What’s on screen for ’99? This summer, you’ll see Kevin Costner back on the baseball diamond in For Love of the Game and a new kind of superhero pic, Mystery Men, starring William H. Macy and Ben Stiller. Tom Cruise chooses to accept another mission in Mission: Impossible II. Watch for a ‘toon about Tarzan, and catch Al Pacino this fall in double overdrive-as a 60 Minutes producer in Michael Mann’s drama and as an NFL coach in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday. But that’s only part of what Hollywood has up its sleeve. Also expect:
Cupid takes hold of Julia Roberts, who’s back in smiley-faced form in Notting Hill, playing an American movie star (now there’s a stretch) smitten with a nebbishy bookseller (Hugh Grant, another stretch). This summer, she also plays hard to get in Runaway Bride, in which she’s reunited with her Pretty Woman costar Richard Gere. Together again as well are Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton (onetime lovers and Reds costars), who’ll play husband and wife in Town & Country, and Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin (who appeared in 1992’s HouseSitter), back in a remake of 1970’s The Out-of-Towners. Rob Reiner’s The Story of Us serves up an offbeat superstar pairing: Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer are a bickering couple who reminisce about their failed relationship on their last holiday together. Rounding out the category, Kate Capshaw stars in The Love Letter, in which an unsigned love letter sets an entire town on its ear.
There will be plenty of new efforts from such film virtuosos as Seven helmer David Fincher, who directs Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in Fight Club, the story of two young professionals who open a fistfighting lounge. And for his sophomore effort, Shine auteur Scott Hicks adapts the best-selling novel Snow Falling on Cedars, starring Ethan Hawke as the journalist covering a murder trial. Another literary adaptation, Michael Chabon’s Wonder Boys, teams L.A. Confidential‘s cowriter-director Curtis Hanson with Michael Douglas. Expect Titanic comparisons to greet The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean, directed by Cinema Paradiso‘s Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Tim Roth as a gifted piano player who grows up on an ocean liner. Finally, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia should supplant Eyes Wide Shut as the most top secret movie of ’99. New Line is keeping the story line under wraps, but Magnolia will have a number of different vignettes, reuniting the Boogie Nights director with much of his former cast (including Julianne Moore and John C. Reilly), and featuring Tom Cruise in another hush-hush role.
The front-runners on the indie scene will become clearer after Sundance’s Jan. 21-31 fest, but Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune, starring Glenn Close as a devious Southern woman, is already on the horizon. Horror-meister Wes Craven shows his serious side in 50 Violins, with Meryl Streep. Which is not to be confused with The Red Violin, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Greta Scacchi in the story of an instrument passed down through generations. Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate stars Johnny Depp as a book expert involved in a supernatural conspiracy. Friends and Lovers pairs Robert Downey Jr. and Claudia Schiffer as twentysomethings on vacation in Utah. And video director Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich casts John Cusack as a puppeteer who accesses the mind of the follically challenged actor.
WOMEN ON THE VERGE
Juliette Lewis plays a mentally impaired woman coming of age in The Other Sister, while the similarly afflicted Elisabeth Shue comes into her own after undergoing medical treatment in Molly. In Anywhere But Here, Susan Sarandon stars as the slightly erratic mom to daughter Natalie Portman. Finally, Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie explore the snake pit in Girl, Interrupted. Start writing those trend stories now.