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The Farrelly brothers team up with Chris Rock

Plus, what’s next for the director of Nicolas Cage’s latest movie

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Chris Rock
Matt Mendelsohn/Corbis

Our favorite pair of demented directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, are once again pursuing their fascination with bodily functions: They’ve decided to wedge in Warner Bros.’ partially animated ”Osmosis Jones” before shooting the comedy ”Shallow Hal” this fall. Written by newcomer Marc Hyman, this ”InnerSpace” meets ”Being John Malkovich” meets ”Who Framed Roger Rabbit” comedy, about the battle between germs and the immune system, was originally going to star Will Smith and be released next November.

Now Chris Rock will be the rogue germ warrior, while Bill Murray is up for the role of the unfortunate slob whose body is invaded after eating a contaminated meatball. ”Our plates are pretty full, but it’s the best script I’ve seen my whole time in the business,” says Bobby Farrelly, who will — along with his brother — begin directing the live-action segments in the next few months. The animation is already under way, with Warner Bros. now anticipating a summer 2001 release.

Dominic Sena (”Kalifornia”) — who opted to direct Nicolas Cage in this summer’s car-thief actioner ”Gone in 60 Seconds” — has had a tougher time with ”Worst Case Scenario,” a computer thriller that got canned two years ago and that he is now hoping to reignite. Sena had spent 14 months on the project and had even begun casting the film for Interscope, but preproduction was halted when the company was bought by Seagram’s in 1998.

Now the project is back in play, and offers will go out to actors this week. Michael Douglas expressed interest but then passed, giving Sena the chance, he says, to ”make it younger and hipper. Ideally, I’d love to see George Clooney in it.” Sena is also considering the drug-world thriller ”Swordfish” for producer Joel Silver, but is waiting to see if John Travolta, who is currently reading a second draft, takes the bait.