News Bites: Monday, March 15th 2004

By Garth Franklin Monday March 15th 2004 01:25AM

Fortune's Fools: "Paul McGuigan is on board to direct "Fortune's Fools" for Working Title and Universal. Working Title has made a priority of the long-gestating cop tale, about five officers who steal a winning lottery ticket from a drug dealer, and is trying to put a cast in place..." (more info). Rush Hour 3: "Chris Tucker, the highest-paid actor who never works, is poised for back-to-back sequel duty. New Line has begun to develop "Money Talks 2," the sequel to the action comedy that helped make Tucker a star. Money will do the talking if Tucker does that film and "Rush Hour 3:" his sequel price is $20 million against 20% of gross for each film..." (more info). State Property II: "Hip-hop impresario Damon Dash has pacted with Lions Gate to produce, direct and star in "State Property II," a sequel to the company's 2002 Philadelphia gangsta pic, one of the first film projects out of Dash's Roc-a-Fella Records stable..." (more info). The Rip: "Universal & Working Title Films have acquired David Logan's spec script "The Rip" loosely based on the failed 2000 attempt by six thieves to steal $500 million in De Beers diamonds from London's Millennium Dome. The film focuses on a thief who is hired to steal the diamonds from the Dome but uses the initial theft as a diversion for a score that's twice as big..." (more info).Casanova: "Lasse Hallstrom has found his "Casanova." Heath Ledger has signed on to topline the helmer's Walt Disney Co. period tale, with shooting set to start in August in Venice, Italy. The casting continues Ledger's busy work slate for 2004. Casanova is a romantic comedy about the legendary Casanova and his pursuit of the one woman in Venice who doesn't fall prey to his charm..." (more info). Gardener of Eden: "Kevin Connolly, who directed the 2003 Sundance short "Whatever We Do" with Robert Downey Jr., is set to make his feature debut on "Gardener of Eden," which is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way shingle. "Gardener" is a dark tale about a loser who receives a hero's reception when he inadvertently saves a person's life. This inspires him to create more would-be disasters so he can save the day again and receive more acclaim..." (more info). Senior Class: "New Line Cinema has picked up "Senior Class," a pitch by Chris Parrish that Jay Cohen and Oliver Hudson are producing. "Class" tells the story of an older man who moves into an upscale retirement community only to find out that he doesn't fit in because of high school-like rivalries that play out between popular and unpopular crowds..." (more info). Strangers with Candy: "Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker aren't afraid of "Strangers With Candy." The couple have agreed to star in a feature film based on the Comedy Central series, their respective reps have confirmed. Their attachment comes as a result of a close friendship with Amy Sedaris, the co-creator and star of the cult series..." (more info).Assault on Precinct 13: Brian Dennehy has joined the cast of the John Carpenter classic remake. Batman Begins: A good compilation of scoops over the weekend is up at LatinoReview. Clips: Assorted clips are up for Taking Lives, Jersey Girl & Dawn of the Dead. Dark Water: Dougray Scott has joined the cast of the Jennifer Connelly thriller. Demon Under Glass: The horror project will hit US theatres on March 30th, further info is up at the official site. DVD News: Details are out for Cold Mountain, Barbarian Invasions, Underworld, Shade, Trainspotting: SE & Cruel Intentions 3. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: Another one-sheet for the next 'Potter' is now online. Hellboy: Twenty more new shots from the fantasy/demon-filled feature are up at Rope of Silicon. Ibiza: Paris Hilton is apparently circling the Madonna-produced Maverick Films project about a girl who goes missing on the famed European party spot and the hunt to find her - as you can guess, Hilton is playing the girl.

I, Robot: A one-sheet for the Will Smith movie is up at IMDb. Miss Congeniality 2: Regina King has joined the cast of the comedy sequel. Release Date Shifts: New Line Cinema has delayed the third "Blade" movie to December 10th, the Chris Evans/Kim Basinger thriller "Cellular" will open in the August 20th slot instead. "Alfie" will reveal what's it all about on September 17th, "Cinderella Man" will now pucnh through on March 18th 2005, and "The Last First Kiss" puckers up on February 11th 2005. Shade: The Sylvester Stallone project is aiming for a US wide release date on May 7th. Taking Lives: The first nine minutes and ten seconds of the serial killer thriller has gone online at and includes a special introduction by star Angelina Jolie. The Batman (TV): A sneak peek at the new animated "Batman" animated series is now up at Comics Continuum, whilst the theme song will be performed by the Edge. The Passion 2: Some people will believe anything, click here for details. Thanks to 'Darren', 'ABKing', 'Gustavo', 'RussianJo', 'John', 'Brad', 'Jason', 'George', 'Benoit', 'Nuanda' & 'JHBlade'