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Reel World: 'The Matrix' Directing Duo and Michael Jackson as Poe

This week in Hollywood

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THE TIGHT STUFF What comic-book geek wouldn’t want to see Andy and Larry Wachowski, the dynamic duo behind The Matrix, apply their knack for intricate plots, clever characters, and outlandish visuals to Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man? Turns out some studio execs were interested in seeing that too. Sources close to the Wachowskis say Warner Bros. talked to the brothers about getting involved in the Dark Knight and Man of Steel franchises (the Wachowskis have long been attached to the WB-owned comic V for Vendetta), and that Columbia chatted them up about its planned wall-crawler pic. Warner Bros. had no comment, while Columbia says Spider-Man was never offered. Lawrence Mattis, the Wachowskis’ manager, wouldn’t comment on the discussions but adds his clients are unavailable anyway, as they’ve committed to a pair of Matrix sequels over the next three years. ”But after that,” says Mattis, ”anything’s possible.”

NEVERLAND, NEVERMORE A $30 million feature about the last week of Edgar Allan Poe‘s life starring eccentric pop idol Michael Jackson as the eccentric literary idol? ”They’re the same age, their builds are very similar, and there’s a similar mystique,” says producer Jim Green. ”Michael likes to explore the dark side, and certainly Poe had a lot of dark things in his nature.” Green and partner Gary Pudney pitched The Nightmares of Edgar Allan Poe to Jackson after the singer told them he plans to stop touring after his next album and concentrate on movies. Green hopes to get rolling as soon as the script is done. The film is being financed with European money and has no U.S. deal yet. ”Michael’s popularity in this country has been on the wane,” concedes Green. ”I’m counting on this album to bring him back on top.”

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