Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
June 11, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Material Girl material
If Michael Winterbottom gets his wish, Madonna will go metal (sort of) for her next movie role. The director of Welcome to Sarajevo and Wonderland plans to shoot Kingdom Come, ”a love story about a man who sells his wife and daughter for a gold mine,” next winter. ”I think we have Madonna for a fantastic part,” he says, ”playing [the man’s] lover.” The singer’s spokesperson did not return calls at press time.

Pinhead of the class
Director Oliver Parker’s An Ideal Husband, an Oscar Wilde comedy of manners starring Minnie Driver, Rupert Everett, and Julianne Moore, may be the model of decorum. But an upcoming project — mounting pal Clive Barker’s sanguineous horror film Hellraiser for either the London or New York stage — will be a bloody thrill. ”We were going to do it now, but the guy who was producing it…got cold feet,” says Parker, who expects to direct another film before returning to the play. ”There are a lot of things you could do to surprise the audience. Or I might be wrong. It might surprise me and we’ll fall flat on our faces.”

High and dry
Tim Robbins’ latest directorial effort, the period drama Cradle Will Rock, won much acclaim in Cannes, but the actor-filmmaker says no amount of praise will get him behind the camera any time soon. ”When I direct I become obsessive and stay [on the set] until midnight when I shouldn’t,” says Robbins, who spent seven years working on the film about the 1930s New York theater world. ”I was running on adrenaline and martinis. I became a drunk for a while. Not during the day, but at night I was an alcoholic.”

John’s occupied
He’s acted in movies and composed scores; now Elton John’s donning a new costume — that of an industry suit. Shooting just wrapped on the comedy Women Talking Dirty, the debut from John’s Rocket Pictures, starring Gina McKee (Notting Hill) and Helena Bonham Carter. ”He was a very good producer,” explains McKee. ”He was generous and didn’t come to the set that often.”

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