Christina Ricci, star of such gloomy fare as "Sleepy Hollow" and "Buffalo '66," will put her experiences to work in her latest project.
Daily Variety says the indie siren has agreed to grapple with depression as the star and co-producer of a big-screen version of "Prozac Nation."
The movie adapts Elizabeth Wurtzel's 1994 autobiographical account of her lifelong bout with the disease. The New York writer graduated from Harvard and became a well-known journalist, but her crippling feelings once caused her to attempt suicide. Prozac, she said, was the lifesaver that helped her reshape her life.
Ricci's interest in the book sparked the development of the project. The film's set to begin shooting May 15 with "Insomnia's" Erik Skjoldbjaerg at the helm.
BOOB TUBE REDUX: Ex-"Roseanne" star John Goodman can't resist a return to sitcoms -- especially when Fox and the producers at Carsey-Werner Co. (his old "Roseanne" home) offered him $4.4 million for 22 episodes' worth of work. According to Variety, the actor has signed on to star as one-half of an "Odd Couple"-like pair of single fathers living together with their teenagers. ("My Two Dads" with more kids?)
LONG LIVE 'KINGS': In the grand tradition of such respectable concert films as Eddie Murphy's "Raw," Spike Lee has signed on to document the popular "Kings of Comedy" tour. The show, which has played to sell-out crowds at Madison Square Garden and the Great Western Forum, features entertainers Steve Harvey, D. L. Hughley, Cedric "The Entertainer" and Bernie Mac.
The film will combine outtakes from the show along with backstage activities and music. The movie's in development at Paramount-based MTV Films, with the network planning a soundtrack that combines the channel's top hip-hop and R&B acts.
MTV Prods. Senior VP David Gale tells Variety promises that the movie "will be pretty racy, but not offensive."
MAN IN BLACK: He's a music legend and an American icon. Next, dark horse Johnny Cash will be the subject of a big-screen movie. Variety says Columbia Pictures has signed filmmaker James Mangold ("Girl, Interrupted") to co-write and direct "Cash," a biopic about the musician's "tumultuous life and profound effect on American music."
Mangold will team with scripter Gill Dennis on the screenplay. James Keach (brother of Stacy, husband to Jane Seymour) is a producer, and a close friend of the legend. Also producing is Sony-based filmmaker Cathy Konrad.
Apparently Catherine Zeta-Jones has more important things to do than spend time with Kevin Costner.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the actress has dropped out of Oliver Stone's epic love story "Beyond Borders," in which she was to co-star with Costner. Sources now have the lead role going to "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts.
The shoot for Mandalay Pictures' "Beyond Borders" was to begin in May. No word from Zeta-Jones' camp on why she dropped out of the flick, although the actress is due to wed Michael Douglas -- reportedly on Sept. 25, the lovebirds' shared birthday.
HE WRITES THE SONGS: Steve Martin may be headed back to the Barry Manilow era in Miramax's upcoming "Long Lost."
Martin's attached to star and Griffin Dunne ("Addicted to Love") is set to direct, the Reporter says. "Pulp Fiction's" Lawrence Bender and Laura Bickford will produce.
The story's about a 1970s Manilow-esque pop icon whose days of having women throw their panties at him are long since past.
ANIMAL PLANET: Warner Bros. has a certain pet fetish after taking a gander at the box-office numbers for Sony's mousecapade, "Stuart Little." Daily Variety reports that the studio is a kibble and bit away from green lighting its own live action-animated pet movie, "Cats and Dogs."
Warners initially had hoped to fast track the project for a release Christmas Y2K but may take its time to have the pic set for a 2001 holiday release.
The fast-and-furry comedy tells the story of a continuing battle between the species, as dogs and cats go paw to paw over the creation of a vaccine against dog allergies. The dogs are barking for it. The cats want to scratch it from existence.
Director Larry Gutterman has already begun scouting locations, and creature models are being built in L.A. and the United Kingdom.
The Force could still be with "Titanic" mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio, who talked about the "Star Wars" rumors in an interview last week with "Entertainment Tonight." Leo reports that he and George Lucas have discussed the idea of the 25-year-old playing Anakin, and the actor wants to do it. So far, though, there has been no official word from either camp.
Leo's comments came during a round of press interviews for his latest project, "The Beach." The 20th Century Fox movie, an eerie adventure directed by "Trainspotting's" Danny Boyle, is set to open Feb. 11.
Meanwhile, Lucas is busy preparing the next "Star Wars" script. If the stars align right, the director will begin filming the second in the series' prequel trilogy in June. He expects to complete shooting by October.
STAR TREKKER SETS PHASER TO SPOOF: "Star Trek: Next Generation" actor and director Jonathan Frakes can't be accused of lacking a sense of humor. Daily Variety reports that the franchise player has signed up to helm the sci-fi spoof "Steve Was Here" for Sony-based Centropolis Entertainment.
The filmmaker, who's already directed two "Trek" movies, signed a six-figure deal for the project. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, heads of Centropolis and the filmmakers responsible for "Stargate," "Independence Day" and "Godzilla," will serve as the movie's executive producers. "Steve" tells the story of a sad town and its civilians, who decide to create a fake alien landing in order to boost tourism. Norman Steinberg is the screenwriter.
SELLECK TRIES NEW PARTY: Republican Tom Selleck joins the Hollywood majority playing a Democratic presidential candidate in an upcoming cable TV movie. According to Variety, Selleck will headline TNT's dramedy "Washington Slept Here," about a leading candidate in the Democratic primaries. The $10 million film is supposed to begin a six-week shoot in Los Angeles in order to make its scheduled air date in August, which would coincide with the real Democratic convention in L.A. Selleck's co-stars include Faye Dunaway, Laura Linney, Nancy Travis and Teri Hatcher.
FRIENDLY CYBERGIRL: Jennifer Aniston will prove she's Internet-friendly as the producer and star of an original series for the Web site VOXXY. Aimed at teen-age girls, the site plans to feature 13 "empowering" and "entertaining" half-hour episodes throughout the spring.
Nora (Olympia Dukakis) is bonkers enough to jackhammer tunnels beneath her suburban home while her three adults daughters (Deborah Hedwall Catherine Corpeny and Wendy Hoopes) are only marginally more stable. Then patriarch Tom (Roy Scheider) shows up after a 15-year absence with wild ideas about fortifying the homestead against attacks from the world's unfortunate. Who will triumph in the resulting battle for family domination?
Dukakis ("Moonstruck") is always a joy to see digging into a role as idiosyncratic as this one but even she starts to look a little foolish as the storyline grows increasingly ridiculous in the second half. The other members of the ensemble suffer more grievously from the uneven script though Hedwell (NBCs "Law and Order") gets in some good licks as a hard-bitten public defender prone to shouting her opinions. Veteran character actor Edward Herrmann ("Richie Rich") gives delightful deadpan as Nora's morose priest brother.
Adapted from George F. Walker's stage play Max Mayer's well-meaning debut feature generates some amusingly unpredictable moments early on. But things go horribly wrong when Tom arrives with his scheme to remake the family as a disciplined home-defense unit. The idea of the characters building a barricade around their house isn't believable for a second - worse it isn't funny. Inhabiting an uncomfortable area between drama and black comedy the piece disintegrates into a series of embarrassingly ineffective episodes.