News From Hollywood

A King’s Ransom The Rock isn’t the only heir to The Scorpion King’s fortune. Producer Kevin Misher, who left his post as Universal’s president of production last year to start his own company, will not only back The Rock’s rematch in Helldorado (see News & Notes, page 10), but is looking to rebrand another action hero: Sub-Mariner. Based on the first Marvel Comics superhero, Sub, which is being written soon, will no doubt get a push from the impending success of Spider-Man. Misher is also developing the story of a real live person: rap mogul Russell Simmons, whose 2001 autobiography, Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God, will be adapted to the big screen. ”We’re looking for a writer, but it’s a priority,” says Misher, who adds that the project will be ”about the cultural movement of the last 25 years. It should be great fun and have great energy.” Hip-hop hooray.

Furthermore Moulin Rouge cowriter Craig Pearce is sticking to the beat with his latest screenplay, an adaptation of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar for Universal. Says Pearce, ”It’s taking the original music and setting it in a created world, based on a 21st-century world.” All right, then…. Wild horses couldn’t make us believe this if he hadn’t said so his own self, but Mick Jagger tells us he’s cowritten a screenplay. The singer-turned-producer (his company backed Enigma) has hit the (computer) keyboard with Martin Scorsese, working on an insider rock & roll project called The Long Play. Jagger will also produce. (Additional reporting by Adam Duerson and William Keck)