The set of Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man has lately been plagued with a run of bad luck, to say the least.
Actually, it's becoming nearly arachnophobic.
First, a construction worker died last month while a crew worked to recreate the top two floors of a 1930s-style building on the set. A crane hauling a large metal case suddenly fell over on its side and the metal case hit the man in the head, killing him instantly.
Then, on Tuesday, star Tobey Maguire's stunt double, Zack Hudson, reportedly fractured his leg while performing one of the hair-raising Spidey maneuvers. Instead of skimming along a brick structure, Hudson smashed into the wall. Information on his condition could not be confirmed by the studio, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Also Tuesday, four red-and-black Spider-Man costumes went missing from the Sony Pictures Studios lot, according to the studio. The Spidey one-piece molded suits have as many as 120 individual silk screens for shading and highlighting.
The Culver City Police Department is investigating the incident.
The studio has set up a hotline number-(310) 244-1044-for any tips about the whereabouts of the costumes and is offering a $25,000 reward.
"We consider these costumes valuable property and we hope this reward will help to get them back," a studio spokesman told Reuters.
What is the potential value of the costumes? According to Sotheby's Auctions, the Batman and Robin costumes worn by Adam West and Burt Ward on the 1960s TV series sold for a total $68,500.
The highly anticipated film, the first big-screen adaptation of Marvel Comics' famed superhero, may have been cursed from the beginning. It's taken several years to get this film into production, with a legal battle over rights and changing of hands in the talent department - at one point, James Cameron was slated to direct - hindering the film's start.
It finally got rolling in January, with Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead series) at the helm. Maguire (The Cider House Rules) stars as Peter Parker, the nebbish youngster who, after receiving a bite from a radioactive spider, is able to stick to walls and fight the bad guys. Willem Dafoe, off of his Oscar-nominated performance in Shadow of the Vampire, dons more makeup and ghoulish-ness playing the arch-nemesis Green Goblin. Kirsten Dunst (Get Over It) plays Mary Jane Watson, Parker's next-door-neighbor and love interest.
Recent troubles have not delayed production, the studio has said. The film is slated for release May 2002.
They are some of the most-asked questions at donut shops around the world: (1) Who will go home with Oscar?; (2) What new and probing insights will the most important social commentators of our time, Joan and Melissa Rivers, have to say about the nominees' clothes? (3) Why is a babe like Catherine Zeta-Jones hanging around with that old guy? And, (4) What is Ricky Martin's sexual orientation, and how does it affect us?
Ricky Martin At least some of those questions -- and more -- will be answered this week on TV. And just so you don't have to sit through all of it just to find out about the really important stuff, here's a handy little guide:
-- Live from the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, it's the 72nd Annual Academy Awards (8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST, Sunday, ABC)! In case you haven't heard of this show, it's kind of like the Golden Globes. What to watch for? How will Robin Williams perform the expletive-laden Best Song nominee "Blame Canada" (from "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut")? Our prediction? We predict that we will go to a party and drink too much champagne so we won't notice how incredibly long this show is.
-- The annual Oscar night "Barbara Walters Special" (7 p.m. EST; immediately after the Academy Awards on the West Coast, Sunday, ABC) looks to be a good one this year. Interviewees Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are expecting, Mike Myers is a very funny man and Ricky Martin actually requested that Walters bring up the much-talked-about issue of "Is he or isn't he?" Our prediction? We will still be at a party drinking champagne and will probably get pretty upset at the whole Catherine Zeta-Jones issue because we really think we would have had a chance if it weren't for Michael Douglas.
-- If it's wacky Oscar-related commentary you're looking for, check out E!'s live pre-show coverage starting at 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST, and featuring the ever-catty Joan and Melissa Rivers standing outside the Shrine and judging people by their covers like mean-spirited high school cheerleaders. Joan looks absolutely fabulous, by the way. Also on Oscar night, ABC unspools the "Politically Incorrect After-Party" at 12:05 a.m. EST/PST. Host Bill Maher will surely have a few choice words to say about some of the goings-on at the ceremony. Our prediction? We will have come to our senses, wished the Douglas family well and cried ourselves to sleep by this time.
-- Jennifer Love Hewitt is quite charming in the title role of "The Audrey Hepburn Story" (8 p.m. EST/PST, Monday, ABC). The made-for-TV movie is as light and breezy as its subject always seemed to be. Nothing groundbreaking or shocking here, but it's always so easy to like Audrey Hepburn, and this movie keeps the feeling going. All in all, not a bad night in front of the tube.
-- ABC has another mid-season replacement worth checking out when "Wonderland" premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. EST/PST. Created by actor Peter Berg, formerly Dr. Billy Kronk on CBS' "Chicago Hope," "Wonderland" is a brooding drama that's just a little different from the more-familiar police precincts and emergency rooms we're so used to seeing on TV. Martin Donovan and Michelle Forbes head a strong ensemble cast as husband and wife doctors in a New York City hospital's psychiatric ward. Our prediction? The show has drawn a tough slot, opposite NBC's "ER," but there might just be room for this one.