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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Feb. 19, 2002 at 5:37 PM   |   Comments

BROSNAN DINGED ON 'BOND' SET

Producers of the latest James Bond movie confirmed that Pierce Brosnan will be sidelined for two weeks because of a knee injury sustained last Friday while filming an action sequence.

In a statement, EON Productions provided few details of Brosnan's misadventure.

"Pierce Brosnan has always pursued the character with extreme physicality," said the statement. "On Friday, Brosnan sustained a knee injury during an action sequence involving water."

The company assured the public -- and its investors, no doubt -- that the picture will be ready for a planned November premiere.


'HARRY' TOPS 'PHANTOM MENACE'

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" has become the second-biggest movie hit in world history, eclipsing the worldwide box-office record previously held by "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace."

The movie version of the first in author J.K. Rowling's series of books about the young wizard has sold $926.1 million worth of tickets around the world since its release last November. "Episode I" has sold $922.8 million.

"Titanic" is still king of the box-office world -- by a mile. James Cameron's disaster epic has grossed $1.84 billion worldwide since its release in 1997.


JULIA LIKES DENZEL FOR OSCAR

Many Hollywood insiders regard Russell Crowe as the leading contender for this year's best actor Oscar for his performance as schizophrenic math whiz John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind," but last year's best actress winner thinks the statuette belongs on Denzel Washington's mantel.

Julia Roberts told Newsweek that Washington's work as a rogue narc in "Training Day" is easily Oscar-worthy. As a matter of fact, Roberts said, Washington is "the best actor of his generation, hands down" -- and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science probably owes him at least one more Oscar than the supporting actor award he took home in 1989 for "Glory."

"He should be on his third Oscar by now, and that might not be enough," said Roberts. "I cannot absorb living in a world where I have an Oscar for best actress and Denzel doesn't have one for best actor."


BEATTY LIKES BERRY FOR THE OSCAR

Conventional wisdom in Hollywood holds that you can engrave Sissy Spacek's name right now in the nameplate that will go on this year's Oscar statuette for best actress, but Warren Beatty has his own ideas.

The Oscar-winning director of "Reds" told gossip columnist Liz Smith that the Oscar ought to go to Halle Berry for her performance in the interracial love story, "Monster's Ball." Berry co-starred with Beatty in the 1998 political satire "Bulworth" and won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as legendary actress Dorothy Dandridge in the 2000 HBO movie "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge."

"I don't like to show partiality to one film over another," said Beatty. "But I want to come out in support of Halle. I'm terribly fond of her. She's an incredible actress. Halle is such a beautiful woman and, at the same time, has such a sense of humility that people have trouble adjusting to it."


'RAYMOND' WILL HELP AIDS RESEARCH

In a new twist on Hollywood fund-raising, the hit CBS comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" will donate a live taping to the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).

Series stars Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle and Brad Garrett will not only allow the March 21 taping to be used as a way for amfAR to raise funds, they will also appear at a reception with the rest of the cast and crew -- including cocktails, dinner and a silent auction. Items for bid in the auction will include autographed photographs and scripts from the show -- and a walk-on role in a future episode.

Since its establishment in 1985, the foundation has reported raising and investing $190 million in AIDS research programs and awarding grants to more than 1,900 AIDS research teams in the United States.


'RUDY!' -- THE MOVIE

USA Network is going ahead with plans for a TV movie about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, based on Wayne Barrett's book "Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani."

The movie will, of course, include the events of Sept. 11 and Giuliani's rise to national prominence for his handling of perhaps the worst crisis in the city's history, but it will also examine his life and work leading up to Sept. 11. The question of who will play Giuliani is still open.

Giuliani is working with producers on a documentary about Sept. 11, tentatively scheduled to air on HBO over Memorial Day weekend.


'T3' WILL KEEP IT LOCAL

Hollywood professionals worried about runaway production are cheering the decision by producers of the upcoming "Terminator" movie to film the project entirely in Los Angeles, instead of shooting parts of it in Canada.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's "T3: Rise of the Machines" will be made at Hollywood soundstages and exterior locations, providing close to 100 days of work for (mostly) locally based cast and crew.

The project is reportedly budgeted at somewhere in the neighborhood of $165 million to $180 million -- with $30 million for Schwarzenegger.


SHOOTING LAWYERS IN VANCOUVER

NBC announced Tuesday that production is under way in Vancouver, B.C., on "L.A. Law: Return to Justice."

That's the working title for the upcoming two-hour reunion special scheduled to bring most of the characters from the long-running, Emmy-winning series back to primetime for one night only in May. The show won 15 Emmys during its eight seasons on NBC (1986-94), including a record-tying four for outstanding drama series.

The reunion special will bring back regular cast members Corbin Bernsen, Golden Globe winner Susan Dey, two-time Emmy winner Larry Drake, Emmy winner Richard Dysart, Golden Globe winner Jill Eikenberry, Dann Florek, Michele Greene, Harry Hamlin, Alan Rachins, Susan Ruttan and Michael Tucker.

It will not feature Jimmy Smits, who starred as Victor Sifuentes from 1986-91, or John Spencer, who played Tommy Mullaney from 1990-94. Also missing from the cast list is Blair Underwood, who played Jonathan Rollins from 1987-94.

The movie is being made from a script by William Finkelstein ("Law & Order") -- a former executive producer on "L.A. Law" who won an Emmy Award, Peabody Award and Golden Globe Award for his work on the series.

© 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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