This week in Hollywood, two animated bug movies face off

RYAN’S HOPE After being gutted like a flounder in I Know What You Did Last Summer, Ryan Phillippe just wanted some independents, namely Homegrown, about scheming marijuana farmers, and Little Boy Blue, a tale of incest. The 23-year-old now holds the dubious honor of costarring in two films that “both opened in the last two months and closed in two weeks.” Phillippe adds with a shrug: “They didn’t get a promotional push and were dark. That’s what can be frustrating about independents…. [But] it’s a place to experiment.” Phillippe’s next movies will no doubt be more widely seen: He stars in Miramax’s 54, about the infamous nightclub, opening in August, and Columbia’s Dancing About Architecture, with Sean Connery and Gillian Anderson, due out next year. Still, he doesn’t regret his smaller efforts. “Little Boy Blue is not an Independence Day or Godzilla,” he says. “Thank God.”

LARVAE STORY In what appears to be an attempt to squash Disney’s A Bug’s Life, DreamWorks has rescheduled its own computer-animated insect flick to swarm into theaters on Oct. 2, seven weeks before the competition. Only two months ago, DreamWorks announced that Antz, which features the voices of Woody Allen and Sylvester Stallone, would not be ready until March 1999; the sudden switch seems aimed at leaving Disney, DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s former home, little crawling space at the box office. “That wasn’t a consideration,” insists a Dreamworks spokesperson. “We looked at the fall schedule and saw that there was a perfect window for it. And the two films are really very different.” Disney—which says it has known the date change was “a possibility for a long time…there are no secrets”—professes to be comfortable with it. “We have a great movie, and seven weeks apart is plenty of time,” says a studio spokesperson. “Audiences have no problem with similar themes, and that’s been proven time and time again.” Well, may the best bugs win.

A Bug's Life
  • Movie
  • 86 minutes