George Lucas, Jim Carrey, and Ron Howard made movie news this week

By Steve Daly
April 09, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Gungan Din
Naming every alien in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace was a task George Lucas found about as much fun as a visit from a torture droid. ”The merchandising guys want a name for everything,” he moans. ”They’ll ask, ‘Who’s that third extra on the left?’ Gosh, I don’t know.” And though Lucas coined such Dickensian monikers as Sio Bibble, Aks Moe, and Nute Gunray, he relied on his son, Jett, 6, to help christen an entire race. Jett was 3 when Lucas first began scripting, and when the pair passed a truck, the tyke would cry out, ”Look! D’gnnn-gnnn! D’gnnn-gnnn!” From those grunts, Lucas fashioned Gungan, the name of the amphibious beings represented chiefly in Episode I by the floppy-eared comic sidekick Jar Jar. And what’s in his name? ”I just like pleasant-sounding phonetic names,” Lucas shrugs. ”I’m not into the science-fictiony sounding names that have lots of z’s and x’s.”

Split Happens
Looks as if it’s cut-bait time for the Warner Bros. remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet, which stalled in February with the departure of Patch Adams‘ writer Steve Oedekerk (none of the principals would comment). Star Jim Carrey will instead get in the swim with Me, Myself and Irene, a comedy from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who teamed with Carrey on 1994’s Dumb and Dumber. The me and myself in Irene is a Rhode Island state trooper who skips his medication and becomes two ragingly opposed personalities who fall in love with the same woman. Shooting should start in May and wrap by midsummer, after which the Farrellys will move on to another two-headed-rival scenario of sorts, a Siamese-twin comedy called Stuck On You, and Carrey will likely turn to Ron Howard’s live-action version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, slated for a Christmas 2000 release.

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  • PG
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  • 134 minutes
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