Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Nov. 26, 2002 at 4:08 PM

WILL THERE BE ANOTHER 'TREK'?

Patrick Stewart, the star of the upcoming "Star Trek: Nemesis," says it's too early to tell whether there will be another "Star Trek" movie after this one -- it all depends on how well "Nemesis" does at the box-office when it opens on Friday, Dec. 13.

Stewart, who is also a prominent player in the "X-Men" movie franchise, told SCI FI wire in an interview to promote the movie that the marketing for "Nemesis" -- touting the story as the crew's "final journey" -- should be taken with a grain of salt. He said if the box-office numbers are good enough, there might just be another adventure.

"Actually, it might come down to Friday night," Stewart said. "I would think by Saturday morning, we may know if there's going to be another movie or not."


DIANE KEATON'S NEXT

Diane Keaton will re-team with Nancy Meyers, who wrote Keaton's 1987 hit "Baby Boom" as well as Keaton's subsequent hits "Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride Part II."

Keaton has signed on to co-star with Jack Nicholson in a comedy that Meyers ("What Women Want") will direct from her own screenplay.

Nicholson will play a mature man who has it all -- including a girlfriend young enough to be his daughter. He loses his grip on Nirvana when he falls for his sweetie's mom, played by Keaton.


LASSE HALLSTROM'S NEXT

Lasse Hallström ("The Cider House Rules," "Chocolat") will direct the movie adaptation of "Bombshell: The Secret Story of America's Unknown Atomic Spy Conspiracy" -- the book by veteran reporters Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel accuses a respected U.S. scientist of passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union.

Albright and Kunstel -- who covered Moscow for the Cox Newspaper chain -- developed a case that scientist Theodore Hall gave secrets to the Soviets that were even more sensitive than the information involved in the notorious espionage case that ended with the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

"Bombshell" would reunite Hallström with Leonardo DiCaprio, who is considering starring in the project. They first worked together on the 1993 comedy-drama "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?"


GEARING UP FOR OSCAR

Next Monday, Dec. 2, is the deadline for filmmakers to submit official screen credits and music award forms to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for consideration fof the 75th Academy Awards.

Films still have a little more time to actually arrive at Los Angeles County theaters to be eligible for Oscar consideration this year. The deadline for exhibiting Oscar-qualified projects is December 31.

The 75th Academy Award nominations will be announced on Feb. 11, 2003. The Oscars will be handed out on March 23.


IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR

As Hollywood gears up for the holidays, celebrities are lining up to take part in events ranging from feeding the needy at Thanksgiving to raising funds for families who need a bit of help getting ready for Christmas.

Charlton Heston, Vanessa Williams and Melissa Joan Hart are scheduled to help serve meals to homeless people on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Mission.

On Friday, Hollywood celebrities will lace on their hockey skates and hit the ice with former Los Angeles Kings stars Ian Turnball and Russ Courtnall, former Stanley Cup MVP goalie Bill Ranford and Santa himself to raise funds for the L.A. Kings Alumni Association's programs benefiting needy kids. Alan Thicke ("Growing Pains"), David Boreanaz ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and Vincent Young ("Beverly Hills, 90210") are among the celebrities who will play hockey on a 50' x 80' outdoor ice-skating rink at Universal Studios Hollywood's CityWalk.

Also on Friday, Universal Studios Hollywood will launch a new holiday feature -- a parade featuring 50 favorite characters including SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek, Spider-Man and the X-Men. Through Jan. 1, the theme park's Studio Tour will feature snowfall along the way and a detour to the North Pole -- where King Kong will play Santa.

Universal is spreading holiday cheer with a special promotion allowing visitors to get a free annual pass for one paid admission through Jan. 31.


REMEMBERING PARLEY BAER

Hollywood is mourning the death of Parley Baer -- the veteran actor who originated the roles of Chester on the radio version of "Gunsmoke," Mayor Stoner on "The Andy Griffith Show" and the friendly neighbor Darby on "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."

Baer was 88 when he died last Friday at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke he suffered on Nov. 11. In a career that spanned more than 60 years, Baer appeared in 60 movies, 1,600 TV shows and an astounding 15,000 radio programs. From 1955-61, he was the voice of a Keebler cookie elf in TV commercials.

His resume included appearances on such TV classics as "Bonanza," "Dragnet," "Father Knows Best," "I Love Lucy," "Lassie" and "Perry Mason" -- as well as more contemporary hits such as "L.A. Law" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

Baer continued acting until 1997, when a stroke made it impossible for him to keep working.

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