General News

ROLE CALL: Judd's Number is Up

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Ashley Judd is in "Double Jeopardy" no more.

According to last Friday's Hollywood Reporter, the non-singing Judd is in talks to star in the romantic comedy "Animal Husbandry," based on the 1998 novel by Laura Zigman about the mating rituals of urban professionals in New York City. Judd's paycheck reportedly will be $4 million.

The movie will be helmed by actor-director Tony Goldwyn ("A Walk on the Moon").

WHAT HELEN WANTS: It's not easy for a woman to turn down Mel Gibson twice. As Helen Hunt is learning. Hunt is reconsidering a starring role opposite Gibson in the romantic comedy "What Women Want," Daily Variety says. The Oscar winner turned down the project last month due to scheduling conflicts. She's gearing up to shoot the drama "Pay It Forward," starring Kevin Spacey and That "Sixth Sense" Kid (a ka Haley Joel Osment) in February. "What Women Want" is also scheduled to begin shooting next month, but apparently the plan now would be for Hunt to move onto "Women" once she wraps "Pay It Forward."

In "What Women Want," Gibson plays a chauvinistic exec who acquires the ability to hear what every woman is thinking about him. Marisa Tomei is in negotiations to co-star. The director is Nancy Meyers ("The Parent Trap").

MORK GOES DIGITAL: Robin Williams has inked a three-year deal with Audible.com to host a weekly, half-hour show on the Net.

"I love reaching out to audiences directly," Williams told the audience at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. "I support artists having control over their material. I hope this effort will prompt other artists to take control of their talent." And get tons o' stock options.

FRESH PRINZE OF CAPE COD: Freddie Prinze Jr. ("She's All That") is negotiating to play the lead in a romantic comedy for Warner Bros. that should net him between $1.5 million and $2 million -- his biggest payday to date.

Shooting's slated to start this spring on "Summer Catch," a romance between a poor boy and a wealthy girl whose family spends summers in Cape Cod. The kid plays minor league baseball and dreams of making it to the bigs. Mike Tollin, who produced the teen flicks "Good Burger" and "Varsity Blues," will make his directorial debut on the project.

THIS AIN'T 'TOY STORY 3': Director Edward Zwick ("The Siege") has chosen his next directorial project: "Toys of Desperation," a supernatural thriller for Paramount.

According to Variety, the flick's based on a forthcoming novel by first-time author Sean Desmond. The story follows a young Ivy League student who's haunted by a ghost.

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