General News

ROLE CALL: Bentley in Need of Beauty Rest

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Newly earned fame and power can really wear one down.

So says Wes Bentley.

The "American Beauty" scene-stealer has decided to drop out of Warner Bros.’ "Queen of the Damned," citing the need of personal downtime as the primary reason.

Based on the novel by gothic maven Anne Rice, "Damned" is the third installment of the author’s "Vampire Chronicles." (The first installment, "Interview With the Vampire," was made into a hit 1994 movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and a very pre-"Dick" Kirsten Dunst). The "Damned" story follows vampire Lestat as he metamorphoses into a rock star whose tunes awaken the hibernating queen of all vampires.

No actor has yet been named to replace Bentley. But if it’s any consolation, singer/part-time actress Aaliyah has signed on to star in the project as the queen.

Shooting of the film is slated to go into production Aug. 21 in Australia.

BACK IN THE MIX:The Hollywood Reporter reported today that actor Gary Oldman is back on track for a co-starring role in "Hannibal," where the actor would play the cannibalistic villian’s former victim and nemesis. Talks between Oldman and the studios (MGM and Universal) were reportedly stalled over the issue of the actor’s billing before.

X-ED OUT: Prolific "X-Files" creator Chris Carter might be taking a short break from summoning up the supernatural on television. Daily Variety reported that the master of TV paranormal phenomena is close to inking a deal with Dimension Films to direct "The World of Ted Serios," a true story about a man with the unusual ability to channel his thoughts onto unexposed film negative.

REPLACEMENT 'ANGEL': Remember "Angel Eyes," the upcoming Jennifer Lopez project that was left without a male lead after Aaron Eckhart bailed out on the job last weekend? Well, it doesn’t take long for a list of possible replacements to emerge. The said list of eligible hunks include Benjamin Bratt, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Garcia and James Caviezel.

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