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Despatches - movie news from Alan Jones
Selected from the September 1999
Film Review

A Trio for Leo • three major new projects for Mr Di Caprio in the offing!
With Leonardo DiCaprio privately telling his friends he nixed the second new Star Wars movie because the script was “so bad”, the superstar who just starred in The Beach is deciding which film to make next. After an unsuccessful attempt to collaborate on a movie about Hollywood legend James Dean, director Michael Mann and DiCaprio (who have long wanted to work together) have signed with Disney for a film portrait of another larger-than-life figure, Howard Hughes.

If the two can’t wait for the Hughes project, they may turn to The Inside Man, a fact-based father-son story involving police and politics which Mann wrote. Not only that, discussions were under way between writer Mario Puzo and director Francis Ford Coppola to bring the fourth instalment of The Godfather saga to the screen with DiCaprio and Andy Garcia already confirmed as headliners. Although the storyline is not known, and Puzo’s recent death may well stop the production developing any further, sources say that the structure is in the vein of The Godfather Part II in that it will incorporate flashbacks and tell two different stories set in the past and present.


A Bird in the Hand Ben Affleck bounces back…is worth two in the ring?
After making four films in a row together, actor Robert Carlyle and director Antonia Bird are planning to take their creative collaboration to a new level. They will co-direct the bio-pic Benny Lynch, based on the true story of a Scottish boxer in the Thirties who hit the skids after becoming world champion. Carlyle will star as the title character. Hot from the new James Bond set where Carlyle is playing the villain Renard, he exclusively told Film Review, “I’ve wanted to make the movie for 16 years because my father actually saw Benny box in Glasgow in the Thirties. It’s very much a rags-to-riches to rags story and I’m really excited about it.”


Cameron Takes a Trip Diaz leads a terrorist campaign?
Cameron Diaz is currently up to her neck in hard drugs and left-wing radical politics. Relax – that’s only in her latest movie The Invisible Circus which is now shooting in Paris. In the Adam Brooks directed thriller, Diaz plays Faith, a high school prom queen who dabbles with the drug-taking of the West Coast counter-culture in the Seventies, leaves her native San Francisco and joins a terror group in Germany. One of the flashback sequences involves LSD according to the director. “There’s lots of experimenting. Faith is pushing the envelope, but her true commitment is political.” Faith dies mysteriously and, six years later, her younger sister (played by Jordana Brewster, star of The Faculty) sets out to investigate. The search starts in Paris. The key to the mystery lies with Faith’s last boyfriend and fellow revolutionary Wolf, played by Christopher Eccleston. “I’d been unemployed for a year until this came along,” the Elizabeth star told Film Review. “What a relief!”


New Merchant IvoryWill Northam Bowl them over?
Jeremy Northam, a fixture in art-house fare with The Winslow Boy and An Ideal Husband, has joined the cast of Merchant Ivory’s new $20 million production The Golden Bowl. Northam stars with Nick Nolte, Uma Thurman, Anjelica Huston and Kate Beckinsale in the adaptation of the Henry James classic 1904 novel about wealthy expatriate Americans trying to maintain a surface of propriety despite romantic betrayals. Director James Ivory begin shooting in August from a script by his usual writer, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Just a taste of Alan Jones' extensive news section. Read the full news pages every month in Film Review.

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