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This week in Hollywood

This week in Hollywood–”From Hell” and ”Beyond the Mat”

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Out for blood? If you’re one of those Johnny Depp fans who needs to know what he’s doing at all times, we can at least account for one of his activities on Saturday, Feb. 12: The Sleepy Hollow star met with directors Allen and Albert Hughes (Menace II Society) to discuss the brothers’ latest project, the Jack the Ripper thriller From Hell. That title could also describe the film’s development process: Disney bought the rights to the Alan Moore-Eddie Campbell comic book series in 1994; then the project bounced to New Line before Fox greenlit it last fall. A source close to the film says Jude Law turned down a $3 million offer to star; the directors then met with Brad Pitt, who had a scheduling conflict. The question remains whether Depp will feel this Victorian slasher flick, which begins filming later this year, is too similar to Sleepy Hollow.

From those preproduction woes to some postproduction blues: The World Wrestling Federation is making life tough for the folks behind Beyond the Mat, an upcoming documentary about pro wrestling. Although Vince McMahon cooperated with director Barry Blaustein during production, the WWF owner is now refusing to help promote the film, a headlock that Lions Gate Releasing copresident Mark Urman calls ”crippling.” Because the WWF owns many of the professional names of Mat‘s stars, including Mankind (a.k.a. Mick Foley), Urman says he can’t use them on the poster or in the trailer. Jim Byrne, WWF senior vice president of marketing, says that after viewing Mat (which shows that the injuries sustained can sometimes take a devastating toll on grapplers and their families), the corporation decided to have ”no financial or emotional attachment to the film.”

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