were you doing at 12.01 am on Wednesday, May 19? Perusing
the TV channels for late night entertainment? Queuing in the kebab
shop? Tucked up in slumberland? Well, for several hundred thousand
Americans, the answer would be sat in a movie theatre watching the
opening credits of the new Star Wars movie, The
Phantom Menace. Just over 2,000 cinemas were shrewdly offering
midnight screenings: by 6am, the film had already grossed an
estimated $7.5m, an astounding figure given the late hour. After
24 hours, the figure stood at $28.5, breaking The Lost World's
previous record of $26.1m (achieved on a much busier Sunday).
Meanwhile, will The Phantom Menace turn out to be the most
critic-proof film in history? Early reviews in the US have been
some of the most negative for a Hollywood blockbuster since Godzilla...
Report by Jason Caro
Happened to Harold Smith?
Tom Courtenay knows the answer to
that as he plays the man in question in director Peter (The
Borrowers) Hewitts latest high tone picture currently
being shot on location in Sheffield. It sounds a good one too as
punk and disco collide in an unpredictable fashion in this
1977-set romantic comedy with a flash of fantasy. Yes, its
during the heady days of Saturday Night Fever that
disco-obsessed, 18-year-old Vince (Michael Legge, soon to be seen
in Alan Parkers Angelas Ashes) falls in love
with work mate, Joanna (Laura Fraser, star of the upcoming Virtual
Sexuality and Titus). The trouble is shes a punk
and the question is, Can he really forsake Donna Summer for the
Sex Pistols? Stephen Fry, David Thewliss and Charlie Hunnan (hot
from the Channel Four series Queer as Folk) also star in
the movie which Hewitt is directing while waiting for the big
budget Thunderbirds to get the go-ahead.
& Smith Say I Do
gets to wear the dress? Hollywood macho men Nicolas
Cage and Will Smith are planning to walk down the aisle together
in the same-sex comedy I Now Pronounce You Joe and Benny.
The Universal picture to be directed by Tom (Patch Adams)
Shadyac is about two heterosexual firemen who marry for insurance
benefits. Cage will play a widower worried about what will happen
to his two children if he dies. After he saves the life of his
friend Smith, a slick-talking ladies man, the grateful pal
vows to do anything to repay him. And what is the request? Marry
him, of course. Obviously the situation is loaded with gag
opportunities as both men do everything to prove theyre not
gay while a familial bond forms with the children. The script was
written by Barry Fanaro, who co-wrote the Farrelly brothers Kingpin.
Matrix star turns to indy role Hes back on top thanks
to the stunning box-office returns of The
Matrix and now Keanu Reeves has agreed to a co-starring
role in independent thriller Driven, the feature début
of video director Joe Charbanic whose prior work includes clips
for Reevess band Dogstar as well as Sonic Youth and Soul
Asylum. Slated for a late autumn start shoot, Driven is
the story of a cunning serial killer (Reeves) who turns the tables
on an investigative team hot on his trail. Im very
excited about this project, Reeves said. Joe is a very
talented director, and I look forward to working with him.