Try, Try Again
In this week’s Robert Downey Jr. news: There’s another reason for the imprisoned actor to be psyched. Not only is he working on The Last Party 2000, as we reported last week, but he may finally get to see his work in Wonder Boys. Downey was in the slammer for the movie’s entire theatrical run (it opened last February), but Paramount has decided to rerelease the campus-set comedy starring Michael Douglas in theaters this October. ”I sent him the news with a note saying, ‘It’s trivial in the scheme of things,’ but it’s so wonderful he can see his work in a theater with an audience,” says director Curtis Hanson, whose film, about an aging professor, got some glowing reviews but made only $18.7 million. While there was grumbling about Paramount’s marketing campaign — the poster showed a raggedy-looking Douglas and omitted younger costars Tobey Maguire, Katie Holmes, and Downey — Hanson says the film’s lackluster performance was a matter of bad timing. ”We opened the week the Oscar nominations were announced,” he says, ”and no one could have anticipated that The Cider House Rules and American Beauty, which play to exactly the same market, would get the nods they did.”
If Eddie Murphy can play the entire Klump clan in this summer’s Nutty Professor sequel, then Adam Sandler should have no problem merely playing siblings in his next project, the tentatively titled The Five Joes, a comedy about five estranged brothers who reunite in Chicago. Sandler and former Saturday Night Live writer Fred Wolf (Black Sheep) are currently working on the script; production will likely begin close to the November release of Sandler’s latest, Little Nicky.
Richard Gere’s signed on to star in New Line’s One for the Ages, a drama about a football coach who has to rebuild his team after losing his players in an airplane crash. Ages, which will be directed by Carroll Ballard (Fly Away Home), should begin production in September…. Also from New Line, a most Boogie Nights-ish twist to the upcoming Ice Cube flick Stray Dawgz. Director Gregory Dark has been hired, based, we assume, on his music-video work with Britney Spears, Counting Crows, and Cube, and not his earlier movie work with Traci Lords. Onetime porn titan Dark is the auteur behind such pervy fare as New Wave Hookers and Sex Freaks…. Imagine is developing a feature based on an idea from rapscallion rapster Eminem. ”It hasn’t been decided whether or not he’ll star yet,” says an Imagine spokesperson. ”It’s very early in the process, but we’re proceeding quickly.” Procedurally speaking, of course.