Will Jet Li kick Keanu Reeves' sorry butt? Probably just wishful thinking on our part, but today's Hollywood Reporter does give us hope. The paper says action star Li (late of "Romeo Must Die") is about to be wooed by the filmmakers behind "The Matrix" to appear in the hit movie's upcoming two sequels.
Reeves, for one, is already set to wear black again in the films (dubbed "The Matrix 2" and "The Matrix 3"). So are his cohorts from the original flick -- Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss.
WHO IS NUMBER 6? Patrick McGoohan, who in the 1960s starred in the cool, paranoiac and slightly incomprehensible British sci-fi series "The Prisoner," is set to executive produce a big-screen version for Universal Pictures. Today's Daily Variety says Simon West ("Con Air") will direct. No word yet on a star.
WE'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY: Heather Graham is in talks to join Johnny Depp in the comic-book-inspired mystery "From Hell," today's Reporter says. Graham would draw her paycheck the old-fashioned Hollywood way -- by playing a hooker.
TIARA TROUBLE: Meg Ryan and Ellen DeGeneres are looking to team up in "Second Chance," a comedy about a beauty pageant scandal uncovered 15 years later. Ryan would also serve as a producer, the Reporter says.
Charlize Theron's looking to reunite with her "Devil's Advocate" co-star Keanu Reeves.
Daily Variety reports that the actress is in negotiations to co-star in the Warner Bros. pic "Sweet November." That would mean that her heart's no longer set on producer Jerry Bruckheimer's "Pearl Harbor." That Michael Bay-helmed actioner is to be filmed over a five-month period.
As for "Sweet November," "Circle of Friends" filmmaker Pat O'Connor is set to direct the tale of a businessman (Reeves) who falls in love with a cancer-riddled woman (Theron).
PACINO'S 'OEDIPUS' COMPLEX: "Godfather" Al Pacino is getting back to the family roots as doomed Theban king Oedipus Rex (aka the guy who killed his dad and married his mom).
Pacino will star in the New York stage-bound production for director-actress Estelle Parsons. The A-list ensemble includes Mary Beth Hurt, Dianne Wiest and Edward Hermann. Variety reports that the director plans to open the show at an Off Broadway venue in a couple of months.
HE'S WITH THE "BAND": Former pop star-turned-actor Donnie Wahlberg (brother of rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg) has signed on with a new group in the form of HBO's $120 million, 13-hour miniseries "Band of Brothers."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wahlberg -- late of New Kids on the Block -- will play Cmdr. Lipton in the war tale based on a nonfiction book by Stephen Ambrose. The project follows the adventures of a group of 101st Airborne soldiers from basic training to their capture of Hitler's Eagle Nest at Berchtesgaden, Germany.
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are the miniseries' executive producers.
'KNIGHT'-HOOD: "Terminator 2" tyke Edward Furlong, now 22, takes a step in the action-hero direction as the lead in the indie film "The Knights of the Quest."
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Furlong will star for Italian director Pupi Avati as Simon of Clarendon, an 11th century hero who sets out to inform a French king about a sacred relic.
The $15 million to $18 million project is set to begin shooting March 27 in Scotland, Italy, France and Tunisia. The film's being financed by the Italian government and Antonio Avati (Pupi's brother). The project's still looking for a domestic distributor.
'PICNIC PLANNING': Columbia TriStar Television thinks it's high time for another remake and has placed a new version of the 1955 movie "Picnic" on its telefilm development slate.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the remake will star Josh Brolin, Gretchen Mol, Mary Steenburgen and Bonnie Bedelia. Based on William Inge's play, it's the story of a drifter who stirs up a small town after falling for an old buddy's fiancŽe.
READY FOR 'KISS': Actor Danny Nucci, Leonardo DiCaprio's steerage-class buddy from "Titanic," is close to landing the lead in the CBS pilot "Kiss Me Guido." Variety reports that Nucci will star as Frankie, an Italian-American playboy who ends up with a gay roomie after misreading a classified ad. The series is based on the 1997 Paramount film.
'HAPPINESS' IS A NEW DEAL: Todd Solondz, director of the lightly titled, heavily weighted dramedies "Happiness" and "Welcome to the Dollhouse," has been joyously embraced (no irony here) by New Line Cinema. Daily Variety reports that the studio has acquired the distribution rights to the filmmaker's untitled next project, which will be produced by Gotham-based Ted Hope and Christine Vachon.