Sandra Bullock: Rena Durham/ZUMA Press/NewsCom
Gary Susman
May 16, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Think the Cannes Film Festival is all about actors screening their movies (”The Matrix Reloaded”’s Monica Bellucci), lavish parties, and hot starlets (Monica Bellucci)? For the players who attend, it’s all about the deals, baby, the deals. The festival started Wednesday, and in just the first day, several big deals have been announced for movies featuring big stars from all over the world, including Sandra Bullock, Uma Thurman, and Chow Yun-Fat.

Renaissance Films announced that Bullock and Ralph Fiennes will costar in ”Vapor,” the next movie to be directed by Neil LaBute (”The Shape of Things”). Based on a novel by Amanda Filipacchi, it’s the story of a struggling actress who saves the life of a man who turns out to be a scientist who could make her dreams come true by transforming her into a movie star. The film will shoot in September.

Initial Entertainment Group, which brought a preview of ”Gangs of New York” to Cannes last year, announced the romantic comedy ”The Accidental Husband,” starring Thurman and Brendan Fraser. Thurman plays a self-help guru who gives what turns out to be bad romantic advice to Fraser, who takes creative revenge by forging a marriage license to Thurman, who’s engaged to someone else, thus preventing her from legally marrying her intended. Of course, as she tries to convince Fraser to come clean, she falls for him instead. Hugh Wilson (”The First Wives Club”) will direct the film in September in New York.

Also announced at Cannes is the reteaming of ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”’s Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh for another Chinese action epic, ”Hua Mulan,” based on the legend — a Chinese woman who rises through the ranks of the army disguised as a man — made familiar in Disney’s animated feature ”Mulan.” Peter Pau, ”Tiger”’s Oscar-winning cinematographer, will direct, and that film’s screenwriter, Wang Huiling, has written the script. It begins shooting in August in China.

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