This week in Hollywood -- Adam Herz penned follow-ups to ''Smokey and the Bandit'' and ''American Pie,'' while work on ''Freddy vs. Jason'' continues

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
June 23, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Thank you, Adam Herz, for giving us two follow-ups that we can’t wait to see. The producer-screenwriter has just handed Universal his script for Eastbound and Down, inspired by that nadir — or do we mean pinnacle? — of ’70s pop culture, Burt Reynolds’ Smokey and the Bandit, and now he’s working on the second American Pie. While Herz initially passed on the latter project to devote himself to Eastbound, the first screenwriter’s draft didn’t quite cut it, and rewrite chores have bounced back to the original film’s creator. Depending on how quickly Herz gets to work, ”it will be about the characters on summer break from college,” he says, ”or, they’re going to be dealing with their midlife crises.”

Speaking of sequels we’re pining for, the long-discussed Freddy vs. Jason showdown may be rising from the swamp of development, thanks to screenwriter Mark Protosevich, who also wrote the upcoming Jennifer Lopez thriller The Cell. Protosevich is toying with writing two endings, each of which would allow one of the fabulous freaks to emerge victorious. While makeup F/X whiz Rob Bottin was floated as a possible director, the studio isn’t going to begin to think about doing any hiring until it sees the script in a couple of months. Meanwhile, we have the recently wrapped Jason X to look forward to next year: The 10th installment in the Friday the 13th franchise is a postapocalyptic tale about nitwit students who, arriving via spaceship on an abandoned Earth, choose to take Jason’s frozen body back on board as a souvenir.