Tom Cruise and ''Duets'' made movies news the week of March 31, 2000

Steven, doll: So glad you’ve dealt with your commitment issues and settled on A.I., the artificial-intelligence drama begun by Stanley Kubrick; frankly, all your flip-flopping was driving the industry nuts. But now that you’ve put the sci-fi thriller Minority Report on your to-do-later list, your prospective star, Tom Cruise, is left pounding the pavement. Lucky for him (and for your conscience), he has a few options.

Cruise’s agency, CAA, is remaining mum, but we’re betting he does Robert Redford‘s A Beautiful Mind, the story of John Nash Jr., the movie-star handsome, schizophrenic, Nobel-Prize-winning mathematician. Jim Carrey‘s also expressed interest, but Tom’s got that Oscar nod in his favor. The script by Akiva Goldsman (Practical Magic) is ready to roll, and Redford is meeting with actors in the next month. Cruise is also said to be circling Fertig, about a World War II hero. Then there’s Hennesey, which Robert Towne (Chinatown) is writing for the actor and hopes to direct. But Towne thought he’d have more time to write the script, a love story, and plans to direct a remake of Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in Australia this fall. ”[Hennesey] is on a slower track,” says Towne, ”and I sort of assume it’s going to stay there.” Towne points out that Cruise has ”been working pretty hard. If he wants to, he could just let his wife work.”

Responding to a recent column, director Bruce Paltrow says he not only made changes to his karaoke drama Duets at Disney’s request — adding a scene that prepares the audience for a character’s death — he’s ready to make some more. ”I could be childish and have a fit,” he says, ”or I can work with them.” Disney hasn’t set the movie’s release, but we’re anticipating the soundtrack, which features Gwyneth crooning with Babyface.

Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, and Robin Thicke sing with unknowns
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