''Mission to Mars,'' ''Me, Myself & Irene,'' and ''American Pie'' make movie news this week

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated July 23, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

American Pie

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Mars attack
Disney must be getting used to falling behind in dueling projects. Last year, its Armageddon trailed Deep Impact and A Bug’s Life bowed after Antz, although both Mouse House entries aced their rivals at the box office. Now Disney is racing with Warner Bros. to see who will conquer the red planet first, as both studios have launched Mars movies. Disney’s Mission to Mars hit a bump weeks before production was to begin, when costar Monica Potter (Patch Adams) jumped ship. (She chose Universal’s Head Over Heels instead, reportedly taking over for Claire Danes.) But with Potter replaced by Soldier‘s Connie Nielsen, the Missioners have headed up to Vancouver to prep with ex-astronauts. Warner’s Mars, which stars Val Kilmer, begins shooting in August. Both films may be ready for liftoff in spring or summer 2000.

Phish shtick
When the jam band Phish agreed to give a private concert for the cast and crew of Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s Me, Myself & Irene, now shooting in Vermont, they didn’t count on sharing the spotlight. But Jim Carrey, who plays a state trooper with multiple personalities, joined the band on stage, singing Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s ”Hey You” and the Beatles’ ”Come Together.” The actor, who apparently knew only the first verse of the Beatles’ tune, blithely made up the rest of the words as he went along. ”Jim’s renditions were funny as hell,” says Phish bassist Mike Gordon, ”complete with falling on the floor and smashing two microphones together.”

The Pie that shagged me
What appears to be a tender tryst between boy (Jason Biggs) and baked good in American Pie was actually a take with a tart that was fake. For the finger-lickin’ foreplay, the filmmakers opted for a flesh-and-goop apple pie, but when it came to the dirty deed, ”we used a Styrofoam pie,” says production designer Paul Peters. ”First of all, a real one would get too messy, and secondly, it had to be light enough to hang on the front of Jason.” Adds Biggs: ”Since no pies were harmed during the making of this movie, no one from Marie Callender’s or Mrs. Smith’s will demonstrate.”

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American Pie

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