Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
August 18, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

SMOKING GUNS
It’s been said many times before, but this time New Regency may actually make good: John Grisham’s The Runaway Jury is back on track. Ever since the production company acquired the rights to the thriller in 1996, the project has been plagued with difficulties. Director Joel Schumacher (A Time to Kill) signed on and then dropped out, along with Edward Norton, who had a pay-or-play deal; last year, when Philip Kaufman (Rising Sun) passed up the chance to direct, Alfonso Cuaron (Great Expectations) landed the gig. The script, rewritten by Gregory Poirier (Rosewood) and Matthew Chapman (Color of Night), has been revised once again: While the novel is about a man and a woman who manipulate a jury in a landmark tobacco case, the plot, according to a source close to the film, seemed dated once tobacco companies began losing in court. The current story has been rejiggered to revolve around guns rather than cigarettes.

CASH AND CAREY
Sing for joy, all you Mariah Carey fans. After a developmental hiccup that pushed production back a couple of weeks, All That Glitters, starring Carey as a rising diva, has begun shooting in Toronto, with Vondie Curtis Hall (Gridlock’d) directing. Columbia decided at the last moment to bring in a cofinancer — the movie is reportedly budgeted at $20-25 million — and while Fox obliged, ”it was touch and go there for a minute,” says producer Laurence Mark. Look for the movie — and soundtrack, of course — as early as next spring.

A BITING TALE
Well, well, well, if dinosaurs aren’t getting a little attitudinal these days: Jurassic Park III director Joe Johnston (October Sky) has hired Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor to polish the script; the duo cowrote the snarky Election, which Payne also directed. Jurassic Park III begins filming later this summer.

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