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   Ending rumors that budget troubles would end chances of a sequel to "Men in Black," Columbia has announced that the sequel will, in fact, be filmed and Will Smith is definitely a go for the film.
   There is no word as yet on whether Tommy Lee Jones will revive his co-starring role.

Samuel L. Jackson "Changing Lanes" After "Shaft"

   Samuel L. Jackson is working out details to star in the upcoming thriller "Changing Lanes" with Ben Affleck.
   The film will be about a lawyer and a businessman involved in a minor traffic accident that escalates into a terrifying psychological battle.

John Singleton At Work On
"Baby Boyz"

   John Singleton has leased space in LA's Leimert Park Village shopping center as a production office for his next film, "Baby Boy," the long awaited follow up to his 1992 "Boyz 'N The Hood."
   No word yet on shooting schedules or release date.

"X-men" Sequel?

   The lesser known fact surrounding the success of the comic book movie "X-men" is that the entire cast signed up for two films before shooting the original.
   So the only real question is when do we get to see Halle Berry again in the sequel?

Djimon Hounsou
Can't Be In Two Places At Once

   Djimon Hounsou, Cinqué in Steven Spielberg's "Amistad," and most recently in "Gladiator" has turned down a role in Tim Burton's "Planet Of The Apes" remake to join the cast of the new movie "Four Feathers". He had to turn down Tim Burton's invitation because the shooting dates of the two movies conflicted.
   In 'Four Feathers', Hounsou will play a tracker who guides an army officer, who is considered a coward by his friends and fiancee, through the Sudan.
   Ledger will play the lead character, an officer who resigns his post moments before a battle. He is then sent four white feathers from his friends and fiancée who consider him a coward.

Universal Planning
Nothing New

   Universal studios recently announced its plans to remake the movies "Smokey And The Bandit" and "Send Me No Flowers" and avoid new scripts for the time being.
   The studio already has remakes "Charade", which will star Will Smith, and the Alec Guinness classic "Kind Hearts And Coronets" currently in development. 'Coronets' will also star Robin Williams, Will Smith, Connie Nielsen and Jada Pinkett Smith.
   With the success of "Shaft," Universal's idea to cash in on old titles may just work, but let's hope the new scripts take into account the tastes of today's audience.

Downsouth Starts Production of First Feature Film

   Downsouth Filmworks, Inc. the production company of husband & wife team Tina McElroy Ansa and her husband Jonee' Ansa will begin production this summer on their first feature film "Baby of the Family," the movie adaptation of Ms. Ansa's best-selling novel of the same name.
   Jonee' Ansa will direct the film which will star Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine, Vanessa Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph , Ofemo Omilami, Elizabeth Omilami, Tonea Stewart and Cylk Cozart.

Sequels Not Worried About Strike Threat

   The threatened Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America strikes will probably not affect production on Warner Bros.' sequels (yep, that's plural) to "The Matrix."
   The next two copies of the original are scheduled to be shot consecutively, before the potential strikes are expected to begin.
   If the strikes do come off, the studio says they'll give the cast (including Laurence Fishburne) a little time off while the production crew (not subject to strike requirements) works on special effects.

Malik Yoba Gets "Personal"

   Malik Yoba, former star of "New York Undercover" is now the star of the new flick "Personals," which will run in Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Cleveland and LA from September 15 to October 1 in a limited engagement.
   This independent film (and we'd love to see more "indies" in the mainstream) is about a freelance journalist who has to write a story on dating ''30 women in 30 days.'' All goes well until he meets his match in a woman named Leah (Stacey Dash), also a writer with her own story agenda to keep.