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Elston Gunn's WEEKLY RECAP

Well, looks like Elston's computer is up and running again, and so I (Father Geek) find myself once again posting his weekend update (Weekly Recap) for all of you who may have missed some of the Hollywood news the first time around. Never fear, Elston's got you covered, so sit back, relax, grab a mug of hot java, or whatever, and read all about the week that was for America's motion picture industry... Meanwhile, Click Here For Your Chance To By FATHER GEEK Baseball Hats and Baggy Boxer Shorts!!! You'll Age Happily!!!



* Chloe Sevigny, Jeremy Davies and Paul Bettany are in talks to join Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard and Katrin Cartlidge in director Lars von Trier's dramatic indie thriller DOGVILLE. Shooting begins in January in Sweden.

* Gabrielle Union and LL Cool J will star in the Baltimore/Spring Creek romantic comedy DELIVER US FROM EVA for writer/director Gary Hardwick (THE BROTHERS) and USA Films. It's about three young men who pay a ladies' man five grand to go out with their sister-in-law. After a horrendous first date, the two start to fall for each other which leads to unexpected complications. Production begins mid-October.

* David Alan Basche ("Three Sisters") joins the cast of Steven Soderbergh's HOW TO SURVIVE A HOTEL FIRE with Blair Underwood, Julia Roberts and Catherine Keener, among others. Production begins in early November for a March release.

* Fred Savage joins James Van Der Beek and Shannyn Sossamon in THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel, for director Roger Avary.

* Patricia Kalember (''thirtysomething," "Sisters"), Cherry Jones and newcomer Abigail Breslin have joined Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix and Rory Culkin in M. Night Shyamalan's SIGNS.

* Mekhi Phifer and Brittany Murphy will join Eminem and Giovanni Ribisi in Universal's THE UNTITLED DETROIT PROJECT for director Curtis Hanson and Imagine Entertainment. Shooting starts Oct. 18.

* Samuel L. Jackson is in negotiations to join Vin Diesel in XXX, a Revolution Studios action drama to be directed by Rob Cohen. Jackson will play a government agent who recruits and trains Diesel's character for an undercover operation designed to infiltrate a Russian crime ring. Shooting begins late November for a July release. Diesel is also near a deal to star in THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, the sequel to PITCH BLACK. David Hayter (X-MEN) wrote the script. Production on that project is expected to begin in the spring for a summer 2003 release.

* Rapper-actress Queen Latifah is in talks to join Taye Diggs and Sanaa Latham in BROWN SUGAR for Fox Searchlight and director Rick Famuyiwa. She'll also star in and executive produce the comedy IN THE HOUZE for Disney and Hyde Park Entertainment.

* John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson may star in BASIC for director John McTiernan and Phonenix Pictures/Intermedia about a Drug Enforcement Agency agent who investigates the disappearance of a legendary Army Ranger drill instructor and several cadets. Shooting begins in late November


* Bel-Air Entertainment has purchased the action/comedy screenplay CHEER UP by John J. McLaughlin about a group of dysfunctional cheerleaders from Eastern Connecticut College who witness a murder after one of their cheerleading competitions. A hard-nosed veteran FBI agent is assigned to the case and must learn to work with the girls while avoiding the killers determined to knock them off before the group can testify.

* MGM has acquired THE DISASSOCIATE, a romantic comedy/fantasy script by Zach Helm described by the writer as "a postmodern comedy about a (surprise) who works as a (surprise) until (surprise) convinces him to quit and pursue the (surprise), ultimately leading to (surprise's) (surprise) and subsequent (surprise)."

* Michael Elliot has several scripting projects on his plate including the romantic comedy pitch MAID TO LOVE YOU as a starring vehicle for Tyrese; THE LAST RIDE for Deep River and New Regency, based on a pitch by Pras; GOT MONEY? at Alcon Entertainment; LIKE MIKE for Lil' Bow Wow and Fox Searchlight; and BROWN SUGAR with Rick Famuyiwa (THE WOOD) directing this fall.

* Hyde Park Entertainment has picked up the feature rights to JAKE & MIMI, the upcoming novel by Frank Baldwin that has John Herzfeld (15 MINUTES) attached to direct and produce. It's about Jake, a guy who explores sex through a long line of women. When he meets Mimi, he starts to rethink his ways, but his life is turned upside down when the women he has slept with begin to be murdered, and he looks like the most likely suspect.

* Gil Junger (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU) will direct D-MEN, a supernatural action/comedy, for Warner Bros.and Mad Chance Prods. The pic is based on Martin Olson's manuscript ENCYCLOPEDIA FROM HELL and centers on two men who stop a demon invasion. Ken Kaufman and Howard Klausner (SPACE COWBOYS) wrote the script.

* Richard Pearce (THE LONG WALK HOME) will direct the bigscreen adaptation of T.C. Boyle's TORTILLA CURTAIN for Kingdom International. It's about a writer in Topanga Canyon who accidentally hits a man who happens to be an illegal alien. The story explores how the incident brings the two men and their families together and later separates them. Shooting begins this spring.

* Russell Mulcahy will direct SWIMMING UPSTREAM for Crusader Entertainment about a young man who struggles to become an Olympic swimmer despite his alcoholic dad. The project is based on Tony Fingleton's autobiographical book.

* MGM grabbed the comedy pitch MARVIN from Gary Hardwick (THE BROTHERS) for Landscape Entertainment to produce. Hardwick will script the story of a young, upper class groom-to-be who spends the night in jail after a run-in with the law. While there, he enlists the help of a fast-talking con man for protection. In return, he promises to help said his new pal get back on his feet upon his release. When the con gets out much sooner than anticipated, the groom-to-be finds keeping his end of the bargain to be a lot harder than he could ever have imagined.

* Alan Cumming will write, direct and star in two projects for FilmFour, GARDENER'S QUESTION TIME and DIVA. The former project is about a group of friends and how they keep in touch through changing times over a 10-year period. The latter pic is about a guy who becomes obsessed with the women who live in the apartment opposite him.

* Comedy Central and Robert De Niro's Tribeca Prods. have hired actor/writer A.D. Miles ("TV Funhouse," WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER) to script PORN 'N' CHICKEN, a feature based on the true story of Yale students who made a porn flick with fellow classmates as actors.

* Writer Scott Burns is working with Working Title Films on two projects: PU239, a script about a guy entangled with a mobster in modern-day Russia, which Peter Berg is attached to direct; and a pitch based on the life of Neil Smithers, a crime-scene cleaner.

* Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures and Artists Production Group have tapped Jim Krieg to adapt Geoff Nicholson's novel BEDLAM BURNING for New Line with Barry Levinson possibly directing. The story focuses on a charming struggling writer and his school chum who has succeeded in writing a novel. Things go awry when the bland pal asks his good-looking friend to contribute his own photo for the book jacket, in hopes of stronger sales.

* Steve Beck (upcoming 13 GHOSTS) will direct CHIMERA for Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment. Mark Hanlon wrote the script about a group of boat salvagers who find a lost 1953 passenger ship floating aimlessly in the Bering Sea. After claiming the ship and attempting to bring it to shore, mysterious things start to happen aboard the vessel.


* Paramount Pictures has given STAR TREK: NEMESIS the greenlight to begin production on Nov. 28 with Stuart Baird (U.S. MARSHALS) directing from a script by John Logan (GLADIATOR).

* Team Todd, the production partnership between sisters Suzanne and Jennifer Todd, have a new multiyear first-look deal at DreamWorks beginning Oct. 1. They are developing Heather Hatch's script THERE'S A POP DIVA LOOSE IN THE CAFETERIA for the studio as well as THE FIRST FIVE and DADDY BOOT CAMP at Revolution Studios; THE CAPTAIN'S WIFE at Fox 2000; and SEX TALK at New Regency.


(NOT from the trades)

* Follow the adventures of Bruce Zick's THE ZONE CONTINUUM at

* Interested in Birmingham, Alabama's film festival? Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival:

* Someone's got a Willy Wonka remix they'd like to share.

* Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team return with the USA premiere of CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV. The film will have its USA premiere on November 2nd at the Pioneer Theater (155 East 3rd Street -at Ave. A- New York, NY 10009) followed by a gala premiere party.

Until next week... Have a good October.

Elston Gunn

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