This week in Hollywood

By Jessica Shaw
November 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

So Souix Me Before author Sherman Alexie begins directing the adaptation of his novel Reservation Blues for Miramax, he’ll be exploring Woody Allen’s turf. Alexie is currently rewriting a script called I’ll Take Manhattan, a comedy about the last Manhattan Indian — well, he’s part Indian — who holds a deed to the Big Apple. ”After Smoke Signals came out, every vaguely Indian project was thrown at me,” Alexie says. ”Ninety percent of them had to do with the Sioux, they all had buffalo in them for no apparent reason, and there were a whole lot of wise grandfathers. But this one had the tag line ‘The lease is up,’ and I thought that was great.” Marshall Herskovitz (Legends of the Fall) will direct for Warner Bros. Will Smith and Chris Rock are their top choices for the lead role. ”I cut out this picture of Chris Rock and put feathers on his head and he looked great,” Alexie says. ”A black guy in a headdress is hilarious.”

Arachnophilia While Ashley Judd reportedly eyes the Basic Instinct sequel, A-listers are clamoring for the female lead in the Kiss the Girls follow-up. Based on James Patterson’s novel, Along Came a Spider will team Morgan Freeman’s detective, Alex Cross, with a female Secret Service agent who’s guarding a prominent Washington, D.C., grade school when a kidnapping occurs. Girl, Interrupted‘s Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder have expressed interest, says an insider close to the film, though Jolie’s agent says she hasn’t read the script, and Ryder’s reps did not return calls. ”It’s an amazing female character who’s strong and vulnerable at the same time,” says producer Joe Wizan. ”There are agents chomping at the bit to get into casting. And, hey, look what happened to Ashley Judd after she did Kiss the Girls.”