Hollywood Digest

PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter


"Beverly Hills 90210" star Jason Priestley was flown by helicopter Monday from Lexington, Ky. to a hospital in Indianapolis that specializes in treating injured race car drivers.


Priestley is apparently headed for a full recovery from severe injuries he sustained on Sunday when his race car crashed into a wall at 180 mph during a practice run for the Kentucky 100, an Infiniti Pro Series race, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.

The 32-year-old actor was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center after the crash with a spinal fracture and a head injury, as well as a broken nose and broken bones in both feet. His doctors are planning to perform reconstructive surgery on his ankles and feet.

UKMC officials said Priestley had made prior arrangement to be transferred in case of an accident to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he will be treated by "physicians who have treated other Indy Racing League drivers such as Davey Hamilton and Scott Goodyear."

Priestley's racing team -- Kelley Racing -- is based in Indianapolis.


Two-time Oscar-winner Sally Field ("Norma Rae," "Places in the Heart") will make her Broadway debut in Edward Albee's Tony-winning play "The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?"


Field and Bill Irwin ("Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Sesame Street") will replace original cast members Mercedes Ruehl ("The Fisher King") and Bill Pullman ("Independence Day") beginning with the Sept. 13 performance.

Field has also been nominated for five Emmys. She won for outstanding lead actress in a drama for "Sybil" (1977) and for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for "ER" (2001).

"The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?" -- a tragically comic story about a man who loses his heart to a goat -- won the Tony for best play in June.


Ellen DeGeneres is reportedly getting $1 million from Simon and Schuster for worldwide publishing rights for a new book of humor.

DeGeneres' second book -- her first was "My Point ... and I Do Have One" in 1995 -- is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2003, around the time that her upcoming TV talk show premieres in syndication.


Writer-director Paul Schrader is working on a sequel of sorts to his 1980 drama "American Gigolo," which starred Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton in the story of a professional escort of older women who gets tangled up in a murder case at the same time as a politician's wife starts to fall for him.


Schrader told Daily Variety he has already written the story -- "The Walker" -- which revisits the gigolo, Julian Kaye, as he heads into his fifties and now makes his living taking well-healed older women "to operas and art openings so their husbands don't have to." This time around, Kaye is gay, so his relationship with clients is not sexual.

Schrader said he hopes that the buzz building around his recently completed feature "Auto Focus" will help him get financing to make "The Walker."

"These are not easy times for independent cinema, which lives on the scraps that fall off the table, all these scavenger dogs making a dash for it," he said.

"Auto Focus" stars Greg Kinnear ("As Good as It Gets") as "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and Willem Dafoe ("Spider-Man") as John Carpenter -- who was acquitted on charges of killing Crane in a Scottsdale, Ariz. motel room in 1978.


Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm," "Air Force One") will produce and direct "Troy" -- based on Homer's "Iliad."

Peterson said he is still committed to making "Batman vs. Superman," billed as a classic battle of superheroes, but not until he finishes "Troy."


The screenplay for "Troy" was written by David Benioff, who most recently adapted his book "The 25th Hour" for a movie of the same name, directed by Spike Lee. Edward Norton ("The Score," "Fight Club") stars in the story of a man about to begin serving a seven-year jail term for drug dealing.


Organizers of the upcoming Hollywood Film Festival have announced that Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster ("The Silence of the Lambs," "The Accused") will be honored at the festival with its Hollywood Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award.

Carlos de Abreu -- founder and executive director of the festival -- said the October festival will also honor Naomi Watts ("Mulholland Drive") with its Hollywood Breakthrough Acting Award, and "Charlie's Angels" director McG with the Hollywood Breakthrough Directing Award.

Organizers previously announced that the festival will honor Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti, director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter Robert Towne, producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, composer Marc Shaiman and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager -- among others.



HBO is going forward with plans for a one-hour pilot for a Western written and produced by David Milch ("NYPD Blue"), and directed by Walter Hill ("48 Hours").

Hill has some experience with the Old West, having written and directed "Wild Bill," a 1995 Western starring Jeff Bridges as James Butler Wild Bill Hickok and Ellen Barkin as Martha Jane Burke -- more popularly known as Calamity Jane.

The working title for the HBO project is "Deadwood," named for Deadwood, S.D. -- the town where Hickok was shot in the back during a poker game. He was holding two pair -- aces over eights, which has been known ever since as "the dead man's hand."


Lawrence Guterman, whose first feature "Cats & Dogs" turned out to be one of the surprise hits of 2001, is reportedly in talks to direct "Son of Mask" -- a follow-up to Jim Carrey's 1994 hit "The Mask."

Studio executives insist that the new project will not be a sequel -- just another story involving the mystical green mask that bestows incredible powers on whoever wears it. There are no plans for Carrey -- or "The Mask" co-star Cameron Diaz -- to participate.


The screenplay was written by Lance Khazei, who was on the writing staff for John Leguizamo's 1995 TV show "House of Buggin'."

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