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May 2002
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NO DIESEL IN SEQUEL

Vin Diesel has pulled out of the sequel, "The Fast And The Furious 2" after negotiations between the star and movie studio heads at Universal broke down. Rob Cohen, who directed the original movie, has also quit the sequel. The new film will now be built around Paul Walker's character Brian O'Connor.



DUNCAN TOLD TO FATTEN UP

UK newspaper The Guardian reports that "The Green Mile" star Michael Clarke Duncan has been told to bulk up. Apparently the big man isn't big enough for his latest role as the evil Kingpin in the superhero action flick "Daredevil." The movie's producers say that although Clarke Duncan is certainly a big guy, he will still have to wear padding for the role. "I've got to get up to 340 pounds. I'm at 325 right now, so I have to gain weight," he told the paper. "I don't want it. I don't want a pad! They are putting some pads on me, and I really hate that. They got my shoulders padded a little bit, and I'm like, 'Grr. Hate pads.'" The movie will also star Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell and is scheduled for release in January 2003.



SNIPES RIDIN' RUFF

Wesley Snipes is in negotiations to star in another action flick, "When the Ride Is Ruff," with LOX artists in supporting roles. Snipes will play a bike gang leader framed for murder. "With the biker gang, there will be room for cameos from all of our artists," said Leslie Sabin, the senior vice president of Ruff Ryders' film division. Wink 1100, the motorcycle jockey who has appeared in a number of Ruff Ryder videos, will coordinate stunts for the movie.



MICHAEL JACKSON SET TO HELM FIRST FEATURE

Michael Jackson is set to team with writer-director Bryan Michael Stoller for Jackson's feature film directorial debut, "They Cage the Animals at Night" for Icon Prods. Icon optioned the book out of its
discretionary fund for Stoller to adapt and co-direct with Jackson.



TOMMY DAVIDSON GHOULISH

The Disney Channel is set to premiere a new, original movie in October. "The Soul Patrol," is about good ghosts policing bad ghosts and stars Tommy Davidson. "This project continues the great tradition of telling scary stories at Halloween,' said Gary Marsh, Executive VP, Original Programming, Disney Channel. "Not only is this tale campfire-worthy, it's full of laughs as well, thanks to three terrifically funny ghosts, played by Tommy Davidson, Eric Idle and Kathy Najimy."


FOX & WHITE TO KILL BILL

Vivica A. Fox, Michael Jai White, and LaTanya Richardson have joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino's new film, "Kill Bill" about a woman hunting the man who tried to kill her on her wedding day. David Carradine and Uma Thurman have also signed on for the project. Work on the film begins this summer.


GOODING JUGGLING SEVERAL PROJECTS

BWhile Cuba Gooding Jr's. next film "Boat Trip," will be in theaters soon, he is currently wrapping production of "The Fighting Temptations," and he's already negotiating to star in the film "Radio" about the true story of a small town football coach who befriends a mentally challenged man, to be played by Gooding. He'll begin work on "Snow Dogs 2" right after "Radio."



BEYONCE IS FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS

Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles is in negotiations to star opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in "The Fighting Temptations." Bowles makes her big screen debut this July in New Line Cinema's Austin Powers film "Goldmember." "Temptations" is the story of a hip-hop producer (Gooding) from Los Angeles who is called back to his Alabama hometown when his wealthy aunt dies, to collect a sizeable inheritance. The catch? He has to form a gospel choir, and lead them to success, to collect it. Production is scheduled to begin this summer.



SMITH WANTS SCORCHED EARTH

Will Smith and James Lassiter's Overbrook Entertainment has Warner Brothers in final talks to option film rights on author David L. Robbins' thriller "Scorched Earth," about racial prejudice in a tightly knit, blue-collar Southern town. The project marks the third pairing for Overbrook and Warners, after teaming on such projects as the recent Warners feature "Showtime," starring Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro, and "Line-Up," currently in development at the studio.



MURPHY DOES DAY CARE

Eddie Murphy has been tapped to star in the film "Daddy Day Care." In the movie, Murphy will star as a father who attempts to take care of other folk's kids. No date set yet for production.



FAT ALBERT PLANS ARE DOA

20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment report that they have temporarily halted pre-production of its live-action feature "Fat Albert." The fall out is attributed to a conflict of visions between Bill Cosby and Forest Whitaker, the film's director. Whitaker bowed out of the film after a conflict of vision with screenwriters, Cosby and Charles Kipps. "It's an amicable departure," Fox spokesman Jeffrey Godsick said. "At this point, it's just been put on hiatus." The production team is on the search for a new helmer. The film is based on the popular 1970s cartoon created by Bill Cosby.



MICHAEL JACKSON IN MIB 2

Amid months of rumors, director Barry Sonnenfeld has come out and finally admitted Michael Jackson will make a cameo appearance in "Men In Black 2," and, no, he won't be playing an alien. According to reports, the sequel will include the entire original cast.