Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   June 6, 2002 at 4:29 PM   |   0 comments

TOM'S GETTING OVER IT

Tom Cruise concedes that 2001 was "the toughest time" of his life, but he told the New York Daily News he came out of it with a greater appreciation for life.

The Oscar-nominated actor ("Rain Man") and his former wife, Oscar-nominated actress Nicole Kidman ("Moulin Rouge") divorced after 10 years of marriage. It was one of the most highly publicized break-ups in contemporary Hollywood annals.

"Last year was the toughest time in my life," Cruise told the paper. "I've never been under that much pressure before. But despite everything that happened, I don't have any regrets with Nic and I."

Cruise, who turns 40 on July 3, said he and Kidman are still friends, and share custody of their adopted children -- Isabella, 9, and Conor, 7.

"They spend a lot of time with both of us," he said. "We're raising them together."

He laughed off speculation that he and his current girlfriend, actress Penélope Cruz, are planning to get married.

"We have no plans, despite what other people say," he said.

He acknowledges that he and Cruz are in love, however. And he said he expects he will marry again some day.

"I'm a romantic," he said. "I probably will definitely get married again at some point. I really enjoy that type of relationship that two people have and I believe it can work."

Cruise is making himself available for a handful of interviews to promote his upcoming movie "Minority Report," directed by Steven Spielberg, due in theaters on June 21.


JEREMY FOR DINO

Jeremy Northam ("Gosford Park," Enigma") has been cast as Dean Martin in the upcoming CBS movie about the legendary showbiz team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace") had already been cast as Lewis.

Executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron told Daily Variety they went to New York, Toronto and Los Angeles to search for their Dino -- and it wasn't easy to find him.

"We went everywhere and looked at people who were complete unknowns, and what we discovered was that Dean Martin has this incredible air about him that's so hard to duplicate," Zadan said. "He's cool and detached, yet very passionate. He had all these qualities that were very hard to find in one person."

He and Meron put Northam and Hayes together to test their chemistry after they learned that Northam was interested.

"It was just electrifying," said Zadan. "(Northam) became Dean Martin. It was touching, hilarious and amazing. We just said, 'Wow. We've found our Dean Martin.'"

Zadan also said Hayes will score a breakthrough with his performance in "Martin & Lewis."

"He's nailed all the comedy routines already, but I think the dramatic scenes he's doing will make people perk up and see what a fine dramatic actor he is," Zadan said.


'GOTHIKA'

Plans call for Warner Bros. to develop a new thriller by writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez ("The Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature," "Judas Kiss") in which a psychiatrist wakes up to find that she is a patient in the asylum where she works.

According to FilmStew.com, "Gothika" will be produced by Dark Castle Entertainment -- the production company founded in 1999 by Robert Zemeckis ("Cast Away," "Forrest Gump") and Joel Silver the producer of such hits as "The Matrix," "Die Hard" and the "Lethal Weapon" series.

Dark Castle -- which Zemeckis and Silver said was intended to carry on "the spirit of the late William Castle" -- has already turned out remakes of Castle classics from the '50s and '60s "House on Haunted Hill" (1999) and "Thir13en Ghosts" (2001).

The company's most recent production, "Ghost Ship," stars Gabriel Byrne and Julianna Margulies in the story of salvagers who discover a passenger ship missing for decades and claim it as their own -- only to find that it is inhabited by a nasty creature.


NEW FACES OF MAD TV

Jill-Michele Melean is joining the cast of "Mad TV" on Fox this fall after being chosen at a showcase that the network conducted in Los Angeles in January intended to create opportunities for black, Asian, Latino and Native American performers.

Melean becomes the first Latina cast member of the sketch comedy show, which has aired Saturdays at 11 p.m. since its premiere in 1995. Fox said the showcase led to auditions for 63 of the 81 actors who took part, and 13 of them were offered roles.


'E.T.' ON DVD AT LAST

"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" will be released on DVD for the first time, in a limited collector's edition that will be available for 10 weeks only, beginning Oct. 22.

That means the DVD will be in stores just in time for Halloween, and be taken off of shelves just after Christmas.

The DVD, from Universal Studios Home Video, will contain both the original "E.T." and the 20th Anniversary edition that was released in U.S. theaters this spring.

The double-disc set will offer 10 hours of extras -- including director Steven Spielberg describing all aspects of the original 1982 production and the updated anniversary edition. There will also be video of John Williams conducting a 100-piece orchestra performing his Oscar-winning score for "E.T."

© 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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