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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Oct. 24, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

BRANDO PREMIERE CANCELED

The world premiere of the eagerly awaited documentary, "Conversations with Brando," reportedly has been canceled because the film's rotund subject is threatening to sue his director.

MSNBC.com reports Tony Kaye spent hundreds of hours filming the screen legend as he taught acting classes to stars such as Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nick Nolte, Jon Voight, Robin Williams and Michael Jackson.

The film created a firestorm of media attention before it even was completed because word got out Marlon Brando occasionally would wear women's clothing or don a priest's outfit while instructing his class.

Best-known for his unforgettable performances in "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now," Brando has been described in recent years as erratic and eccentric.

Kaye also has a reputation for exhibiting bizarre or difficult behavior on movie sets. After warring with actor Edward Norton during production of his 1998 skin-head drama, "American History X," Kaye took his name off the picture to protest changes Norton requested and New Line Cinema granted. He then filed a $275 million lawsuit against the studio and the Director's Guild of America for not letting him use the pseudonym "Humpty Dumpty" as the film's director.

The World Entertainment News Network says Brando initially was happy the documentary would premiere at London's Raindance Film Festival later this month and then be sold on the Internet.

An insider tells MSNBC.com, however: "As of now, it's definitely off. It's hard to figure out exactly what's going on because Brando has become quite, shall we say, eccentric by this point, and Kaye is a bit of a puzzle, himself."

Neither Kaye nor Brando's representatives commented on the reports.


KIDMAN TO BE STEPFORD WIFE

Aussie actress Nicole Kidman reportedly has signed on to star in the upcoming re-make of "The Stepford Wives."

Variety reports the "Moulin Rouge!" star will appear in Paramount's update of the 1975 story of a group of husbands who transform their feisty wives into robots that cater to their every whim. The trade newspaper describes it as a sophisticated black comedy directed by Frank Oz ("The Score," "Bowfinger") and written by Paul Rudnick ("In & Out," "The Addams Family Values.")

Kidman will play the role originated by Katharine Ross -- a newcomer to the neighborhood who realizes something is amiss with the housewives, who seem a bit too interested in household chores and other hubby-pleasing activities.


A 10th SEASON OF 'FRIENDS'?

The National Enquirer reports a 10th season of hit sit-com "Friends" may be in the works.

The tabloid says Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt LeBlanc have agreed to stay on for another year. The lucrative deal they have struck will reportedly be void, however, if they don't convince Jennifer Aniston, the sixth member of the ensemble, to return as well.

The deal with NBC supposedly includes a $300,000 an episode pay raise, which means the pals would get $1.3 million to play in each show. The bonus season also would feature nine fewer episodes than previous years, concluding after 13 shows with a one-hour series finale.

A source at NBC is quoted as saying: "So far, the only cast member who has not agreed in principle to come back next year is Jennifer Aniston. Unlike some of the other 'Friends' stars who've tried to get movie careers going but have met with little success, Jennifer has actually been on a roll recently. She got good reviews for the movie 'The Good Girl' and is now in demand for some big-budget films. But the rest of the cast believes that she'll eventually sign on."


HANDSOME AND GOOD WITH KIDS...

Harry Connick Jr. is getting in touch with his inner child.

The handsome singer, actor and father of three is in concert this fall, performing songs from his Grammy Award-winning album, "Songs I Heard," which includes favorites from "The Sound of Music," "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Mary Poppins."

Harry will stop at The Barns of Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., where he first performed 13 years ago, on Sunday, Nov. 17 for two, one-hour shows. He will be backed by a select small group of musicians from his famed Big Band. Part of the proceeds from that event will benefit the Children's Museum in Washington, D.C.

© 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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