Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   May 15, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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The producer of the popular Hannibal Lecter movies says he would like to make a film about the serial killer as a young man.

Played by Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins, the brilliant cannibal Lecter was middle-aged in the 1991 film "Silence of the Lambs," its 2001 sequel "Hannibal" and 2002 prequel "Red Dragon."

Legendary producer Dino de Laurentiis said at the Cannes Film Festival Thomas Harris, the author of the three Hannibal books, currently is working on a new prequel titled "The Lecter Variation: The Story of Young Hannibal Lecter."

De Laurentiis told Screen International he's already started work on this latest film, which chronicle Lecter's childhood in Lithuania during World War II through his teen years in Paris up to his arrival in the United States, the scene of some of his most shocking crimes, in his early 20s.

"Lecter was born into a very rich family, but the war destroyed it and killed his parents," De Laurentiis told the magazine Wednesday. "He was left with his sister with whom he had a very close relationship."

Other than that, De Laurentiis kept mum about details of the plot and character.

In addition to producing "Hannibal" and "Red Dragon," De Laurentiis also helmed the 1986 film "Manhunter," which was an adaptation of "Red Dragon," starring Brian Cox as Hannibal.


"Ocean's Eleven" director Steven Soderbergh and former E! personality Jules Asner were married in New York last weekend.

Not surprisingly, E! had the scoop on the stars' nuptials, reporting Wednesday they were wed by a justice of the peace in a small ceremony at Soderbergh's Manhattan apartment before family members and friends, including Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols.

Representatives for the pair had no comment. While details of their nuptials and honeymoon aren't being released, E! reasons the newlyweds probably will spend some of their honeymoon in the south of France, since Soderbergh is a judge at the Cannes Film Festival this week. This is the second marriage for both.


Jon Secada will take over as the Emcee in "Cabaret" when Neil Patrick Harris leaves the show later this month.

Harris, better known as TV doctor "Doogie Howser," recently extended his critically acclaimed run as the show's male lead until May 25. He will be succeeded by Vance Avery from May 26 through June 5 before recording sensation Secada joins the cast on June 6.

Secada joins stars Deborah Gibson as Sally Bowles, Tom Bosley as Herr Schultz, Mariette Hartley as Fraulein Schneider, Rick Holmes as Clifford Bradshaw, Liz McConahay as Fraulein Kost and Peter Benson as Ernst Ludwig.

Secada, a two-time Grammy award-winning recording artist with more than 20 million albums sold, is a dynamic live performer, a gifted singer/songwriter and an international superstar in his own right. His songwriting talent led him to write music for the likes of Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Mandy Moore. Secada recently released a new Spanish album, "Amanecer," his first Spanish release in over seven years, featuring the chart topping songs "Si No Fuera Por Ti," and "Por Amor," a duet with Gloria Estefan.

"Cabaret" marks Secada's return to Broadway, where he played the lead role of Danny Zuko in the smash musical, "Grease."

The Roundabout Theatre Company's Tony Award-winning production of "Cabaret" opened on Broadway March 19, 1998, and has run more than 2,100 performances, making it one of the longest running revivals in Broadway history.


"La Boheme"'s three tenors will perform at Manhattan's Prada store next Monday.

Producers of the Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") show, which is based on Puccini's opera, say tenors Alfred Boe, David Miller, and Jesús Garcia will perform a selection of works in a program specially created for the evening at Prada. The three men alternate in the role of Rodolfo in the Tony-nominated Broadway production.

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