Hudson skips out on "Girl"
Actress Kate Hudson mysteriously pulled out of her next film project The Girl With the Pearl Earring. I hope it isn't because of the awful title because, Kate, that can always change (a must, in this case). No, those powers that be aren't quite sure why Hudson left the project in the dust, triggering producer Intermedia Films to pull the plug on financing just four weeks before filming was to start. The film is based on Tracy Chevalier's best-selling novel about a maidservant of the 17th century Dutch painter Jan Vermeer and is being directed by Mike Newell. Ralph Fiennes is still attached to star as Vermeer. Even more odd is the fact Hudson pursued this project vehemently and was thrilled to be doing the movie. Will there be lawsuits involved? Perhaps. But make no mistake, producer Andy Paterson is determined to recast and move on. Just change the title, Andy.
Carvey is a "Master of Disguise"
Dana Carvey, where the heck have you been? We've certainly missed you. Wish you were still on Saturday Night Live, but of course, you had to move on--even though your track record in films hasn't been the best in the world. However, we are always willing to give you another chance cause you are one funny guy. But Dana, you've got to choose wisely and from the sounds of your next film, you have not done that. The film, called Master of Disguise, is about a man who finds out his family has been masters of disguise for generations. To save his parents from an evil bad guy, he must quickly learn the family's unique talents from his grandfather. It also stars Jennifer Esposito (Don't Say a Word) as the love interest. Well, that's OK, Dana, it just good to see you back on your feet.
"Bad News" for Forman
Director Milos Forman (The People vs. Larry Flynt) has set his sights on Warner Bros.' Bad News from screenwriter/playwright Doug Wright (Quills), based on a novel from Donald Westlake. The story centers on a career crook, John Dortmunder, who gets involved in an underhanded takeover of an Indian gambling casino. However, he soon realizes that he's set himself up to be ripped off-unless, of course, he can rip off his partner first. Well, from what sounds like a fairly typical doublecross movie, the redeeming factors are the writer and director, each provocative in their own right. And of course, the cast has got to be good for this one to work.
Another video game hits the screen
That's right. These video games are just ripe fruit for the picking by studio execs. Now, it's Sega's popular The House of the Dead horror games that are getting the Hollywood treatment. Looking to start filming mid-January, the story takes place on an island off the coast of Florida that is inhabited by zombies, monsters and creatures who wreak havoc on land, in the air and in the water. To try and stop the insanity, a diverse group of multiethnic college coeds and a Coast Guard officer must get on the island and destroy the evil entity living in the House of the Dead. I can see the teenagers lining up now.
Seagal is "Half Past Dead"
Well, at least Steven Seagal should be--then we wouldn't have to be subjected to any more of his movies. But alas, that's out of my hands. His latest is Half Past Dead from Franchise Pictures, being described as a Die Hard in prison. Wait, wasn't Under Siege Die Hard on a U.S. Navy battleship? Right. This story revolves around a man (Morris Chestnut) who masterminds a plan to infiltrate a high-tech prison in an attempt to persuade a death row inmate to tell him the whereabouts of $200-million worth of gold from an old heist the FBI has never been able to solve. Whew! Seagal plays an FBI agent who tries to stop him. Good luck with that, Steven.