News From Hollywood, including the latest on Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and M. Night Shyamalan

Solaris Rising With Full Frontal (see page 32) just about finished, Steven Soderbergh has turned his attention to his remake of the 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky sci-fi flick Solaris. ”We start shooting on May 1, but other than George Clooney it hasn’t been cast,” says the director, who wrote the script on spec for producer James Cameron. ”And then I’m taking a break. [Solaris] is a culmination of a lot of things conceptually and technically for me, and it’ll be a good movie to disappear after. I want to do a mini-Terrence Malick.” And if you bought that, we’ve got a casino for you to rob. When pressed, the ultraprolific director admits he has a project to work on during his hiatus—an adaptation of the John Barth novel The Sot-Weed Factor. Well, that and watching reruns of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck‘s Project Greenlight series. ”It’s jaw-dropping. That’s what most movies are like. I just sit there stunned—they’re getting all the s — -!” he says. ”And the brilliance of it is that [Stolen Summer] isn’t something I’d see without this documentary. Now I’d pay $50 to see it.” If Miramax can find 40,000 more like you, Steven, it’ll be in the black.

Remember Memento Hey, Academy members! M. Night Shyamalan has something to say: Forget Chris Nolan‘s Memento come voting time and he’s gonna have issues. ”Memento was the only [film] that broke ground this year. I came out and felt like my mind was rewired,” says the director, currently editing his Mel Gibson crop-circle thriller Signs. ”Just because it doesn’t have a gigantic studio behind it and came out early in the year, well, it would be shameful if it wasn’t considered one of the five best movies of the year.” Tattoo that on your arm.