Edward Norton has certainly scored with his next picture deal.
The Hollywood Reporter reported today that the 30-year-old actor will receive $6.5 million up front plus 4 percent of first-dollar gross to star opposite Robert De Niro in Frank Oz's "The Score," filling in the slot left opened by Ben Affleck after his decision to drop out last month.
The Paramount/Mandalay pic tells the story of a veteran thief whose retirement is infinitely deferred by an upstart ruffian. The flick is slated to go into production in San Francisco in March.
Norton was seen last fall beating up fellow angst-ridden co-star Brad Pitt in "Fight Club." His next project is "Keeping the Faith," which Norton directed, produced and co-wrote. The flick, a comedy about the friendship between a rabbi and a Catholic priest and the woman they both fall for, co-stars Ben Stiller and "Dharma and Greg" star Jenna Elfman.
SPIDERMAN UNMASKED: All interested parties please take note: "Spider-Man" might no longer be soliciting entries to fill the director spot. The Hollywood Reporter reports today that Sam Raimi ("For Love of the Game") is in final negotiations to helm the long-delayed comic book adaptation. No actor has been attached to the project yet. Shooting for the film is scheduled to begin after the completion of Raimi's next project, "The Gift."
FORD CAUGHT IN 'TRAFFIK': Trade-paper reports say that Harrison Ford, among several A-list talents, is eyeing the lead in director Steven Soderbergh's (""The Limey"," "Out of Sight") indie drug war flick "Traffic," set to go in front of the camera in the spring. The coveted drama war revolves around America's war on drugs in Mexico. Catherine Zeta-Jones, a.k.a. the future Mrs.Michael Douglas, is currently in negotiation for the female lead.
A DOSE OF MARTIN: Final negotiations between Steve Martin and Artisan are well under way for the studio's wacky comedy of errors "Novocaine." Martin is set to play a complacent dentist who unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. The flick is scheduled to roll in mid-April.
SEAGAL UNDER SIEGE: Steven Seagal proves once again that you can never be too old to kick ass. The 50-year-old martial-arts expert has signed on to reprise his role for the third time in New Regency's money making "Under Siege" franchise. Possible co-financiers for the film include 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros., which co-funded the first two installments.
The "Under Siege" concept first materialized in 1992, where Seagal played an unassuming cook who happened to prevent terrorist attack on board a U.S. battleship. The sequel, which came three years later in 1995, once again finds Seagal fighting no-good terrorists but this time on a transcontinental train.
It worked for Rob Schneider. Why not Dana Carvey?
The popular "Saturday Night Live" alum, largely out of the public eye since his heart surgery in 1997, will get a helping hand in reviving his career from A-lister (and fellow ex-"SNL" guy) Adam Sandler. Today's Daily Variety says Sandler will produce a Disney comedy that will both star and be co-written by Carvey.
The comedian, best known for yukking it up as shy Garth to Mike Myers' metal-head Wayne in the "Wayne's World" sketches and big-screen movies, is in talks with the studio, Sandler and producing partner Jack Giarraputo. They're the team responsible for Schneider's surprise holiday hit "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo."
Mum's the word on the plot for Carvey's starring vehicle. But he'll get some notice as a supporting player in Sandler's upcoming comedy "Little Nicky." And if "Deuce's" $64 million domestic gross is any indication, the former Church Lady might be taking up a healthy collection.
Carvey underwent an angioplasty procedure in October 1997, at age 42. It was the capper on a down period for the comic, who flamed out professionally in 1996 with the ill-fated run of his ABC primetime vehicle "The Dana Carvey Show."
CAUGHT IN 'TRAFFIC': Harrison Ford and Catherine Zeta-Jones don't mind being stuck in Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic."
Trade-paper reports today say that the two stars have climbed aboard the Fox vehicle, which was once in danger of being junked. It's now parked at the studio's arthouse division, Fox Searchlight.
Ford will play a judge who becomes a U.S. drug czar. The film's based on the British miniseries "Traffik." Things get complicated when the judge's daughter becomes a serious crack cocaine and heroin addict.
The film is Ford's first foray into arthouse filmmaking. According to Variety, the actor will take a major pay cut from his usual $20 million fee. Shooting is set to begin April 2.
GIRLS IN THE 'HOUSE': Actresses Diane Lane and Leelee Sobieski will square off as mother-daughter rivals in "The Glass House." Variety says that the Columbia-based drama starts shooting this spring with television's Daniel Sackheim at the helm.
The 17-year-old Sobieski, last seen strutting in "Eyes Wide Shut," will star as a teen-ager taken in by a Malibu, Calif., couple after her parents die in a car accident.
'MONKEY' BUSINESS FOR NBC: "Dharma & Greg" star Thomas Gibson will be paid $1.5 million to monkey around in NBC's latest Hallmark Entertainment miniseries. The four-hour project, called "The Monkey King," co-stars Bai Ling. Russell Wong is in negotiations to play the title role.
The story, by "M Butterfly" playwright David Henry Hwang, is about a young American businessman and an academic who journey to China to do battle with mythical monsters.