News From Hollywood

By Cindy Pearlman and Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
September 13, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

QUEEN OF THE KINGS Men in Black actress Linda Fiorentino (she’ll always be Jade to us) has optioned Colin Patrick Lynch’s play, One Eyed Jacks and Suicide Kings, about six men who gather for weekly poker games; she plans to make the project her feature directing debut. When a producer told Fiorentino that she was considering male directors for the project, ”I said, ‘I think it’s boring to have a guy direct a story about six guys,”’ says Fiorentino. ”’It’s much more interesting for a woman to do it.”’ Lynch has written the screenplay’s first draft, and Fiorentino hopes to begin filming by early spring. The actress, who has studied photography for 15 years, has few worries about her new gig: ”Why would I be afraid of telling six guys what to do?” she jokes. ”It’s a dream come true.”

A DOOMED AFFAIR The gay community could have a new poster boy in Ben Affleck, if he and director Betty Thomas (28 Days) are able to convince Hollywood’s deep pockets to let them adapt Peter Lefcourt’s 1992 novel, The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story, about a gay Major League Baseball player. So far, they’re striking out. ”Ben really wants to do it and I really want to do it,” says Thomas, but ”the bottom line is no studio wants to give us the money. I guess they think there’s no audience.” What’s the problem? Sounds like a home run to us.

SUPER MAN Superman Lives…and lives, and lives…. After seven years in development, Warner Bros.’ project is ramping up. We hear that McG (Charlie’s Angels), who was once rumored to be the front-runner for the directing gig, has now been supplanted by Brett Ratner (Red Dragon).

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