News From Hollywood

By William Keck and Nicholas Fonseca
Updated March 21, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

BEST IN SHOW Basking in the glow of 2002’s record box office take ($9.3 billion), this year’s ShoWest — the annual Las Vegas confab where studios peddle their summer-movie wares to theater owners and exhibitors — featured celebs both on and off screen. The cast of Fox Searchlight’s fall release ”Club Dread,” which distribution prez Steve Gilula called ” ”Super Troopers” for stoner college students,” dropped by for photos. Adam Sandler put in an appearance at a screening of his April comedy ”Anger Management,” costarring Jack Nicholson. But the real star power came via dozens of trailers, including the well-received clip of Tobey Maguire’s horse- racing drama ”Seabiscuit,” due in July, and a peek at November’s ”The Cat in the Hat,” starring a whiskered Mike Myers. ”Antwone Fisher” producer Todd Black offered EW this savory tidbit: Beloved ousted ”American Idol” contestant Frenchie Davis is in discussions for a role in his in-the-works Mo’Nique comedy, ”Phat Girls.” Kelly Clarkson, we hardly knew ye.

ROMAN HOLIDAY Diane Lane is cornering the market on women lusting for liberation. She’s following up her acclaimed turn as an adulterous wife in ”Unfaithful” with ”Under the Tuscan Sun,” a film loosely based on Frances Mayes’ memoir about moving to Italy. ”This woman is coming off a horrific divorce,” says Lane. ”She arrives brokenhearted and surprises herself by deciding she can’t go back home.” Lane, who spent last fall’s shoot traipsing through Florence and Rome, admits to her own Italian obsession: ”Their ethics are based on quality of life and emotional exchange. It’s very validating.” Kind of like that long-awaited Oscar nod.

FURTHERMORE Shelley Morrison, who plays Rosario on ”Will & Grace,” will appear opposite Emilio Estevez in a new take on 1971’s younger man/older woman classic, ”Harold and Maude.” ”The producers wanted J. Lo in my part,” Morrison quips, ”but Emilio refused, God bless him.”