CASTING NEWS One down, one to go: Anthony Hopkins liked Steven Zaillian’s rewrite of David Mamet’s ”Hannibal” screenplay enough to say he’d sign on to reprise his ”Silence of the Lambs” role, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (A final deal is still being worked out.) Jodie Foster has reportedly still not decided yet, nor has she read the rewrite. However, this news was reported before the final lackluster numbers for the ”Anna and the King” debut were released, so Foster may have been a lot more enthusiastic about this high-profile project come this morning…. Charlize Theron may join up with Billy Bob Thornton for ”Wakin’ Up in Reno,” the tale of two Arkansas couples who spend their vacation traveling to a monster truck show. As they say in the South about film depictions like this, ”Neee-hah! That’s some good patronizin’!”…. Kevin Costner may take a turn for the worse, playing a killer in the indie ”3,000 Miles to Graceland.”
CLOSE CALL The Goo Goo Dolls narrowly avoided becoming goo on the Tarmac Sunday night when a Navy plane carrying the band skidded off a runway in Sicily. The Goos were flying home from Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they ended a holiday tour of European military bases, and had to land in a heavy rainstorm with winds that blew their plane off the runway. The band — and the rest of the 30 passengers — were all unharmed, and as an added bonus they got to exit the plane on those cool emergency slides.
OBITUARIES Desmond Llewelyn, who played James Bond’s gadget guru, Q, in 17 of the 19 super-spy films (including ”The World Is Not Enough”), died Sunday when his car collided with another on his way home from a book signing in the south of London to promote his autobiography. The 85-year-old actor suffered ”massive multiple injuries,” according to a Sussex police spokesperson, and he was airlifted from the scene and died at the hospital…. Jazz saxman Grover Washington Jr. died of a reported heart attack on Friday, just a few minutes after finishing taping some songs for CBS’s ”Saturday Early Show.” A producer for the morning program said that the 56-year-old musician looked fine when he was playing, but he collapsed back in his dressing room. The segments were aired the next morning…. Rex Allen, the last singing cowboy, died on Friday at his home in Phoenix, Ariz., at the age of 77. It appeared Allen was killed when a female friend accidentally backed over him in his driveway, but police are still investigating whether he was killed by the car or whether he had suffered a heart attack first and fell behind the car. Allen made his movie debut in the 1949 western ”The Arizona Cowboy” and has made more than 20 films through the 1950s, although kids might remember his voice best as the narrator for the 1973 animated adaptation of ”Charlotte’s Web.”
PRUDE NEWS Finally, news that makes the MPAA look like progressives: The British Board of Film Classification has given ”The End of the Affair” an ”18” rating, which means that no one under that age can see it, even with a guardian. The BBFC said they found the film’s two sex scenes very adult, but ”Affair” producer Stephen Woolley — who appealed the rating but was rebuffed — said the decision was ”completely insane.”
RESCUE The Los Angeles building in which Lily Tomlin has an office caught on fire Saturday, but firefighters managed to rescue two of the actress’ Emmys. ”They actually tried to spare and save as much of the stuff as they could,” said Tomlin at the scene. ”I’m just sort of overcome with that kind of generosity, really, that kind of sensitivity.” Keep in mind that in Los Angeles, saving an Emmy is akin to rescuing a baby, a blind grandmother, and 14 puppies.
TUBE TOPPER Bikini fave Cindy Margolis — the self-proclaimed ”most downloaded woman on the Internet” — has been signed to host a talk show by CBS’ syndication arm. The show will air late night on the weekend, a time that Margolis’ fan base is sure to be home.
REEL DEAL Bill Condon (”Gods and Monsters”) is the go-to man for biopics on unexpected subjects. After finishing his film on Bess Myerson, he’ll begin adapting the life story of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.