Jodie Foster‘s played an English schoolteacher, an FBI agent and a rocket scientist. Now she’ll stretch further as a one-legged nun in “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.”
Reports today say the two-time Oscar winner has agreed to play a supporting role in the $15-20 million film for Initial Entertainment Group. She’ll also produce.
Shooting’s scheduled to begin May 1. Commercial director Peter Care will helm the script by Jeff Stockwell and Michael Petroni. Based on Chris Fuhrman’s novel, the story’s about a group of Catholic youths who get caught drawing an obscene comic book. Next, they outdo themselves by planning a heist that will make them legends.
NOW, STOP ASKING! The speculation is over. (Really.) Steven Spielberg has officially said thanks but no thanks to Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” — the planned big-screen adaptation of the insanely popular “Harry Potter” kids’ books. Although Spielberg never actually was on board, a London Times report (and lots of subsequent media coverage) indicated that the movie was high on his to-do list. With Spielberg out of the picture, new names being tossed around include Robert Zemeckis, Chris Columbus and Brad Siberling.
IN THE RING: And the winner is … “The Insider’s” Michael Man, who will coach Will Smith to boxing glory as Muhammad Ali in the Columbia biopic “Ali.” The project, which has been in development for eight years, could start shooting in July for a summer 2001 release, Hollywood trade papers say. The script by “Nixon’s” Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele covers the boxer’s early days as Cassius Clay, his rise in sports and politics, his refusal to fight in Vietnam and his comeback bouts against Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
BACK IN ‘BLACK’: While he waits to become Ali, Will Smith will don the suit and ray gun again to star in the Universal Studios Florida attraction “Men in Black Alien Attack.” Complete with monitors, ride cars, 30-foot bugs (but minus crusty ol’ Tommy Lee Jones), the interactive adventure allows Agent Jay (with a little help from Rip Torn) to save the day — and start prepping for the next episode. The ride debuts in April.
‘TROUBLE’ AHEAD: Attempting to put “Wild Wild West” behind him, director Barry Sonnenfeld has signed up for Disney’s “Big Trouble.” The ensemble comedy’s set to begin shooting this summer in Miami, which means Sonnenfeld’s out of the loop for Warner Bros.’ “The Ugly Truth,” a starring vehicle for ex-sweethearts Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow.
OUT FOR BLOOD: Look a little closer at “American Beauty’s” Wes Bentley, and check out his molars. The hot supporting player might get the call of the wild as lead vampire Lestat in Warner Bros.’ “Queen of the Damned,” based on Anne Rice’s novel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bentley would take over the role played by Tom Cruise in 1994’s “Interview with the Vampire.” This time, Lestat’s a rocker whose tunes turn on the Queen of all vampires. He’s also chased by a vampire hunter who’s smitten by his bloodcurdling ways.
DECK THE HALLS WITH LAUREN HOLLY: Lauren Holly’s set to complete the threesome in Paramount Pictures’ “What Women Want.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’ll star opposite Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt in the romantic comedy that begins shooting this week. Directed by Nancy Meyers, it’s the tale of a male chauvinist (Gibson) who suffers a freak accident that gives him the power to read women’s thoughts.
NOT WILD FOR ‘JUMANJI 2’: Ken Ralston, the special-effects wizard responsible for the F/X in the first “Jumanji,” has decided not to play with the animals as director on “Jumanji 2.” Unlike the action-packed kids’ pic, The Hollywood Reporter says the long-awaited sequel wasn’t moving fast enough for Ralston, who parted on good terms with Columbia Pictures.