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News from Film Review
October 2001

The Hobbit Speaks!
• No tale of the sweetness and light on Middle Earth

Andy Serkis plays Gollum, the schizophrenic Hobbit in Lord of the RingsStage and Screen star Andy (Shiner) Serkis is the actor that director Peter Jackson chose to play Gollum the schizophrenic Hobbit in the highly-anticipated The Lord of the Rings. "Peter wanted Gollum to be driven by an actor as opposed to just being an animated character," says Serkis. "Although the majority of it was computer-generated, the camera picked up all my movement using motion-capture.

"I play him as if he's a junkie and his fix is the Ring. He goes cold turkey when he's not near it. He's a compulsive liar, he talks to himself, he's psychologically damaged by the desire to possess the ring and I've tried to make him as human as possible in that way. As Gollum depletes into this emaciated creature, he goes from looking like me through a prosthetic transformation into the computer-generated image which is unrecognizable. He's a split personality, Smeagol and Gollum, and I have two voices for the two different characters, with internal dialogues between them."

Honey goes West • Reese's pieces will have you in stitches

Reese Witherspoon in Legally BlondeGet ready for the female Austin Powers! Miramax Films will transform the voluptuous private eye Honey West into a feature vehicle for Reese Witherspoon. The action comedy will reunite her with the principals behind her recent #1 US smash Legally Blonde. The sexy gumshoe whose business card features her 38-24-36 measurements was featured in 11 pulp fiction novels written by Skip Fickling and was most memorably played by Anne Francis in the cult Sixties TV show.

It was author Fickling's wife Glori who served as the inspiration for the fun-loving detective and it was she who sold the rights to Legally Blonde producer Marc Platt and Withespoon's superstar husband Ryan Phillippe when her husband died recently. Co-writer Kirsten Smith said, "We had a lot of martinis and developed a love-fest with Glori, got the rights and put the film together with Marc and Reese on the Legally Blonde set."

Star Trek 10 • More going boldy

Data and PicardStuart (US Marshals) Baird will direct the 10th instalment of the Star Trek film series. The picture, currently with a working title of Star Trek: Nemesis, will again reunite cast members such as Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner to reprise their roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data. The script is by John Logan of Gladiator fame and series veteran Rick Berman will produce for Paramount Pictures.

Why Can't She Be Audrey?

Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn?Writer and producer Ryan Murphy, creator and executive producer of the massively successful American hit teen drama-comedy show Popular, will make his feature directorial début with Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn? The project has been in development for more than four years and has continually attracted top-name talent. Steven Spielberg was set to produce at one stage with Jurassic Park III's Téa Leoni in the starring role.

Ashley Judd, Renée Zellweger, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Toni Collette have also been attached to the romantic comedy about a 25-year-old woman who moves from Ohio to Los Angeles and quickly gets it all: a great job at a local news station and a sexy fiancé. But in the course of one week she is left at the altar and loses her job and, while trying to rebuild her life, turns to the best man from her wedding who shares her love of Audrey Hepburn movies. However, she soon finds out that he only uses facts about the Breakfast at Tiffany's star to pick up women.

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

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