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By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Jan. 24, 2002 at 8:23 PM   |   Comments

BUT WHO WILL PLAY HITLER?

This week's announcement that CBS is planning a four-hour miniseries on the early life of Adolf Hitler touched off a debate over whether the public is ready for such a thing -- as well as some curiosity over who would play Hitler as a young man.

Producer Ed Gernon told E! Online he'd like Ewan McGregor to do it.

McGregor co-starred with Nicole Kidman in the Golden Globe-winning movie, "Moulin Rouge." He also plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" and the upcoming "Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones."

If he winds up taking the miniseries part, that will give him two things in common with the late Sir Alec Guinness -- who not only played Obi-Wan in the first "Star Wars" trilogy, but also played Hitler in the 1973 movie "Hitler: The Last 10 Days."

Gernon said he has no idea whether McGregor would be interested in the Hitler project.

"I haven't approached him," said Gernon, "so he may be surprised to read this."

Gernon's production company, Alliance Atlantis, produced the ABC miniseries "Me and My Shadows: Life with Judy Garland" and the HBO movie "Nuremberg." The company also produces the hit CBS drama "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation."


FOSTER IS LOVING MOTHERHOOD

To hear Jodie Foster tell it, she's having a great time raising her two kids -- 3-year-old Charlie and 4-month-old Kit.

In Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, Foster told People magazine it's "very difficult have two close in age" but there are rewards as well.

"The times when they're both sitting in the backseat and one of them's looking around smiling and the other's singing, it's just the best," said Foster.

In order to make the three-day trip -- her first time away from Kit -- Foster said she had to pump "like 110 ounces" of breast milk.

The two-time Oscar-winning actress left the nest to promote her new movie -- "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" -- at Sundance. Foster stars as Sister Assumpta, a Catholic nun, in the story of a group of schoolmates who get caught drawing an obscene comic book and respond by planning a prank they think will make them local legends.


PACINO'S NEXT?

According to a report in Daily Variety, Al Pacino may make a cameo appearance in the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez movie, "Gigli" -- described as a crime-comedy about an inept hit man who kidnaps the mentally challenged brother of a public official in an attempt to stop the prosecution of a gangster.

It's being directed by Martin Brest from his own screenplay. Brest directed Pacino's Oscar-winning performance in the 1992 drama, "Scent of a Woman." He's also known for directing "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), "Midnight Run" (1988) and "Meet Joe Black" (1998).

Pacino's appearance in the movie -- reportedly a favor to Brest -- depends on whether he can fit the gig into his schedule. He's currently shooting "The Farm," in which he plays a CIA instructor suspected of being a double agent.


'BILLY ELLIOT' DIRECTOR PLANS NEXT MOVE

Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-nominated director of "Billy Elliot," is working on a screen adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's best-selling National Book Award winner "The Corrections" -- the story of a dysfunctional family Christmas reunion.

Franzen recently finished work on a movie version of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Hours" -- starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore in the story of three women who are deeply affected by the writing of Virginia Woolf.


KIDMAN ON TOP OF THE WORLD

Commenting on Nicole Kidman's relaxed mood at the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, gossip columnist Liz Smith reports that Kidman's "Moulin Rouge" director Baz Luhrmann said Kidman is definitely putting her personal troubles behind her.

"She is now able to be herself at last," Luhrmann told Smith. "The 'Ice Princess' thing is something from the past. So these days she is animated, fun and seems to be enjoying herself immensely."

Kidman went through a highly publicized divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001 -- but stayed busy with a full schedule of filming and promotional appearances on behalf of her movies.

Backstage Sunday -- after winning the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy movie for "Moulin Rouge" -- Kidman said the rough times provided her with a good lesson.

"One of the most important things in life is to know who your friends are and who you cherish," she said. "It's 2002 now, so I'm really looking forward to this year."


HOW WILL CONNIE PLAY IT?

More than one observer has pointed out that CNN's newest hire -- former ABC correspondent Connie Chung -- will be on the air opposite Fox's Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Brian Williams.

It's the competition with O'Reilly that seems to bring out the most interest among TV critics, but Chung said she will not try to beat the pugnacious Fox host at his own game -- highly charged discussions of current events designed to generate more heat than light.

"That's not what I do," said Chung, speaking with reporters at the announcement of her new job.

Chung said she would put more emphasis on news, but she does intend to be competitive when it comes to scoring high-profile guests for interviews on her new show.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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