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X-MEN 2!! WAR OF THE WORLDS!! CONNERY IN INDY 4!!! Comedian Steve Harvey is in talks to join Beyonce Knowles and Cuba Gooding Jr. in THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS for MTV and Paramount Pictures. Zuleokha Robinson will star opposite Viggo Mortenson in Disney\’s HIDALGO, about a Pony Express rider in the 1890\’s who competes against Arabian thoroughbreds with his Mustang Hidalgo. Peter Gallagher and Alexandra Holden have joined the cast of HOW TO DEAL for New Line Cinema and director Claire Kilner. Mandy Moore stars, and Allison Janney will also appear. Amy Poehler is the latest adition to the ensemble comedy cast of ENVY for director Barry Levinson. Production begins in July on the Dreamworks film, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Christopher Walken. Stockard Channing has joined the cast of Woody Allen\’s still untitled next film. Already in the ranks are Jason Biggs, Danny DeVito and Christina Ricci. Todd Alcott will write the live-action feature version of the popular animated series SAMURAI JACK for director Brett Ratner and New Line Cinema. Alcott will write from a treatment by series creator Gendy Tartakovsky. The story follows an ancient Samurai warrior who is hurtled into the future by his arch-enemy, a wizard who defeated the Samurais father, who happened to be the Emperor of Japan. Jack fights the wizards evil followers in the future while trying to get home to protect his family. David Koepp will pen the initial draft of SPIDERMAN 2, based on his own treatment for the sequel. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar will take over after the first draft and do the fine tuning, while Koepp goes back to working on his adaptation of Stephen King\’s SECRET WINDOW, SECRET GARDEN from the Four Past Midnight collection. SPIDERMAN 2 is set for a January start date, with May 7, 2004 set for release. Columbia Pictures will produce CLASS CLOWNS from writers Grant Calof and Greg Lee. It follows two friends who think they\’ve landed prime teaching gigs, only to find out that they are returning to their old High School, run by the same tyrant who swore revenge on them during their High School years. RKO will remake it\’s 1947 noir picture BORN TO KILL about a greedy woman who hires a con-man to off her rich stepsister. Obviously things don\’t work out as she has planned. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo Arriaga, the directoe and wroter behind AMORES PERROS, will team again for a follow up called 21 GRAMS, alluding to the amount of weight a human body loses immediately after death. This drama will argue that the 21 grams in question are the soul leaving the body. Paramount and MTV films will produce a film based on the true story of Ken Carter a High School basketball coach from Richmond California, who in 1999, benched his entire team. Despite the team being undefeated, Carter benched the entire roster for poor academic performance. They forfeited two games and banned the students from practising until their grades improved. Many members of the team then went on to earn scholarships. Warner Brothers has picked up the pitch for PLANET CLAIRE from Marty Navis and Robert Ellsworth about an inexperienced, but wiley newcomer on the campaign trail. Miramax has announced plans for TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY, a biopic of the original TV Superman, George Reeves, and his mysterious death. Micheal and Mark Polish will produce and direct. Rod Lurie will develop a project about the media world in New York for Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg, who may direct the film. New Line Cinema has picked up the pitch for LEAVENWORTH from writer Jason Keller. It is described as a con movie like THE STING set in prison. New Regency has joined as a producing partner in the Warner Brothers film THE FOUNTAIN, a sci-fi epic starring Brad Pitt and directed by Darren Aronofsky from a script he co-wrote with Ari Handel. Sony Pictures has purchased rights to the story of King Kamehameha, who united the Hawaiian islands into the Kingdom of Hawaii. Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, is the man who will be King, in the story of the famous warrior-king who ruled from 1795 to 1819. Steven Spielberg, in an interview with internet movie-site JoBlo\’s Movie Emporium, has confirmed that Sean Connery will return to action in INDY 4 as Dr. Henry Jones. Columbia Pictures has picked up Eric Kripke\’s comedy pitch RAISING HELL, described as a comedy inspired by ROSEMARY\’S BABY, where a young couple refuses to believe that their infant son is the antichrist. Kripke is on a big roll, having just placed his pitch ANIMAL CONTROL at Fox, written BOOGEYMEN for Senator films and HOLY CRAP, a comedy in development with Immortal Entertainment. Writer-producer John Fasano has signed up with MDP Worldwide to make his directing debut with DEAD PEOPLE, from a script written by Fasano about a Seattle hospital on the verge of demolition, that turns out to be the resting place of an undead army. Along with rumors of cameos by X-Men characters Beast, Gambit and Colossus, reports have come in from Victoria B.C. that Brian Cox has been signed to play Stryker, the ex-army commander who may be able to uncover the mystery of Wolverine\’s past. Stryker is one of the main villians in the new film, which began shooting on Monday. Cox is best known as being the original Hannibal Lecter in the 1986 film MANHUNTER, currently being remade as RED DRAGON with Anthony Hopkins reprising the role of Dr. Lecter. Rumors are also abound that Frank Darabont may be working on a screenplay for a new adaptation of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, for Cruise/Wagner Films, with Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg heavily involved. This may turn out to be Spielberg\’s film before INDY 4, which will not shoot until mid 2004.

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