SCHUMACHER TO DIRECT 'PHANTOM' FILM
Acclaimed filmmaker Joel Schumacher is planning to bring the beloved musical, "Phantom of the Opera," to the big screen.
"We're doing 'Phantom of the Opera' for Andrew Lloyd Webber this fall in London," the "Phone Booth" and "Batman Forever" director told United Press International in a recent interview.
Asked if he decided to make the haunting love story because of Hollywood's renewed love of musicals, Schumacher, replied: "No. This has been in the works for 13 years. Andrew asked me to do it 13 years ago. It's been on and off."
He added cautiously: "(The success of 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Chicago') won't hurt, but just because one musical is successful doesn't mean others will be."
Schumacher said casting for the project has not been finalized.
FIRST REALITY FEATURE FILM TO OPEN THIS MONTH
New Line Cinema says "The Real Cancun," the first "reality feature film," is set to open in theaters April 25.
After a nationwide casting search that included college campuses across the country, including the University of Oklahoma, Arizona State, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Georgia, Texas Tech, Boston U and Washington State, the filmmakers cast a unique collection of real people. The group will explore reality's barriers beyond the limits of television while on the ultimate Spring Break vacation, with "surprising and electric results," the studio said.
Shot on location in Cancun, Mexico, during this year's spring break, the film comes from Bunim/Murray Productions, the pioneers behind the first hit reality shows "The Real World" and "Road Rules."
To meet the "stars," visit therealcancun.com.
CHER'S 'FAREWELL' CONCERT TO AIR TUESDAY
Just because Cher is on her farewell tour doesn't mean she's giving up show business.
"Well, I'm not leaving the planet!" she jokes with TV Guide Online. "This is the best show I've ever done. Physically, I'm doing a tour that could kill girls less than half my age. But I don't like being on the road traveling from place to place, being in a different hotel room every night and getting no sleep. The road is very demanding."
Asked if she would ever consider setting up a theater for a steady gig like Celine Dion recently did in Las Vegas, the 56-year-old stunner replies, "It's never occurred to me."
"This thing that Celine's doing, I don't think anyone's ever done it before," she says. "It's not a bad idea, but I couldn't do it too long. Celine's doing it for three years. I could never do that."
"Cher: The Farewell Tour" aired Tuesday night on NBC and her "Very Best of Cher" CD was just released. The diva can also be seen later this year in the new Farrelly brothers movie, "Stuck on You."
SHORT SHOOT HELPED FARRELL RETAIN SENSE OF PANIC
Colin Farrell says filming "Phone Booth" in 10 days allowed for an urgency and sense of panic he couldn't have sustained in a longer shoot.
"If it were shot over four months, it would have been really impossible to do," the Irish actor told reporters in New York. "Everyone says, 'God it must have been so hard to do the gig in 10 or 11 days,' but if this job took four months, I doubt if I would have been able to keep that level of nervous energy up. I would have gone completely bonkers. And if it wasn't shot in (order) it would have been very hard to measure the chipping away of Stuart as a man. It would have been very hard to determine at what stage he was in breaking down.
The fact that we shot in sequence over 10 or 11 days allowed me and the other actors to go f---ing bananas, get in there and get our hands bloody and be able to tell the story that had to be told, which is always going to be a maniac story, I'm sure. The way it's shot, very kinetic and on edge."
"Phone Booth," a thriller about a publicist trapped in a phone booth by a sniper, opened at the top of the box office this past weekend.
DEBORAH GIBSON EXTENDS RUN IN 'CABARET'
Former pop princess Deborah Gibson is extending her run as "Sally Bowles" in the Roundabout Theatre Company's hit musical, "Cabaret" through June 15.
Gibson, Neil Patrick Harris, Tom Bosley and Mariette Hartley currently star in the musical playing at Studio 54. Cabaret was directed by Sam Mendes with Rob Marshall and with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff.
"Les Misèrables" marked Gibson's Broadway debut in 1992 followed immediately by her West End debut in the Oliver-nominated revival of "Grease." Returning state-side brought the star turns in such shows as "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway and the national tours of "Funny Girl," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Grease" and "Cinderella "(opposite Eartha Kitt).
Gibson has the distinct honor of being the youngest person in music history to write, produce and perform a No. 1 hit.
REPORT: CLINTON BOOKS NOT DONE YET
The Clintons —- Bill and Hillary -- reportedly are having trouble meeting deadlines for their respective upcoming books.
Word from the New York Post is executives at Simon & Schuster are furious at Hillary Clinton for failing to finish her $8 million memoir on schedule, while Bill Clinton's $12 million tome seems bogged down as well.
Hillary received a $2.85 million advance, but has not even come up with a title, the Post reports.
"We must be off to the printer next month, but the manuscript isn't in yet," a Simon & Schuster source allegedly told Internet gossip Matt Drudge. "And there is no title. Without a title, it's been difficult to market."
A source close to Hillary Clinton defended her, explaining: "In all fairness, she has been preoccupied with serving New York during these challenging times. (But) the writing is wonderful, touching and will lift Hillary to a new level of respect."
"There's certainly no truth" to Drudge's claim, Simon & Schuster President Jack Romanos told the tabloid. "The book is in great shape."
Asked if he had a completed manuscript or a title, all Romanos would say is, "It's right where it oughtta be."
However, the book was due out in June and reviewers have not received copies.
Meanwhile, no title or publication date has yet been set for Bill's book either, for which Knopf paid a $12 million advance.
"(Bill) is not as driven as Hillary," said one publishing source. "(Knopf) is worried he will never actually get around to writing the book -- or when he does, he won't be relevant anymore. Hillary is a senator and will probably run for president. Bill does -- nothing."
As for whether his book is on schedule, "There wasn't really a schedule set, so that's a hard thing to determine," Knopf rep Nicholas Latimer says, adding it is expected to publish in the fall of 2004.