BUZZ/SAW: Michael Douglas’ New “Baby”

Y2K looks to be a big year for Michael Douglas. Having just announced his engagement to Catherine Zeta-Jones (via the Internet, no less — we hope someone e-mailed Catherine the good news), Douglas is poised to tie the knot with the beautiful Welsh star this year.

Also in 2000 – next month in fact — Douglas will be seen in Paramount’s “Wonder Boys,” about a majorly blocked writer. While initial reports described Douglas‘ character as “overweight” and “pot-smoking,” Those Who Have Read the script say the role has a lot more dignity than that.

And then there’s the “baby.” Douglas‘ production company Further Films has birthed its very first release, “One Night at McCool’s,” starring none other than Daddy. (Look for the bouncing black comedy in the fall.)

And parenting will be very much on Douglas‘ mind when he begins pre-production later this year on Further and New Line’s “My Three Sons,” based on the TV series. Douglas is set to star in the old Fred MacMurray role of widower Steve Douglas. (Sorry, no relation.)


DIGITAL DIVIDE: There was lots of talk last year about the imminence of digital delivery of movies in theaters. The speculation had it that traditional film projectors and the frequent need to “strike” 3000 or more prints of a single film for nationwide release would become passe perhaps as early as five years hence. Such predictions were the result of the successful testing last summer of two competing digital projectors that delivered George Lucas‘ “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and Miramax’s Rupert Everett starrer “An Ideal Husband” in several theaters in the New York and Los Angeles areas.

But according to a new study – the spanking new Schroders International Media and Entertainment Report 2000 — digital projectors won’t play “a meaningful role until well into the next decade.”

Weighing in with its dissenting opinion, the investment bank cites such factors as the existence of multiple standards among projector manufacturers, technical incompatibilities involving encryption, and the likely unwillingness of theater owners to shoulder the expense of re-outfitting their auditoriums with the $100,000 digital projectors.

SCOOP DU JOUR: Very big deal Aussie director Bruce Beresford, who surprised everyone – including himself – with the stunning success of his recent thriller “Double Jeopardy,” starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones, will next do “Bride of the Wind,” a film about Alma Mahler, wife of romantic composer Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

Having produced a number of comedies early in his career, Beresford has already “stretched” between the somewhat silly and the soundly serious, although his long filmography, including films like “Tender Mercies” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” definitely skews “serious.”

So why this serious film about Alma and not her famous and tortured turn-of-the-century composer husband? Because throughout her life, Alma was also romantically linked to many other bold-faced creative types as she cavorted from colorful fin-de-siecle Vienna to high society New York to heyday Hollywood.

SCOOPETTE DU JOUR: A very big and gorgeous name in rock is about to get his own one-hour series – if the hunky star can be persuaded to shoot the 22 episodes in Vancouver instead of the more pricey Los Angeles. Or if the tight-fisted network can be persuaded to cough up the bucks for a Left Coast shoot.

FINALLY: A high-profile editor and her entertainment mogul patron are said to be on the outs because the free-spending former has asked the notoriously cheap latter for a lot more money to do her gig.