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April 2002
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EDDIE MURPHY GETS SPOOKY

Eddie Murphy, director Rob Minkoff and producer Don Hahn are negotiating to join Walt Disney Co.'s "Haunted Mansion." The film based on the legendary Disney theme park ride. Murphy will star in as a work-obsessed father whose encounter with a ghost makes him rrethink his relationship with his own family.



THE TREK GOES ON

"Star Trek" producer Rick Berman has signed a new eight-figure, overall film and TV deal that will keep him with Paramount Pictures for the next five years. Berman is currently in production on the 10th "Trek" feature, "Star Trek: Nemesis," due for release later this year, and he's finishing up production on the first season of UPN's "Enterprise," the fifth TV series to based on the vision of the late Gene Roddenberry. This is great news for 'Trek' fans who want the movies, most recently co-starring Michael Dorn and Levar Burton, and the popular series' to continue.



JAMIE FOX IN THE WOODS

Jamie Foxx will star in a new comedy called "Ingle Woods." Foxx will play a trash talker who finagles a spot on the PGA tour. While struggling to keep up on the green, he tries to convince golf fans and the world that he's the long lost cousin of real-life golf legend Tiger Woods.



CHESTNUT IN CONFIDENCE GAME

Morris Chestnut, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Weisz, and Dustin Hoffman have signed on for Lions Gate Films' suspense drama "Confidence." The project started shooting at the beginning of the month and is expected to wrap by the end of May. "Confidence" follows master con man Jake Vig (Edward Burns) and his crew, who swindle a few thousand dollars from an unsuspecting victim - who turns out to be an accountant for a major crime kingpin (Dustin Hoffman). Unable to return the money, Jake and his crew offer to pull off a huge con to repay their cash debt and avoid the "penalty" for what they've done.



"UNDISBUTED" FINALLY SET FOR RELEASE

Well, we've waited long enough for this one! "Undisbuted" starring Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes is finally set for release on October 4th after wrapping its filming way back in March of 2001. The story revolves around the heavyweight boxing champ (Rhames), who is convicted of rape and sentenced to prison, where an old-time gangster arranges a bout between Chambers and the Undisputed prison champ.



DAVIS LAUNCHES INTO 'SOLARIS'

Viola Davis has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh's "Solaris" for 20th Century Fox. She has also picked up a role as a nun as in the the one-hour drama pilot "Lefty" for CBS. In "Solaris," Davis will play an astronaut on a space station orbiting the planet Solaris. The film is set to start production April 29. In "Lefty," about a typical day in the life of an inner-city priest, Davis will play Sister Maggie Durst.


THE ROCK READY TO ACT AGAIN

The Rock, who stars in the "Mummy" movie, "The Scorpion King," is in talks to do the action flick "Helldorado." The film is set to start filming sometime this summer.


BLAIR UNDERWOOD FULL FRONTAL?

Blair Underwood stars with Julia Roberts in the film "Full Frontal," which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Underwood plays Roberts love interest in the film.



FUQUA IS HOT - SET TO DIRECT FOUR NEW FILMS

Universal Pictures has made a deal for late author Robert Ludlum's final book, "The Sigma Protocol," a thriller to be directed by "Training Day" helmer Antoine Fuqua. But next up for Fuqua is directing Bruce Willis in "Man of War." He is also committed to "Bloods," the Wallace Terry book about black soldiers in Vietnam, and "White Out," based on the undercover DEA agent Jerry Speziale's who helped bring down the Colombian Cali drug cartel.



M.C. HAMMER TOO HOT TO HANDLE

Pre-production has started on MC Hammer's - WorldHit Films "Don't Ask – Don't Tell. WorldHit Films is the recently launched film production arm of MC Hammer's - WorldHit Entertainment. The story follows a highly-decorated career Army Ranger who battles the military establishment that wants to expel him when it's discovered he's a homosexual. The film was turned down by a number of high-profile production companies including Dustin Hoffman's and Robert Di Nero's as "to hot to touch," even though the script was encouraged by Hoffman.



DENZEL OUT OF TIME

Denzel Washington has signed to star in the MGM thriller "Out of Time," co-starring Eva Mendes, for a cool $20 million. Shooting starts the end of May for a 2003 release. The film reunites Washington with director Carl Franklin of "Devil in a Blue Dress" fame."Time" also reteams Mendes and Washington. The pair played lovers in the Warner Bros. feature "Training Day," for which Washington won the best actor Oscar. Washington will star as a small-town police officer who gets caught in an affair with two women, one of whom is a detective (Mendes).



WILL SMITH DREADS NEW FILM

Riding on an Oscar nomination for Muhammad Ali, Will Smith is set to do another action thriller called "Dreadnought." Martin Lawrence will co-star. The film is a "good old-fashioned summer popcorn" film about the accidental downing of a plane by a Navy ship. Plans for the film were temporarily scrapped after the events of September 11. Smith and Lawrence have also signed on to do a sequel to "Bad Boys," the 1995 buddy-action-comedy film about a mismatched cop duo. "Bad Boys 2" should be in theaters by summer 2003.



BROWN SUGAR UNDER WRAPS

Filming has wrapped on the $8 million budgeted production of "Brown Sugar" - said to be an African-American version of "When Harry Met Sally." A romantic comedy, the film stars Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs and centers on a romance between an A&R exec (Diggs) at a hip-hop label and a magazine editor (Lathan) who have known each other since childhood. Originally rumored as a possible Summer release, the film is now slated to premiere on October 11th, of this year.



WILL SMITH TO REDO POITIER

With Sidney Poitier honored at the Oscars and reintroduced to millions, Warner Bros. has optioned remake rights to the actor-director's trio of 1970s black crime comedies: "Uptown Saturday Night," "Let's Do It Again" and "A Piece of the Action." Oscar nominee Will Smith has signed on to star in at least the first of the remakes. Smith and partner James Lassiter will produce "Uptown" through their Overbrook Entertainment company. The trio of films originally starred numerous black actors including Poitier, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Harry Belafonte, Flip Wilson and Rosalind Cash.