Plus, Madonna, ''Blair Witch'' sequel, Pierce Brosnan, ''Malcolm in the Middle,'' Barbra Streisand, and more
Alanis Morissette
Credit: Courtesy Maverick Records

AUTEUR Alanis Morissette has made her own videos, but apparently her role in the full-length movie ”Dogma” has whet her appetite for something longer: In an interview with, she says that she’s planning to direct a feature film. ”I think I am going to strike out on my own with this one,” she says. ”It’s going to be good. I’ve had a little bit of exposure [to directing], but I am going to be a student in a pretty big way, too.” She won’t tell what the movie is about, though, saying only, ”It’s as solid as something that is in the works can possibly be. I’m not quite prepared to talk about [the project] yet.” Hopefully it’ll be rated R, so we don’t have to deal with all that strategically placed hair.

MOVING Madonna is putting her $6.5 million London home up for sale, prompted by fears for her safety after the attacks on fellow local celebrities George Harrison and BBC TV producer Jill Dando. The London Times reports that the singer’s security advisers told the singer that her mansion was unsuitable for a celebrity since it was so visible from the street. She’ll be returning to London Tuesday for look for new, safer digs.

INSIDE SCOOP If you’re starved for insight into the top-secret ”Blair Witch Project” sequel, the Hollywood Reporter found a casting note that describes the five roles Artisan is looking to fill. One man and woman are a couple of cohabiting Boston College seniors, another woman is a Chicagoan whose motto is ”when in doubt indulge,” and the other two men are an immature working-class college student and a mysterious Goth. Artisan had no comment on the breakdown except to say it didn’t even have a finished script yet. But who needs a script when you’ve got a mysterious Goth?

CASTING Pierce Brosnan will play a retired-Marine-turned-painter who has to put down the brush and pick up a gun when he’s targeted by an arms dealer in ”Burnt Sienna.” Hell hath no fury like an impressionist scorned…. Hey, Patrick Swayze‘s working again! He’s been cast in ”Waking Up in Reno” as a pal of Billy Bob Thornton’s who together take a road trip with their wives to see a monster-truck show…. Pinch yourself, your sequel dreams have come true! Paul Hogan will once again take his fish and put it way the hell out of water in ”Crocodile Dundee in Hollywood.”

IT’S A HIT Looks like the infinite number of monkeys typing at the infinite number of typewriters over at Fox (the only way to explain ”Costello”) have finally created a hit with ”Malcolm in the Middle.” In its premiere Sunday night the comedy attracted 22.44 million viewers, Fox’s second-highest debut ever, after ”The Simpsons” audience of 24.53 million for its 1990 premiere.

FLIPPING OUT Ol’ Dirty Bastard is currently spending time in a drug-treatment center in California to get his life together, but judging from a brief break he took to report for a New York court appearance yesterday, he has an interesting definition of the word ”together.” According to the Daily News, ODB (real name Russell Jones) was in court to answer to charges of being caught with 20 vials of crack in his car in July; he muttered to himself through the proceedings, and at the beginning turned to the female prosecutor and said ”Do you find me horny?,” making him guilty of first-degree misquoting. He later inexplicably called her a ”sperm donor.” The case was adjourned until Jan. 19, and when he left, he stopped on the courthouse steps and screamed to a reporter, ”Hey Daily News, tell New York, ‘F— them’ and tell the world, ‘F— them.”’ Now THAT’S rehabilitated.

BIG GIG Barbra Streisand set a U.S. box office record for a single concert with her New Year’s Eve show at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand. The gig took in $14.7 million, beating the Three Tenors, who could only scrape together $13.4 million in 1996 at Giants Stadium. Go back to playing coffeehouses, Opera Boys… Babs is back!

BACK FROM CANCELLATION FX has bought the rerun rights to ”Harsh Realm,” the Chris Carter drama that its sister network, Fox, canceled this season after airing only three episodes. FX will air all nine of the completed episodes, and is holding open the possibility of restarting production, according to Variety, although it’s unlikely considering how pricey the show is.

HE LIVES! In case you thought Dick Clark was going to take this millennium off, think again: He’s signed a deal with ABC for another five years of ”Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” Now the show will expand to three-and-a-half hours, which could mean more rockin’ AND more talkin’, in strict violation of the radio-DJ code.

ARRESTED Max Wright, who has made a career out of playing exasperated authority figures (such as the dad on ”ALF” and Norm’s boss on ”Norm”), was arrested Monday morning by other exasperated authority figures — the police — for suspicion of drunk driving. According to Reuters, Wright was apprehended after an accident on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Freeway where no one was injured.

FREE Gary Glitter is being released from a Bristol prison today after serving half of his four-month sentence for collecting child pornography. This isn’t an unusually early release, as all British prisoners who have sentences of less than four years only serve half their sentence, according to Reuters. What is unusual is that Glitter (real name Paul Gadd) is being sneaked out of the prison, since he’s received so many threats (including one death threat) while he’s been in jail that authorities don’t want to bring him outside where there could be an angry crowd waiting for him.

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