This Week in Hollywood

By Steve Daly and Erin Richter
Updated August 20, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

BLAME CANADA Before the adults of South Park declared war on our northern neighbor, wrestler-turned-governor Jesse Ventura took Canada to the mat this year by backing the renewal of the Minnesota Film Jobs Fund, which offers a rebate of up to $100,000 to any TV and movie projects shot in the state. ”It’s the only thing that keeps us in competition,” says Minnesota Film Board exec director Randy Adamsick. Since the program’s inception in early 1997, 15 films have been drawn to the state, including Drop Dead Gorgeous and the now-shooting Here on Earth — ”a huge boost,” says Adamsick, who hopes Ventura’s Hollywood ties will reinforce the assault. Earth producer David Friendly was just happy to save money: ”On our modest budget, [the rebate] made the difference between here and Pittsburgh.” — Erin Richter

COSTUME BAWL? If your preteen wants to spend Halloween dressed as Austin Powers, prepare for tantrums, baby. Not even one million dollars could buy your child an official Powers costume intended to fit a kid under 12. Why? Because New Line, the studio that made the Powers flicks, wants it that way. ”If little kids could wear this, it would diminish the character’s coolness,” says David Imhoff, exec VP of licensing and merchandising. Instead, New Line is aiming $29 to $150 Austin getups at adults. It will, however, throw a frickin’ bone to youngsters: $25 Mini-Me outfits in sizes that will fit only 7- to 14-year-olds. — Steve Daly

FURTHERMORE Universal reps confirm that Steven Spielberg has okayed Joe Johnston (Jumanji) to direct a third Jurassic Park flick, due as early as summer 2001…. Will Martin Scorsese next make Dino, the Dean Martin biopic, or Gangs of New York? An assistant to the director says if Gangs gets a go, it will star Leonardo DiCaprio, but ”we’re waiting for some studio green lights.”