General News

ROLE CALL: Zeta-Jones, Douglas Up in 'Smoke'?

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Off-screen couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones may hook up on screen as well in the planned action-adventure "Smoke and Mirrors." The Hollywood Reporter says the film is a potential starring vehicle for the soon-to-be newlyweds.

Initial Entertainment Group, which bought the rights to the script by "Batman Forever" team Lee and Janet Scott Bachelor, plans to make the flick a big-budget affair, possibly shooting in France or Algeria.

Although Zeta-Jones is pregnant with Douglas' child, she's still in talks to star as the beautiful partner of 19th century French illusionist Jean Robert-Houdin. Set during the 1850s, the story has Houdin and young Collette (the potential Zeta-Jones role) traveling to Algeria on a secret mission for the French government. Their goal: to expose a religious sorcerer who advocates the overthrow of French colonials.

Kevin Brodie ("A Dog of Flanders") has signed on to direct. He'll also produce with Joel Douglas (brother of Michael).

Michael Douglas, 55, and Zeta-Jones, 30, became engaged last New Year's Eve.

'BUFFY' GOES IVY: Actress-cum-"Vampire Slayer" Sarah Michelle Gellar will put down the wooden stake and pick up the books as a philosophy professor in James Toback's semi-autobiographical "Harvard Man."

The Hollywood Reporter notes that after five years in development, the project may start shooting this spring.

Toback ("Two Girls and a Guy") will helm the film, based in part on his experiences at Harvard in the 1960s, which included an overdose on LSD. The story is said to combine philosophy, sex, and (what else?) basketball scandals. Gellar plays a teacher who has an affair with a college hoopster. That character was once considered for mega-star Leo DiCaprio.

IT'S NOT NIKE, BUT ... Spike Lee won't be hawking shoes in his next commercial. He'll be throwing his clout behind Democratic presidential nominee Bill Bradley.

Lee will star in, but not direct, an ad that will air in the Big Apple before New York's March 7 presidential primary.

Lee reportedly is concerned that black voters are blindly supporting Vice President Al Gore based on their loyalty to President Clinton.

"Sometimes you just got to take the gloves off," Lee told reporters Monday. "It's for real now. Bill will come out smoking."

Lee's frequent commercial co-star, basketball great Michael Jordan, has already appeared in a Bradley ad.

NEW RECRUIT: After sparring with Denzel Washington in "The Hurricane," Vicellous Shannon is ready to go round and round in the Marine Corps as the lead in the Steven Spielberg series, "Semper Fi." According to the Hollywood Reporter, the hour-long show from DreamWorks and NBC will debut in fall. Shannon will star as Wade Maddox, a smart and cocky new recruit.

TAKING IT TO 'THE $TREET': "Saving Private Ryan's" Adam Goldberg, about the only young Hollywood actor not in "The Boiler Room," gets his chance to swim with the sharks as the lead player in the Fox pilot, "The $treet." The drama, about a group of Wall Street yuppies, is being developed by Darren Star, creator of "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Sex and the City." Variety says the show will begin shooting in mid-March.

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