Who's making deals in the week of December 9, 2005 -- The biggest upcoming projects in entertainment

MOVIES Believe it…or not! Tim Burton and Jim Carrey are in talks to collaborate on an action-adventure film and potential franchise for Paramount based on the life of explorer, über-pack rat, and infamous ”odditorium” founder Robert Ripley. Burton. Two-headed kittens. We can’t wait.

STAGE Paul Rudd can laugh now about reading for Richard Greenberg’s play Three Days of Rain opposite Julia Roberts, but at the time? Not so much. Facing an audience that included Roberts, director Joe Mantello, and CAA agents, the 40 Year-Old Virgin costar realized he had prepped for the wrong role. ”Right before we started, I had a question about a line, and Joe said, ‘You know you’re reading the other part, right?’… Luckily, one of the parts is a guy with a massive stutter, so I think the stuttering came out naturally.”

MOVIES Bryan Singer is still geeking out on sci-fi. During a grueling Superman Returns shoot, the X-Men director also teamed with Godzilla producer Dean Devlin to exec-produce miniseries The Triangle, which starts Dec. 5 on the Sci Fi Channel. He also still wants to remake Logan’s Run before eventually returning to more down-to-earth stuff. ”I loved shooting [the TV pilot for] House, and to me, that brought me back to the [genre of] The Usual Suspects. I also have several period and psychological dramas in development.”

TV On the heels of settling his U.K. lawsuit with American Idol exec producer Simon Fuller, Idol judge Simon Cowell has signed on with Fox to keep snarking on contestants for another five(!) seasons. As for his other dawgs? ”My guess is [Fox] will be talking to Randy, Paula, and Ryan very soon about their own deals,” says Cowell. ”It pains me to say it, but I can’t imagine doing the show without them.”

MOVIES Stepping into a role originated by Sage Stallone, real-life son of Sylvester, Gilmore Girls alum Milo Ventimiglia will play Rocky’s nonboxing businessman son in Rocky VI. What’s he looking forward to the most? ”Wearing one of those robes with ‘Italian Stallion’ on the back and being a part of history.” Okay, then.