CASTING Matt Damon is leading Steven Spielberg’s casting wish list for his upcoming ”Minority Report,” a sci-fier with Tom Cruise, according to Variety. If Damon signs on, he’d be playing a villain, so his shiny teeth would be used for evil, not for good…. Brad Pitt is likely to join breakout director Guy Ritchie (”Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) on his next film, another robbery flick called ”Diamonds”…. Rhys Ifans, who stole ”Notting Hill” as Hugh Grant’s shabby roommate Spike, has joined Keanu Reeves in the football scab comedy ”The Replacements”…. It’s official: Everything ’80s IS back. CBS announced that original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, and ”Official Preppy Handbook” author Lisa Birnbach have been hired as correspondents for the new Bryant Gumbel-helmed ”Early Show.” They’ll both be featured on a recurring segment called ”Yikes, I’ve Grown Up,” all about how young people should deal with becoming adults. Step 1. Put away the Rubik’s Cube and the leg warmers.
GOING IT ALONE Melanie C. (a.k.a. Sporty Spice) will make her first live appearance as a solo performer on Aug. 21 at the V99 music festival in England. Those not in the UK who are dying to know what is the sound of one Spice singing will hear when her new album, ”Northern Star,” is released in October.
WHO’S LOST Pete Townshend is finally unveiling ”Lifehouse,” the rock opera that he originally wrote (and shelved) in 1971 as a follow-up to ”Tommy,” Dec. 5, on BBC Radio 3. When he first performed the musical story, which takes place at the postapocalyptic turn of the century when people can only share music through digital transmission, he wasn’t thrilled with the response; he ended up canceling the project and putting some of the songs — like ”Won’t Get Fooled Again” and ”Baba O’Riley” — onto ”Who’s Next.”
”EYES” OUTCRY The New York Film Critics Circle has joined its L.A. counterpart in chastising the MPAA for forcing Stanley Kubrick to obscure the nudity in the orgy scene for ”Eyes Wide Shut” with digitally created clothed onlookers to get an R rating. In its letter, the Circle said, ”(The MPAA) has become a punitive and restrictive force, effectively trampling the freedom of American filmmakers.”
BABY NEWS DNA tests have confirmed that Mick Jagger is the father of Brazilian model Luciana Morad’s baby, Lucas Morad Jagger, according to London’s Daily Mirror. These latest claims of Jagger’s papa-hood reportedly led to Jerry Hall finally giving him the boot, although Jagger never publicly took responsibility until now. The Mirror says, however, that Jagger has been paying Morad $15,000 monthly for child support, and may pay $1.5 million as a settlement…. Josie Bissett and Rob Estes, late of ”Melrose Place,” had their first baby together: Mason Tru Estes was born last Wednesday in Los Angeles and promptly stole three doctors’ wives, sold a nurse into prostitution, and planted a bomb in the ear-nose-and-throat wing. Just kidding.
CLEANED UP FOR TV When ”Howard Stern’s Private Parts” premieres on USA on Aug. 27, you won’t have to listen to the usual ”motherlover” and ”clocktucker” euphemisms that most edited-for-TV versions contain. Instead of creative snipping, USA is airing the film from beginning to end, and just blurring out the bare breasts and beeping out the profanity instead of putting in foolish substitute words. To keep in line with the first-person aspect of the biopic, Stern also filmed new segments for the television version in which he talks about cleaning up his movie for TV.
REEL DEALS Director Alexander Payne (”Election”) may take on ”Esquivel,” the biopic of space-age bachelor-pad musician Juan Esquivel. John Leguizamo is set to take the groovy lead…. After ”Never Been Kissed,” director Raja Gosnell is taking on another undercover movie: ”Big Momma’s House,” with Martin Lawrence as an undercover cop who poses as a Southern grandma.
WEDDING Hopefully the fifth time’s the charm for ”Goodfellas” director (and four-time divorcee) Martin Scorsese, who took yet another stroll down the aisle last Thursday. The lucky bride was Helen S. Morris, a former senior editor at Random House. No word on whether the ceremony included the traditional rice tossing or just a celebratory spray of machine-gun fire.