Nothing like bad taste to make you some bucks. The Rock -- aka the World Wrestling Federation guy from UPN’s "Smackdown!" -– is in talks to star in two films: one a good guy/bad guy flick, and the other, an untitled big-budget sci-fi flick, today's Daily Variety says.
But wait: There's more: Variety says the wrestler will get about $5 million per pic.
For your viewing pleasure, Mr. Rock (real name: Dwayne Johnson) is also hooked up for the sequel to 1999's action-horror hit "The Mummy."
STILL GOING STRONG: Today's Hollywood Reporter says Gene Hackman is negotiating to star in the drama-actioner "Behind Enemy Lines." Directed by commercial director John Moore, Hackman will play a veteran Marine who, along with a young Navy pilot, must fight to survive after they’re stranded in enemy territory.
GOING BLONDE : Resse Witherspoon is in final talks to star in "Legally Blonde," a comedy about a young blonde trying to shed the baggage of her hair color by going to law school.
GOING MAFIA: Another item courtesy of the Reporter: Mira Sorvino is in early negotiations to star in "Wisegirl," an indie film about three waitresses who work in a mob-owned restaurant.
GOING PRIMITIVE: Greg Kinnear is in negotiations to join Ashley Judd in the comedy "Animal Husbandry." He’ll play the boyfriend of a woman (Judd) who champions a certain dating theory based on the animal world.
GOING METEORIC: Josh Hartnett, last seen playing a high school lothario in "The Virgin Suicides" and will next be seen playing a WWII hero in "Pearl Harbor," is in talks to star in the comedy "40 Days and 40 Nights." Hartnett will play a heartbroken guy who vows to be celibate, and then falls in love.
GOING CABLE: Variety tells us that Spike Lee, Danny Glover and Pam Grier have committed to the Showtime cable flick "3 A.M." Lee is to co-executive produce the cable movie, while Glover and Grier are tapped to costar in a story about the lives of three cab drivers.
The good news is, there's plenty of room at the top, as a whopping 13 shows cracked TV's Top Ten last week! The bad news is, we're running out of Regis Philbin jokes. William Shatner If you've got any good Regis material, feel free to send us an e-mail and pass it along. If we use it, we'll even print your name! Make your friends (the ones who think their Regis jokes are just sooo funny) insanely jealous! Or, even better, join the campaign to replace Regis as "Millionaire" host with William Shatner, 'cuz we've got plenty of gas left in that particular tank.
Without further ado then, primetime's Top Ten shows for the week of April 17-23, according to the fine folks at Nielsen Media Research. (Remember, each rating point is worth a little more than one million viewers.)
1."Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (Tuesday), ABC - 17.0 A priest, a rabbi and Regis Philbin go into a bar, and a guys says, "Hey, that's not U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, that's my wife!" See, we need help. Badly.
2. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (Thursday), ABC - 16.8 But perhaps more importantly, just imagine how dramatic this show could be if it were Shatner asking, "Is that your … final answer?"
3. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" (Sunday), ABC - 16.7 Or better still … Regis in the captain's chair! "You Klingon bastard, you killed my son!" Or maybe just "… KHAAAAN!!!" (Please help.)
4. "The Practice," ABC -- 11.7 In this episode, a lawyer turned a dog bite into a huge cash settlement. Sounds pretty far-fetched to us. After all, what self-respecting lawyer would … Oh. OK. Nevermind.
5. "Everybody Loves Raymond," CBS -- 11.3 Well, clearly most people love him, anyway.
6. "NYPD Blue," ABC -- 10.4
7. "60 Minutes," CBS - 10.3 In this episode, New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson espoused the belief that marijuana and heroin should be legal. When confronted on the issue by Ed Bradley, Johnson offered the following explanation: "What? Wait … hey, are you hungry at all?"
8. "ER," NBC -- 10.1
9. "20/20 Downtown," ABC - 10.0 This was the episode when Mary Wilson, a former member of the famous singing group "… and the Supremes" finally spoke out about how Diana Ross stole the spotlight.
10. It's a tie! "Becker," CBS -- 9.9 "Dharma and Greg," ABC -- 9.9 "Law and Order," NBC -- 9.9 "Touched by an Angel," CBS -- 9.9
In the overall network battle, ABC stayed on top with an average rating of 8.1. CBS narrowly edged out NBC, 7.4 to 7.3. Fox managed a 4.9. And UPN (2.7) continued to "lay the smack down," so to speak, on the WB (2.1).
In other ratings news, "Ally McBeal" continues to be a strong draw for Fox. "Ally"'s 8.7 gave the smaller net its first Top 20 show in a while against strong competition from CBS's Monday comedies. Of course, any week now Fox's "Greed" is going to really catch on and then we'll see what a "national phenomenon" really looks like!
Worried you were dozing in Sunday School? Never knew God was a grandpa?
Don’t worry this isn’t sequel to the biblical TV miniseries. Set in the
early ’70s "Jesus’ Son" is the raw account of a young man (Billy
Crudup) shooting up throwing up and staggering through his wasted
youth. Through his journey he encounters a bizarre assortment of
misfits that make this film look like an indie "The Wizard of Oz" for
the messed up. Our hero collides with a beautiful and fragile heroine
addict (Samantha Morton) who becomes the cause of his downfall and
possibly his salvation.
Crudup could have capitalized on his teen-idol good looks to grab some
glossy Hollywood roles (and bucks). Instead he seems intent on using
his impressive acting skills to explore diverse and disturbing sides of
the human experience. As "Jesus’ Son " the actor gives an
inspirationally playful portrayal of the junkie’s arc from recklessness
to recovery as if he lived it. Morton (an Oscar nominee for "Sweet and
Lowdown") makes screwed-up nearly endearing as the woman who like Eve
turns her mate on to the forbidden fruit. The film is also blessed with
extended cameos from Denis Leary Jack Black Dennis Hopper Holly
Hunter and Greg Germann.
Far from glamorous or mainstream Allison MacLean has crafted a daring
grungy portrait of lost youth from Denis Johnson’s book. Brutal yet
compassionate MacLean rewards the adventurous with this disquieting
look at the wounded (literally and emotionally) that eventually leads to
a small but oddly uplifting triumph.