REEL DEALS Intermedia, a financier that has inked production deals with such established filmmakers as Sean Connery, Kevin Costner, and Ridley and Tony Scott, has now signed producing neophyte (and hot young actor) Ryan Phillippe (”Cruel Intentions”) to develop films for them. ”I know I’m young,” Phillippe, 24, told Variety, ”but you do amass knowledge working on films for seven years, and you get ideas how to put films together”…. Will Smith is developing another remake of the 1942 horror flick ”Cat People.” Paul Schrader (”Affliction”) first did a sexy remake of the film in 1982…. Peter and Bobby Farrelly are making the move from live-action cartoons to actual animated cartoons. They’re set to produce ”Frisco Pigeon Mambo,” an expectedly dark comedy about three animals who are enjoying their smoking-and-drinking life as lab specimens until they are liberated against their will by an animal-rights activist group.
DIVA DEVELOPMENTS For her new look as a solo artist, ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has ditched her platform boots and slathered-on makeup, judging by the upcoming video for her first single, ”Look at Me.” Photos from the video shoot, run in the British tabloid the Mirror, show Halliwell dancing around a cemetery in a long white gown and with red hair extensions. ”Geri looks like a cross between Kate Bush and Madonna,” a production insider told the Mirror…. And speaking of Madonna, she may coproduce Rob Zombie’s directorial debut, the horror film ”The Legend of the 13 Graves.”
MUSIC NEWS Taking a minute off from rehearsing with the E Street Band for their tour, Bruce Springsteen has written a song for John Sayles’ new movie, ”Limbo.” It’s not their first collaboration: Sayles filmed the music video for Springsteen’s 1985 hit ”Glory Days.”
EXECUTIVE CORRECTIONS All the dollars have been officially counted, showing that yesterday’s box office estimates were incorrect: ”EDtv” — which Universal first claimed had pulled in $9 million, putting it at No. 2 — actually only took in $8.31 million, landing it in third place behind ”Analyze This” ($8.67 million)…. Miramax is taking back its announcement that Roberto Benigni would speak the English dialogue in a dubbed version of ”Life Is Beautiful.” Variety’s Army Archerd said that Miramax’s Bob Weinstein apologized for the error and that his brother Harvey was ”angry” at him for the slip-up. No English-speaking actor has been cast for the new version.
CASTING Outspoken indie mainstay Vincent Gallo will join Jennifer Tilly and Daryl Hannah in the thriller ”Cord.” Gallo and Tilly will play an unbalanced couple whose biological clocks tick so loudly that they kidnap a pregnant woman (Hannah) to steal her baby…. Neil Patrick Harris (”Doogie Howser, M.D.”) is returning to television in a new sitcom by the creator of ”Just Shoot Me,” Steve Levitan. In NBC’s ”Stark Raving Mad,” Harris will play a persnickety book editor assigned to work with a lunatic author (Tony Shalhoub of ”Wings”).
RECOVERING Peter Boyle, who suffered a minor heart attack a week ago, has been released from the hospital. Boyle, 63, received an angioplasty and will miss the taping of two episodes of ”Everybody Loves Raymond,” but he hopes to return for the season’s last two tapings.
LAWSUIT MGM has finally beaten Sony Pictures in its two-year battle for sole rights to the James Bond franchise. Even though MGM has rights to all of the films except 1967’s ”Casino Royale,” Sony had announced that it was planning its own Bond movie, courtesy of a deal with Kevin McClory, who claimed to have rights because he produced ”Thunderball” and ”Never Say Never Again.” Thanks to the suit, Sony agreed not to proceed with a Bond adventure (and handed over the rights to ”Royale”). MGM’s 19th Bond film, ”The World Is Not Enough,” will be released on Nov. 19.