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Reel World News From Hollywood

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PRO CONNIE If you don’t like the films in which your music isfeatured, hey, just make your own. On the heels of filing a $40million lawsuit against Universal Music (for allowing her songsto be included in movies that show scenes of sex and violence),Connie Francis, we’ve learned, is partnering with Miami soundmachine Gloria Estefan to create a biopic based on Francis’life; Estefan, who has dabbled in acting, plans to cowrite andstar. Don’t expect much glitter to this diva’s tale: Francis’saga includes a brutal rape and an ensuing breakdown,experiences that Estefan, who’s overcome serious hardships ofher own, says she can relate to. ”The important thing,” shesays, ”is getting your life back together.”

ROB’S JOY Even if screenwriter Rob Festinger doesn’t win anOscar — he’s nominated for adapting Andre Dubus’ short story”Killings” into In the Bedroom — he certainly deserves an A foreffort. Festinger first came upon the story when he was workingat HBO as a reader in 1992; knowing nothing about the business,he took a whack at the script without so much as acquiring anoption. He continued to write more than 12 drafts over fiveyears (and yes, he did eventually secure rights), working withseveral interested directors and actors until neophyte directorTodd Field signed on in 1997. After toiling with Field forseveral more years before production began, Festinger tackledthe Jackie Gleason biopic To the Moon (in which Nathan Lane willstar). Now he’s adapting the Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily WeRoll Along — which apparently will come as a surprise to thecomposer. ”I’m summoning up the courage,” says Festingersheepishly, but ”I haven’t approached [Sondheim] yet. I hope hefinds it appealing.” No sweat, Rob — matchmakers ”r” us.

(Additional reporting by William Keck)

Stolen SummerSTARRINGAidan Quinn Bonnie Hunt MIRAMAX RATED PG92 MINUTES

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Stolen SummerSTARRINGAidan Quinn Bonnie Hunt MIRAMAX RATED PG92 MINUTES