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Charlie

IN THE SWIM OF THINGS John Polson’s teen thriller Swimfan, which stars Erika Christensen and Jesse Bradford, is being released by Fox on Sept. 6. But when Polson first approached studios, he found himself drowning in nos. Finally, GreeneStreet Films and Further Films (Michael Douglas’ production company) agreed to cough up the $5 million and change in financing; the project was snapped up upon completion. Polson isn’t fighting the tide any longer: He’ll direct Miramax’s Fear Itself, based on Sam Peckinpah’s 1972 revenge drama Straw Dogs; he’s also finished a draft of Up and Comer. Polson describes Up, based on a book by Howard Rowan, as ”The Player set in the New York legal scene.”

SILENT MOVIE From one deprivation to another: 40 Days and 40 Nights screenwriter Rob Perez has followed that comedy — in which Josh Hartnett swore off orgasms for said amount of time — with New Line’s Charlie, about a mute who falls for a New York socialite (naturally, she’s too self-involved to notice he’s tongue-tied). To research the movie, Perez went five days without talking: ”If I were a better writer, I wouldn’t have to do this kind of thing,” Perez says. Which raises the question — and you can thank us for being the ones to ask — did he cut himself off for 40 Days, too? ”I did, absolutely,” asserts the 29-year-old. ”I’m a Method writer.” We’re scared of what he’ll write about next.

DAY TIME Filmmakers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich will soon begin writing the sequel to Independence Day. Devlin, who says Fox is interested, hopes to reassemble members of the original cast, which included Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.

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