Dan Snierson and Michelle Kung
September 09, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MOVIES

Hayden Christensen won’t be holding his costar (Jessica Alba) like he did by the lake on Naboo in their upcoming thriller Awake. In fact, he won’t be doing much at all because he’ll be paralyzed and in a state of ”anesthetic awareness” for much of the film. ”It’s what happens to people when they go through surgery, but [the doctors accidentally] don’t put them out completely, so they can feel the surgery but can’t speak,” explains Alba. Freaky! ”That happens to Hayden’s character. He has a bad heart, and what gets him through [the experience] is this love he has for my character, Sam. She’s his mother’s assistant,” and Mommy doesn’t know about their relationship!

Sony Pictures Classics has greenlit a sequel to Hong Kong actor-director Stephen Chow’s fight flick Kung Fu Hustle

Billy Crudup is joining Tom Cruise, Keri Russell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and the rest of the Mission: Impossible 3 crew as, well, somebody mysterious. We’d tell you who, except the actor has double-pinkie sworn he won’t tell.

TV

South Park fans can breathe a sigh of sweeeet relief: The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, have inked a deal with Comedy Central to unleash three more seasons. (The second half of its ninth season begins Oct. 19.) ”It’s the best job,” says Stone. ”We have total creative control. We make sellout money without selling out.” They haven’t ruled out another film, either. ”Maybe we’ll end it with a movie. Like The X-Files. But a good movie.”

Speaking of X’s, X2‘s Brian Cox will join the cast of HBO’s obscenely entertaining oater this fall. ”I play a man who brings culture to Deadwood,” says Cox. ”He’s based on a real character called Jack Langrishe, an actor/manager who performed Shakespeare and started his own theater in Deadwood.” So will the grizzly Scot break into iambic pentameter? ”I don’t know if we’re going to see that, but he was certainly very colorful.”

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