Five years ago, “Waterworld” threatened to destroy Kevin Costner’s career, what with all the negative press surrounding its budget overruns, logistical filming problems and on-set rifts. And the film reportedly did destroy Costner’s working relationship with Kevin Reynolds, the director who had previously worked with the star on "Fandango" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." (Remember that, after Reynolds finished shooting "Waterworld," Costner fired him and edited the picture himself -- and threw in some CGI effects to enhance his own receding hairline.)
But now that’s all water under the bridge (pardon the pun). According to Variety, Costner and Reynolds are seriously thinking about working together again and -- get this -- the movie they want to make takes place mostly at sea.
Reynolds and Costner would reteam for "Okracoke," a historical drama written by "Shakespeare in Love" co-screenwriter Marc Norman. It’s the story of a disgraced British naval captain who redeems himself by hunting down the pirate Blackbeard.
MORE MOORE: The classiest 007 is back! Roger Moore will return to the big screen playing a spy in “The Enemy,” according to Reuters. “I need to make a film occasionally, otherwise people say, 'He must be retired,'” the 72-year-old erstwhile James Bond said.
SEAFOOD DIET: John Travolta will play the villain in "Swordfish," a new movie by "Kalifornia" director Dominic Sena, which starts shooting in July, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
ON THE VERGE: The Reporter also notes that Faye Dunaway plans to make a movie with Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar. Nothing is lined up yet, but Dunaway likes the Spaniard’s way with women. "He’s one of the few directors with the sensitivity to direct actresses," she says.
NOT SO CONGENIAL: Matt Dillon has backed out of a starring role in "Miss Congeniality," in which he was set to play an FBI agent opposite Sandra Bullock. Variety says that Dillon was attached to the film for a mere four days, from April 11 to April 14.
SUMMER STOCK: As a warm-up to his upcoming stint on "Spin City," Variety reports that Charlie Sheen will star in a romantic comedy "Good Advice," which shoots this summer.
SEE YOU ON CABLE: Nick Nolte, Neve Campbell and Robin Tunney have signed to star in the low-budget comedy-drama “Investigating Sex.” Nolte will play a researcher leading a sex study, while Campbell and Tunney will play stenographers transcribing "erotically charged discussions," according to the Reporter. One thing leads to another and, you guessed it, the researchers and the stenographers soon have more than a working relationship.
Agent Clarice Starling could be back on the case in the big-screen version of "Hannibal." After Jodie Foster dropped out to direct "Flora Plum," the project looked to be filed away -- or at least returned to producer Dino DeLaurentiis.
Now it appears that "Magnolia" star Julianne Moore could be ready for her FBI badge and power suit. Daily Variety reports that the busy actress (she appeared in five movies in 1999) is in strong contention for active duty. Although Universal tells Hollywood.com that the actress hasn't committed yet, the studio may very well put her on the front line.
Variety says the role Moore is looking at is indeed that of Clarice Starling -- and not an all-new FBI agent character, as had been rumored when Foster bailed on the project.
Moore is a wild card in a "Hannibal" derby where Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Gillian Anderson and Ashley Judd have all been touted as plucky replacements for the gun-toting heroine.
The casting of the role is key to the "Hannibal" puzzle, since Hannibal Lecter doesn't appear in Steve Zailian's script until one-quarter of the way into the movie. Whoever gets the call to action is also important in a fiscal sense. Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for his turn as Hannibal the Cannibal, is likely to take a big bite out of the budget, with a deal worth more than $10 million, plus likely gross points.
Gross, not gore, is also the anatomically correct term for the horror drama's behind-the-scenes players. Before production even begins, DeLarurentiis, director Ridley Scott and "Silence of the Lambs" / "Hannibal" writer Thomas Harris have managed to gobble up a very scary 26 percent of the gross, according to reports.
DOUBLE DUTY: "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts will definitely head south of the border with Brad Pitt in DreamWorks' "The Mexican," today's Hollywood Reporter says.
And for good measure, the actress also has reportedly said okay to a Vegas side trip with George Clooney in Warner Bros.' "Ocean's Eleven" remake.
According to the Reporter, the $20 million-a-pic mega-star won't receive that kind of spectacular payday for either film. Instead, she settled for a small advance against a significant part of the backend. (Translation: Don't worry about her bank account.)
"The Mexican," co-starring James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos"), is an action comedy about a con (Pitt) contending with an ancient gun -- believed to be cursed -- and an impatient girlfriend (Roberts). "Ocean's Eleven" is a new version of the 1960 Rat Pack film about a bunch of guys who rob Las Vegas casinos.
SHE SAYS, HE SAYS . . . NO: Catherine Zeta-Jones had her reasons for dropping out of Oliver Stone's "Beyond Borders." Now Kevin Costner has his excuse. Zeta-Jones is pregnant. Costner can't fit it into his schedule. Daily Variety reports that Stone, ever the optimistic Hollywood mogul, will press on to meet his scheduled May 1 start date with a new cast.
WEIRD 'NATURE': No one will ever accuse Charlie Kaufman of being a regular guy. The screenwriter of the offbeat "Being John Malkovich" keeps things a bit on the oddball side with his latest script, "Human Nature."
Variety reports that the dark comedy starring Patricia Arquette, Paul Giamatti and Miranda Otto begins shooting in May with music video maker Michel Gondry in the director's seat. The premise (believe it or not) is this: A woman (Arquette) suffers a hormonal abnormality that leaves her covered with body hair. Somehow, she becomes connected to a scientist who wants to save the world by teaching table manners to mice. The woman and the scientist, along with an assistant (Otto), have plans for a man (Rhys Ifans) raised in the wild as an ape.
Said Gondry to Variety: "The characters in 'Human Nature' may seem a bit extreme." Really?
STALLONE REVS UP: Sylvester Stallone, missing in action since 1997's "Copland," will try to switch to a higher gear by making a film about Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). According to Variety, Stallone's polishing the script, which will be produced by Franchise Pictures.
Variety also notes that the actor was quoted as saying he was "in total limbo" after being shunned by Hollywood.
It's amazing what a $171 million blockbuster can do for your career. A few years ago, Carrie-Anne Moss was toiling in straight-to-video movies and TV shows such as "Models Inc." This week, she's under contract for two upcoming sequels to "The Matrix."
Word comes today from Variety that Canadian-born Moss will reprise the character of Trinity -- a role in which she was so good, she even had us believing that Keanu Reeves was a messianic hero.
Meanwhile, Moss also co-stars with Tom Sizemore and Val Kilmer in the upcoming "Red Planet:; with Burt Reynolds in "The Crew"; and with Guy Pearce in "Memento," which debuts next month at Cannes.
As they say, a rolling Moss gathers no ... oh, forget it.
DECONSTRUCTING HAIRY: Fresh from his self-deprecating roles as a ponytail-wearing, New Age-swishy guy in "High Fidelity" and his turn as an astronaut in the fast-forgotten "Mission to Mars," Tim Robbins will star with Patricia Arquette in "Human Nature," a comedy about a woman covered with (yuck) body hair. The screenplay is by Charlie Kaufman, who wrote "Being John Malkovich."
I WANT MY MOMMY: The Australian invasion of Hollywood continues. Frances O’Connor will play Haley Joel Osment’s mother in the cast of Steven Spielberg’s next film, "A.I.," which will also star Jude Law, according to today’s Hollywood Reporter. No word on whether Osment -- who reportedly wanted Julianne Moore to play his mom -- is disappointed.