News from Hollywood

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
June 29, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

TITLE POOL Jordan Brady may well be the most prolific director whose movies you haven’t seen…yet. Two years ago, the 36-year-old novice director guided Ben Affleck and Denise Richards in the romantic comedy ”The Third Wheel,” then stepped up to directing Billy Bob Thornton and Charlize Theron in the drama ”Wakin’ Up in Reno;” now he’s finishing ”An American Girl,” which stars Brad Renfro and Jena Malone. Although Brady wrapped principal photography on Wheel in August 1999, the movie won’t be released until later this year. ”We had to add a new beginning, but one of the actors [Jay Lacopo] fell down and broke his face,” explains Brady. ”Then Denise Richards was busy, so it took a year to film two minutes.” Wheel was finally finished last month, a year after the completion of Reno, which Miramax will release in September. (Got that?) Now, Brady is free to finish ”An American Girl,” about a family outing at a prison — if only he could settle on what to call it. ”An American Girl — that’s the worst title in the world,” says Brady. ”What about all the other people in the movie? I scratched out [the other title] Lifers’ Picnic on my script and put in Dysfunctional Family Picnic instead,” but Brady isn’t sold on that either: ”I will personally write a check for $1,000 to anyone who comes up with a better title.” Sharpen those No. 2 pencils, kids, and send ’em to the e-mail address below: We’ll print our faves.

MISSES DIAZ Columbia has bought screenwriter Alex Torres’ action comedy ”Hit the Misses,” about an FBI agent’s wife who is put in a witness protection program and who subsequently experiences a change of heart about her marriage. Produced by Michael Pierce, Mark Williams, and Cathy Konrad, Hit is being floated to Cameron Diaz, who is currently starring in another Konrad project, the romantic comedy ”The Sweetest Thing.” (Rebecca Ascher-Walsh can be reached at