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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 23, 2003 at 3:21 PM   |   Comments

CANNES OPENINGS

Organizers of the 56th Festival de Cannes have announced an In Competition lineup that includes new movies by Clint Eastwood, Gus Van Sant and Lars von Trier.

Eastwood's new cop drama "Mystic River" -- starring Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Sean Penn and Tim Robbins -- is adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane.

Van Sant's movie remains something of a mystery, but the director has said that it is about high-school violence. "Elephant" features a mostly unknown cast -- "just local kids," according to Van Sant -- as well as two recognizable actors, Matt Malloy ("Far from Heaven," "AI Artificial Intelligence") and Timothy Bottoms ("That's My Bush," "The Paper Chase").

Von Trier's "Dogville" stars Nicole Kidman as a woman in a Rocky Mountain town in the 1930s, in what has been loosely described as a morality tale. Von Trier won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2000 for "Dancer in the Dark."

Cannes programmers said the In Competition schedule will also include: Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny;" Peter Greenaway's "The Tulse Luper Suitcase;" Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool;" and Hector Babenco's "Caradiru."

The festival opens May 14 with a screening of the new Penélope Cruz movie "Fanfan la Tulipe." It closes on May 25 with a screening of the hotly anticipated sequel to "The Matrix" -- "The Matrix: Reloaded."


CASTING NOTES

According to a report in Daily Variety, Kate Hudson is heading for a big payday, around $7 million, to star in the supernatural thriller "Skeleton Key."

Hudson was paid $4.5 million to co-star with Matthew McConaughey in the romantic comedy "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," which has grossed more than $103 million in 10 weeks in release. "Skeleton Key" -- written by Ehren Kruger ("The Ring") -- is the story of a caregiver who lives with an elderly couple in a creepy house New Orleans.

Variety also reported that "The Ring" star Naomi Watts will co-star with Sean Penn and Don Cheadle in "The Assassination of Richard Nixon." Set in 1972, it's described as a fact-based story about a salesman who takes drastic steps to realize the American dream.

There's also word in Hollywood that Kate Winslet is in final talks to do the voice of a rebellious young lioness in a new BBC live-action drama about a family of lions. "Pride," which is being co-produced with A&E Networks, will also feature voiceovers by Helen Mirren ("Gosford Park") and Sean Bean ("The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring").


BUT DONNA WON'T BE THERE

When the cast of "Beverly Hills 90210" holds a reunion Friday for a May 11 special on Fox, some of the old crew will not be along for the ride.

Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea), Shannen Doherty (Brenda), Jennie Garth (Kelly), Luke Perry (Dylan) and Jason Priestley (Brandon) are scheduled to appear on "Beverly Hills 90210: 10-Year High School Reunion." But Tori Spelling (Donna), Ian Ziering (Steve) and Brian Austin Green (David) were not planning to participate.

The New York Post quoted a "spy" saying that Spelling refused to take part.

"Fox has passed on two of her TV pilots," said the source. "They haven't given her a job since '90210' and she is furious."

Spelling's manager told the paper it was "preposterous" to blame her client's decision to skip the show on some kind of feud.

"She's just moved on," said Joan Green. "She's done (with '90210'). She loved her time on the show, but it's over."

Doherty is the host of "Scare Tactics" on the FX cable channel -- owned by News Corp., which also owns Fox TV and the New York Post.

The special will feature the former cast mates reminiscing about the show, which ran on Fox from 1990-2000. It will also feature memorable clips from the show.


COMEDY CENTRAL GETTING IN THE 'ROAST' BUSINESS

Comedy Central has had such success televising Friars Club roasts, it is planning its own series of celebrity roasts.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cable channel has hired actor Denis Leary ("Ice Age," "The Job") to produce the project. Leary has volunteered to go first onto the barbecue spit. "The Comedy Central Roast of Denis Leary" will be taped June 26 for an Aug. 10 air date.

Michael J. Fox, James Gandolfini, Elizabeth Hurley, Colin Quinn, Jon Stewart and Christopher Walken are scheduled to be part of the scene.

New York Friars Club annual roasts rank as the five top-rated specials in Comedy Central's history, but the Friars Club has decided not to allow this year's roast to be televised.

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