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The Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg movie is delayed

Plus, Baby Spice goes VJ, and Eriq La Salle re-ups with ”ER” for a whopping $27 million

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DELAYED There will be only one Tom Cruise in theaters next summer: The shoot for the sci-fier ”Minority Report” with Steven Spielberg has been pushed back until January, which means the movie won’t be ready until next Christmas, as opposed to its original June 30 release date. But moviegoers can still satisfy their Cruise jones come late spring: His ”Mission: Impossible 2” is set to open on May 24.

TV NEWS Baby Spice (or Emma Bunton) isn’t putting out a solo album like some of her Spicemates, but she will turn up on British television, on VH1 UK in a weekly show, where she’ll VJ her favorite videos…. Faith Ford (”Maggie Winters”) will guest on the first six episodes of this season’s ”Norm” as a woman involved in a love/hate relationship with Norm MacDonald’s character, uh, Norm. It will be a real leap for Ford, who probably never once heard Candice Bergen say ”crack whore” on ”Murphy Brown”…. Because there’s nothing like a good alarmist drama during Sweeps, Ken Olin will star in the NBC TV movie ”Y2K,” all about the many hypothetical disasters (including a nuclear meltdown) that occur at 12 midnight, Jan. 1…. Judd Nelson will play the title role in the NBC telepic ”Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Alan Freed Story,” the true story of the real-life revolutionary DJ who was marred by the payola scandals. Madchen Amick (”Fantasy Island”) and none other than Paula Abdul will costar.

PAYDAY! Eriq La Salle won’t be ditching his ”ER” scrubs for a while. He just signed a $27 million contract to stay with the drama for another three years. Some of the money is part of a retroactive raise, but it still reportedly comes out to around $410,000 an episode, according to Variety. Don’t calculate the hourly rate — it will only depress you.

CASTING Samuel L. Jackson will play a streetwise drug dealer (as opposed to a streetwise arms dealer or a streetwise hitman) whose big score goes wrong in London in ”The 51st State,” to be directed by Hong Kong director Ronny Yu (”Bride of Chucky”).

REEL DEALS James Cameron will direct a 3-D Imax movie about an adventure on Mars (expected to be finished in spring of 2001), and then head into a sequel to ”True Lies,” according to the Hollywood Reporter…. MTV’s pest of the month, Tom Green, has signed a deal with Touchstone Pictures to write and star in movies. Yep, Grren’s shtick of interviewing people with dog crap on his microphone just screams ”Disney,” doesn’t it?… John Cleese will develop, with ”3rd Rock From the Sun” creators Bonnie and Terry Turner, a sitcom about lawyers for next season. Cleese is not likely to act in the show, nor to be a hands-on writer after it is launched, according to the Hollywood Reporter…. Director Harold Ramis (”Analyze This,” ”Groundhog Day”) is moving back to television, where he made his start on ”SCTV.” He just signed a seven-figure production deal with the WB to develop pilots for a drama and sitcom.

NEW YEAR HOMECOMING? Bruce Springsteen, who just wrapped his 15-show stint at New Jersey’s Continental Airlines Arena, may return there for a New Year’s Eve show, according to the New York Times. Springsteen has not officially confirmed the Auld Lang Syne gig.

ROCK EX (CON) FILES Finally, some Ol’ Dirty Bastard news that will give you the warm fuzzies. It turns out that the reason he missed his Los Angeles and New York court dates last Thursday and Friday was because he was in a drug-rehab center in upstate New York, according to Allstar. Now aren’t you sorry you didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt?… Meanwhile, another rock recidivist, Scott Weiland is going the Robert Downey Jr. route: A Los Angeles judge has sent him to prison after he has repeatly violated his parole by using drugs, including OD’ing on heroin in July, according to MTV News. ”I think he’s learned his lesson this time,” said Weiland’s lawyer.

RIGHT SMILE, WRONG PLACE Molly Ringwald eagerly showed up to strut the red carpet Tuesday night for the premiere of ”Teaching Mrs. Tingle,” in which she has a role: The only problem was her driver brought her to the wrong red carpet, according to Variety. She arrived at the Mann Festival theater in L.A. and began chatting to the press, but after being utterly confused by the questions posed to her, soon found out that she was actually at the premiere for ”Love Stinks.” She then rushed to the ”Tingle” soiree at the Mann Bruin theater around the corner. ”People kept asking me if love really stinks,” Ringwald told an interviewer at the appropriate venue. ”It was creepy.” No creepier than the fact that all the interviewers were asking the same damn question.

LAWSUIT Motley Crue singer Vince Neil is suing the Boeing test site Rocketdyne for unspecified damages, claiming that the toxic waste it allegedly dumped near his Simi Valley home was responsible for the liver cancer that killed his 4-year-old daughter, Skylar, in 1995. There is already a class-action lawsuit pending against Rocketdyne, in which 200-300 ex-employees and local residents say that there has been an increase in cases of cancer at the plant and in the area, according to MTV News. Rocketdyne denied that it has anything to do with the frequency of the disease.