Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
June 30, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

You might say that Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins have gotten a little obsessed with sports movies. The producing-directing team is following up Varsity Blues, Ready to Rumble, and the upcoming Hardball (which features Keanu Reeves as a baseball coach) with Summer Catch, toplining Freddie Prinze Jr. as a baseball player. ”We work hard to reinvent ourselves,” says Tollin, who’s directing Summer Catch while Robbins helms Hardball. ”But I think there’s a comfort zone to telling stories with a sports backdrop.” After Catch, Tollin will direct either ”a rags-to-riches story about a team owner,” he says, or a project about ”a retarded man in a small Southern town who becomes a mascot for a sports team.”

Will Smith will certainly show his range if he follows Michael Mann’s biopic Ali with a remake of Charade for director Jonathan Demme. Smith is attached to the role originally played by Cary Grant, and while Demme’s production company won’t comment, screenwriter Jessica Bendinger says the remake sticks closely to Stanley Donen’s 1963 thriller about a widow uncovering the truth regarding her late husband, although ”it shows a grittier side of Paris.” Bendinger, who wrote Bring It On, a cheerleading comedy starring Kirsten Dunst out next month, has also put a polish on John Woo’s King’s Ransom, about a troupe of acrobats-turned-thieves. That project was conceived as a vehicle for Chow Yun-Fat, but for the female lead, ”Gwyneth would be great as the angry gymnast,” Bendinger says. ”Don’t you want to see her on a motorcycle giving people the finger?”

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