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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 11, 2003 at 2:21 PM   |   Comments

BOX-OFFICE PREVIEW

The new Adam Sandler-Jack Nicolson comedy "Anger Management" arrives in theaters Friday, with high expectations that it will set new box-office records.

Hollywood seems intent on avoiding confrontation this weekend, as rival studios leave the field wide open for the story of a mild-mannered man (Sandler) who ends up in court-ordered therapy with a maniacal anger management specialist (Nicholson). The movie is playing in more than 3,500 theaters.

By Sunday, box-office analysts expect "Anger Management" will have grossed in the neighborhood of $40 million. The biggest April opening in history came last year, when "The Scorpion King" grossed $36 million in its opening weekend.


FAITH HILL MOVING TO 'STEPFORD'

Country superstar Faith Hill reportedly will join the cast of "The Stepford Wives," the upcoming remake of the 1975 sci-fi thriller.

According to a report in Daily Variety, Hill is in talks to play one of the "perfect" wives engineered by the men of Stepford, Conn. Nicole Kidman stars as a new arrival in town who discovers town's the horrible secret.

The cast also includes John Cusack, Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. The remake -- directed by Frank Oz ("In & Out," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels") -- is a dark comedy take by writer Paul Rudnick ("In & Out," "Addams Family Values").

Hill's acting resume includes guest-starring roles in the TV series "Promised Land" and "Touched by an Angel," but the appearance in "The Stepford Wives" will be her bigscreen debut.


DIDDY TAKES ON ROBERT JOHNSON

Sean "P. Diddy" Combs is in talks to star in "Love in Vain," an HBO movie about legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, according to published reports in Hollywood.

Combs -- a two-time Grammy Award winner who has become one of the most influential figures in hip-hop culture -- has limited acting experience. He played the executed killer Lawrence Musgrove in the 2001 drama "Monster's Ball," and also appeared in the 2001 crime comedy-drama "Made."


VIN DIESEL'S NEXT

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vin Diesel is in talks to star in "Dreadnaught," about a conflict between officers at sea on a state-of-the-art warship.

The Reporter said director Dominic Sena ("Swordfish," "Gone in Sixty Seconds") is in talks to direct the project. Production would begin in the fall, after Diesel finishes work on "The Chronicles of Riddick" -- a sequel to the 2000 sci-fi thriller "Pitch Black."


ZETA-JONES WINS AGAIN

Three weeks after Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Oscar, she and Michael Douglas have won a London court victory over unauthorized photos of their wedding.

Zeta-Jones, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Chicago," had said she felt violated by "sleazy and unflattering" photos that Hello! Magazine published of her November 2000 wedding to Douglas -- who won the Best Actor Oscar for "Wall Street" (1987), and the Best Picture Oscar for producing "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975).

A London judge ruled that the magazine had acted improperly in publishing unauthorized photos of their wedding -- a $2 million spectacle staged at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Zeta-Jones and Douglas had arranged for OK! -- a rival of Hello! -- to publish authorized wedding photos for a reported $1.5 million.

The judge said damages would be determined at another court proceeding. Executives at Hello! said the magazine might appeal the verdict.


HONORS FOR BOB HOPE

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that an all-star lineup will gather on Hollywood Blvd. next Tuesday to honor legendary entertainer Bob Hope.

Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Miller, Cindy Williams, Eva Marie Saint, Phyllis Diller and Jack Jones will join Hope's wife Dolores and daughter Linda for the celebration -- at which Hope will be honored as Citizen of the Century. The ceremony will include the dedication of a plaque in front of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum.

The event will double as a promotion for the upcoming 2-hour NBC special "100 Years of Hope and Humor," scheduled to air on April 20, the Universal Studios Home Video release of "The Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute Collection, and the opening of the USO Exhibit at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum on April 17.

Hope will turn 100 on May 29.


REGIS GETS A STAR

Regis Philbin got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday, in ceremonies attended by Walt Disney Co. chief Michael Eisner, Larry King and Don Rickles.

Philbin's star is next to Rickles', in front of the historic El Capitan Theatre.

He was honored for a 40-year TV career in which he has entertained viewers on "Live with Regis and Kelly" -- formerly "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" -- and the prime time ABC game show hit "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." He has earned more than 30 Emmy nominations, winning for Outstanding Game Show Host for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and Outstanding Talk Show Host for "Live."

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