Plus, DreamWorks secures rights to Japanese horror film, and more

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated April 11, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Michelle Yeoh: Paul Smith/Feature Flash/Retna

All of Me: The Billie Holiday-Lester Young Encounters

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TIGER BEAT ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”’s Oscars are barely out of the box, but director Ang Lee is pondering work on a prequel that will reteam repressed emotion and physical ferocity. While the project is in the early stages, Lee, who is also developing ”The Incredible Hulk” for Universal, is kicking back: ”This movie took so much out of me, I need a break.” Meanwhile, ”Tiger” star Michelle Yeoh will be biding her time with ”The Touch,” a Chinese action movie in which, says Yeoh, she plays ”an independent woman in charge of a circus of acrobats and in search of her destiny.”

‘RING’ IT UP DreamWorks was only beginning to splurge when it paid $1 million for the rights to ”The Ring,” a Japanese horror hit about a videotape that brings death to the viewer. We hear that Ehren Kruger (”Arlington Road”) will earn $850,000 for adapting the tale, while Gore Verbinski (”The Mexican”) is asking $5 million to direct.

REGARDING HENRY… Bean, that is. As first reported in EW’s March 9 issue, at least one distributor backed away from Henry Bean’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning film, ”The Believer,” after its depiction of neo- Nazism was panned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, Rabbi Abraham Cooper. But Bean has just made a deal with Showtime and the Shooting Gallery — which will release the movie theatrically after it airs on TV — and is now thinking about his next writing / directing project, which he describes as being ”about a similarly fanatical person.” Meanwhile, ”Believer” star Ryan Gosling is capitalizing on the buzz his performance got at Sundance: The young actor is costarring with Sandra Bullock in Barbet Schroeder’s crime thriller ”Fool Proof,” and has completed the independent coming of age drama ”Slaughter Rules,” directed by Alec and Andrew Smith.

FURTHERMORE Writer – director – producer Buddy Bregman has cast Branford Marsalis opposite Mary J. Blige in ”All of Me: The Billie Holiday-Lester Young Encounters”; he’s hoping Alyssa Milano will play Young’s common law wife, with Ving Rhames as Count Basie.

Additional reporting by William Keck

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All of Me: The Billie Holiday-Lester Young Encounters

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