Ray Liotta and Jason Patric have joined the indie forces.
The two actors will co-star in the thriller "Narc," The Hollywood Reporter says. The story follows a narcotics officer (Patric) assigned to investigate the death of a rookie cop.
He gets teamed up with the cop's former partner (Liotta), whom he finds out is up to no good.
Liotta is also executive producing the film, which goes into production in Toronto next week.
KAREN GOES BIG SCREEN: "Will & Grace's" Emmy Award-winning Megan Mullally might join the cast of "Stealing Stanford," Daily Variety reports.
If she signs, this would mark the actress's first leading role in a feature film. The film stars Jason Lee as a guy who turns to petty crime in order to finance his niece's education.
Before "Will & Grace," Mullally performed on Broadway and in other theatrical productions.
KA-CHING! "Cast Away" scribe William Broyles isn't feeling one bit lonely these days. The screenwriter has landed a seven-figure screenplay deal with Deep River Prods, Variety columnist Michael Flemming reports. The contract will guarantee Deep River one of the two original scripts Broyles is working on.
GOING O.C.: "High Fidelity" standout Jack Black will co-star in the high school comedy "Orange County," Variety says. The Paramount/MTV flick is about the crazy antics pulled by a high school senior in order to get into Stanford University.
Let it be known that Kathie Lee Gifford has gotten over her old gig.
At least, that's what ABC's "The View" finds out during Gifford's appearance on the morning talker, according to a report in the New York Post.
On the show, cohost Star Jones asked the erstwhile talkshow host turned full-time singer how she feels about being banned from "Live with Regis" last fall to promote her new CD.
And though Kathie Lee might not have been cool with that, she is way bigger than that.
"Well, you know what? The only power I have is over my own choices and the way I act and the way I respond to things," said Gifford on the show. "And why other people do the things they do that might seem mean spirited, or cruel, or vicious, or petty or whatever it is in life I can't control. So I just give it up. I give it up and go on."
Plus, she's got her health to think about.
"And you know what? That's the only way you can be otherwise you become malignant yourself. And I don't want to have cancer."
"Whether it's physical cancer or emotional cancer. I don't want to be sick."
And now you know.
MAKING PERFECT: Fans of "The Practice" can rejoice, for ABC has picked up the Emmy Award-winning legal drama for three more seasons, extending its contract through the year 2004.
Word is that ABC will be paying $5 million to $7 million per episode under the new terms, a sizable jump from the $1.6 million the network is currently paying for the series starring Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle and Camryn Manheim.
BOOTED! "Temptation Island" isn't that irresistible after all.
Despite promising ratings, a Fox television affiliate in North Carolina has booted the reality series off its rotation after learning that one of the couples on the show has a child, Reuters reports.
"WRAZ will not support a program that could potentially break up the parents of a young child," Tommy Schenck, the general manager of WRAZ, said in a statement.
News of the couple's parental status was confirmed last week by Fox. The network also stated that the pair -- known as Ytossie and Taheed on the show -- have been kicked off the show due to their child.
Will the mob run amok at the castle?
"The Sopranos" tough guy James Gandolfini has signed on to star opposite Robert Redford and "You Can Count On Me's" Mark Ruffalo in "The Castle," Daily Variety reports.
The Emmy Award-winning actor will get $5 million for the part of a prison warden in a story about an imprisoned general who rallies his fellow inmates into mutiny.
MUCH OBLIGED: The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Damon Wayans is in talks to star opposite Lisa Kudrow in the comedy "Marci X."
The story is about a Jewish heiress who takes over her father's hip-hop recording label.
Emmy Award-winning director Louis J. Horvitz will return for his fifth consecutive time as the director of the Oscars telecast this year, Oscars producer Gil Cates said today.
"I'm thrilled and flattered to be back with Gil Cates and the Academy for my fifth tour of duty on the Oscars," Horvitz said in a statement.
Among many honors in his career, Horvitz recently received his third Emmy Award for his direction of last year's Oscars telecast.
The 73rd Academy Awards will take place on March 25 at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. The show will be carried live by ABC beginning at 5 p.m. PT.
Luke Perry is putting his "Beverly Hills, 90210" past behind him.
The erstwhile Fox poster boy will be joining HBO's award-winning prison drama "Oz" as a new inmate, The Associated Press says.
In preparation for the role, the 34-year-old Perry, formerly known as "90210's" Dylan McKay, has to grow a big fat beard, which he described to the February issue of Spin magazine as "physically uncomfortable."
Well, guess that's just part of growing up.
GETTING FRIENDLY: It just goes to show that it always helps to have friends in high places.
According to a New York Post report, a London newspaper is saying that Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (that's Posh Spice) and supermodel turned actress Elizabeth Hurley might make a couple of cameo appearances on the NBC sitcom "Friends" later this year, thanks to their friendships with two of the show's stars.
But before you get too excited, the Post also said that a spokesman for the show's producer had denied the report.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING: So would the real Big Brother please stand up in court?
In case you forgot (and judging from "Big Brother's" ratings, you probably did), a Chicago man who owns the movie and TV rights to George Orwell's "1984" has filed a lawsuit in August against CBS, Viacom and Orwell Productions for copyright violation, alleging misusage of the name "Big Brother" for the CBS television series, among other things.
Here's the latest: A Chicago court has denied CBS and the other two defendants' motion to dismiss the charges, Daily Variety says.
So in other words, the lawsuit will go on as planned.
"Big Brother" was, of course, the reality series wherein a bunch of people gets locked up in a house for a number of weeks, with their lives and interactions taped every single second of it.
But more importantly might be the fact that the show -- unlike its good twin brother "Survivor" -- tanked big time.
Claire Danes has found love.
"The Mod Squad" and "My So-Called Life" actress has signed on to Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's "It's All About Love" -- the follow-up to his Cannes-winning first feature "The Celebration" in 1999, Daily Variety says.
Penned by Vinterberg, the script story follows a married couple as they try to salvage their relationship. Shooting of the film begins in April.
Danes was previously working on "Flora Plum," a film helmed by Jodie Foster and starring Russell Crowe. The project is currently on hold due to a shoulder injury sustained by Crowe.
RAY OF 'IRON': Actor Ray Park, or better known as Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace," will personify the title hero in the big screen adaptation of the comic book "Iron Fist," Variety says.
The martial-arts-themed movie follows the life of Far East-bred Danny Rand, who grows up to avenge his parents' death in the United States.
"Iron Fist" is the first project to come out of the joint venture between Artisan Entertainment and Marvel Comics last year.
Actor Richard Gere is not only getting religious but political as well.
The avowed Buddhist presented U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday with a copy of his 1997 coffee table book called "Pilgrim," a black and white photo documentary of the Tibetan people taken by Gere himself, Reuters reports.
The 52-year-old actor and star of this year's "Dr. T and the Women" has been a very vocal activist for the independence of Tibet, which has been under the sovereignty of China since 1951. The United Nations has largely ignored the plight of the Tibetan people.
HUNT FILES FOR DIVORCE: Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt filed for divorce Monday from actor-husband Hank Azaria. The couple, who announced their separation in August, cited irreconcilable differences for torpedoing their 17-month union.
THE AWFUL TRUTH: Who needs a therapist when you can talk to a magazine reporter. Seven months after the big split between Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, the 40-year-old "Four Weddings and a Funeral" actor has disclosed to a German mag one of the reasons behind the breakup, Reuters says.
"Basically my life is so boring, it's embarrassing. I would love to be a jet-setter, flying off to parties in New York and Monte Carlo. Obviously I was simply too dull for Liz,'' the 40-year-old actor told the German publication Hoer Zu.
The ex-couple called it quits this May after 13 years of being together.
'CAT' IS IN THE BAG: "The Last Picture Show" director Peter Bogdanovich has completed production of his latest film "The Cat's Meow," Variety says. The $6 million project -- starring Eddie Izzard, Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes and Edward Hermann -- chronicles the killing that allegedly took place on newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.
Specifically, the story is based on the Hollywood legend that an angry Hearst (Hermann) mistakenly shot film producer Thomas Ince (Elwes) after he suspected his mistress Marion Davies (Dunst) was having an affair with silent star Charlie Chaplin (Izzard).
New Jersey's Essex County has denied the award-winning HBO series "The Sopranos" a permit to shoot scenes in the area citing noise and traffic concerns, The Associated Press reports.
The ban looks to be permanent: County Executive James W. Treffinger said Saturday that he would never grant a permit for the series.
"I have no intention of granting a permit for our taxpayer-owned facilities for a profit-making enterprise which depicts an ethnic group in stereotypical fashion," Treffinger said.
NO MORE 'MADIGAN': Get ready for some bad news if you're a fan of Gabriel Byrne.
The actor's ABC comedy "Madigan Men" has been given the ax by the network, one week after the show was put on hiatus. The series, which airs Fridays, had wrapped production after 12 episodes, The Hollywood Reporter said.
'TIME' OUT: MSNBC has canned the talk show "Equal Time" hosted by former Clinton aide Paul Begala and Oliver North of the Iran-Contra scandal fame. The show will end next week.
North and Begala are said to be looking into other roles for the news network.
Have they tried "Dateline"?
Looks like there won't be any more confessions from Mike Myers.
The "Austin Powers" actor has dropped "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" from the slate of projects he's going to do in order to concentrate on the "Pink Panther" remake and other smaller films, Daily Variety says.
Currently, "Meet the Parents" guy Ben Stiller's name has been thrown around as a possible replacement.
But as the report suggests, Stiller's schedule, jammed pack by his involvement with "Zoolander," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and the "Meet the Parents" sequel among other stuff, might keep him from doing "Confessions."
Since its inception, the comedy , based on the comic memoir of "Gong Show" host Chuck Barris, has attracted the interest from a lot of big-time talents such as George Clooney, Sean Penn and "Fight Club" helmer David Fincher that had all somehow fallen through.
The strange tradition continues with "X-Men" director Bryan Singer, who is attached to do the project but might skip on it pending the progress of his "X-Men" sequel. GRAND 'LARCENY' Bond guy Pierce Brosnan might star in the the comedy "Larceny for Lovers," The Hollywood Reporter says.
The story is about a con artist (Brosnan) who goes to Europe and unwittingly falls in love with a woman who also happens to be a con artist.
TWIN DRAGON: That's what happens when you're in a critically acclaimed film. Director Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" actress Zhang Ziyi has thus far only been seen by a handful of audiences, but the ingenue is already in talks to join Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in "Rush Hour 2," the sequel to the 1997 megahit, the Reporter says.
And the script has apparently worked it out so that the Chinese actress wouldn't have to worry about the language problem since, if cast, she would play a Chinese-only speaking villain. LADY IN 'BLACK': The Reporter says that Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon will star in the drama "Baby's in Black."
Written by "City of Angels" scribe Brad Silberling, the story is about a man mourning the death of his fiancee who was killed when she was waiting tables at a restaurant. Sarandon will play the bereft's mother.
The project is also in talks to have Dustin Hoffman cast as the Sarandon character's husband.
BUSY BEE: And finally, Jennifer Esposito, who you will be able to see in the vampire update "Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000," will play a female cop in the Michael Douglas thriller "Don't Say a Word" and a flirtatious maid in the indie flick "Welcome to Collinwood," Variety says.
"Malcolm in the Middle" is about to get larger than life -- literally.
Daily Variety reports that the Emmy-winning Fox sitcom about a middle-class family of four brothers and their parents will be retailored for a big screen version for 20th Century Fox.
Series creator Linwood Boomer will produce, along with cowriting the movie with veteran sitcom scribes Jill Condon and Amy Toomin.
The series' cast, which includes Jane Kaczmarek and Frankie Muniz, is expected to reprise its roles for the project.
THE CHASE IS ON: Veteran comedian Chevy Chase has partnered up with "Murphy Brown" producers Bill Diamond and Rob Bragin to develop a primetime comedy series for TV, The Hollywood Reporter says.
Said to be in the vein of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," a script for the untitled project should be complete at the end of the year. The trio then will shop the product to different networks.
'PRACTICE' MAKES PERFECT: 'The Practice' fans can rejoice.
Variety is reporting that ABC and producer 20th Century Fox Television are negotiating to keep the lawyer drama on the air for two more seasons, Reuters says.
The Emmy-winning "Practice" cast includes Dylan McDermott and Camryn Manheim.
IT'S NOT JUST TV: After winning a bunch of Oscars, Emmys and Peabody Awards during its 18-year run, HBO's documentary showcase "America Undercover" will finally become a weekly series, Variety says. The real-life chronicles will start airing every Sunday night at 10 p.m. beginning March 11.
'SURVIVOR 2' DONE? A radio report from Los Angeles tells us that CBS' reality-TV gameshow "Survivor 2" has finished taping, which, in the case of the hush-hush series, means that a million-dollar winner has been chosen and all is ready for primetime.
But when we called to verify the information with CBS, the Eye gave us the requisite "no comments."
Stay tuned for more info. Perhaps the "winner" will be posted online soon.
ROSIE DOES LAW SCHOOL? Watch out, Hillary. US Weekly is saying that talk show hostess Rosie O'Donnell is planning to go to law school and could be taking classes as early as 2002 when her talk-show contract expires.
"I'm going to work really seriously to try to change foster care legislation in America. It's sort of in a shambles," O'Donnell told US Weekly in its Dec. 18 issue.