Gale which begins filming next week
in Austin, Texas. It would be the first film in America
since Titanic for the British actress, who recently
separated from her husband, JIM THREAPLETON. KEVIN
SPACEY is also starring in the drama about a professor
who advocates the abolition of capital punishment
but finds himself on Death Row after being wrongly
convicted of murder. According to the Hollywood Reporter,
Winslet would play a journalist who interviews him
about his predicament and then takes up his case.
actors COLIN FIRTH and HELENA BONHAM CARTER will star
together in the romantic comedy New Cardiff which
is set in New England. The story revolves around a
British artist (Firth) who is dumped by his fiancee
(Bonham Carter), and then holes up in a motel where
he meets a local girl, to be played by HEATHER GRAHAM.
MARY STEENBERGEN rounds out the cast as the owner
of the motel who plays matchmaker to all the characters.
Firth is known in America for his role in Bridget
Jones's Diary and Bonham Carter attracted much attention
as the freedom-fighting simian in Planet of the Apes.
EVERETT is to star in his own weekly television series
in America. The British actor will help write the
fish-out-of-water comedy called Mr Ambassador, and
star as an eccentric British ambassador stationed
in Washington DC. Everett, well-known in America through
his roles in My Best Friend's Wedding and The Next
Best Thing, has been guaranteed payment for 13 episodes
of the series, which will air on the NBC network.
WALKEN is going to Wales to join British actors ALFRED
MOLINA and BRENDA BLETHYN in Plots with a View, a
comedy about funeral homes. Walken, who is accustomed
to playing the villain, will portray an upstart American
who lures customers from a rival funeral director
with glitzy stunts. Molina plays his rival, who also
pines for a local woman, played by Blethyn.
arts star CHUCK NORRIS is pressing for a TV film to
be aired as soon as possible despite its similarities
to the World Trade Centre tragedy. In The President's
Man: Ground Zero, Norris plays a presidential troubleshooter
who is pitted against a terrorist, a thinly-veiled
Osama bin Laden character. The terrorist demands freedom
for his men who were behind the 1993 attack on the
World Trade Centre, threatening to detonate a nuclear
bomb if the president fails to comply. ``I basically
go to Afghanistan and kidnap bin Laden, whom we call
Rasheed, and bring him to trial,'' Norris tells Daily
Variety. ``The film has a positive message. What's
good about it is it doesn't blame all Arabs for the
actions of a few. ``It was originally planned to be
shown in January but I'm concerned that if it waits
until then or later people will think that we just
made it and that we were trying to capitalise on the
tragedy.'' The CBS network says it has made no decision
on when the film will air.
BASINGER is in negotiations to portray EMINEM's mother
in the controversial rapper's film debut, Detroit
Project. The project reunites Basinger with director
CURTIS HANSON. Their previous collaboration on LA
Confidential earned both of them Oscars, with Basinger
winning best supporting actress and Hanson best screenplay.
Detroit Project is described as a provocative examination
of a critical month in the life of a young man as
he searches for identity and a sense of purpose. Basinger,
who recently separated from her husband ALEC BALDWIN,
has the film People I Know, in which she co-starred
with AL PACINO, awaiting release.
PAUL McCARTNEY's new single From a Lover to a Friend
will soon be receiving worldwide exposure. It forms
the centrepiece of the soundtrack to the romantic
thriller Vanilla Sky, which stars TOM CRUISE, his
girlfriend PENELOPE CRUZ and CAMERON DIAZ and is due
out on December 14. Record executives believe there
is huge potential for the song, which is from Sir
Paul's forthcoming album Driving Rain. It is described
as a farewell to lost love and closing chapter of
life - references to the death in 1998 of the former
Beatle's wife Linda. McCartney last had a solo Top
10 single in 1987 when Once Upon a Long Ago reached
No 10 in the UK charts.
GERE is brushing up on his singing voice to join CATHERINE
ZETA JONES and RENEE ZELLWEGER in the film adaptation
of the hit musical Chicago. He is taking over the
role of the sleazy lawyer Billy Flynn, for which HUGH
JACKMAN was originally the favoured contender. Flynn
makes stars out of two accused murderesses in Chicago
during the Roaring 20s. Gere's musical background,
which includes playing the lead in a production of
Grease, is considered suitable for the Flynn character,
who has three musi cal numbers in the film.
MADONNA and her director husband GUY RITCHIE are going
ahead with filming the romantic drama Swept Away in
Malta despite security concerns. The film's producer,
MATTHEW VAUGHN, has refused to comment on security
arrangements but sources say the Maltese government
is supplying extra guards at the studio and laying
on coastguard launches to patrol offshore. Madonna
and Ritchie's decision comes as most studios and production
companies are adjusting their schedules to film in
Hollywood rather than travel to foreign locations.
Swept Away is a remake of an Italian film, but has
a new screenplay by Ritchie.