Jess's Walk On Role, Josh Takes Helm

By Garth Franklin Tuesday January 13th 2004 11:50PM

Texas born pop songstress and "Newlyweds" star Jessica Simpson is heading to the big screen according to The New York Post, though don't expect hubby Nick Lachey along. In "Walk On" to be directed by Walter Hill ("48 Hours"), Simson will play the Texas high school sweetheart of baseball legend David Clyde, who saved the Texas Rangers from going bankrupt in 1973.

"We were impressed that rather than her going for a romantic comedy role like so many singer/actresses do, she's interested in doing a serious movie" says producers Mike Julian and Curt Johnson who indicate the lead roles of David Clyde and Billy Martin haven't been cast yet, but competition is fierce. Singer/songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins is expected to cameo as her mother.

Meanwhile, Aussie-born "Legally Blonde" & "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" Director Robert Luketic recently talked with BBCi Films and revealed he's keen to bring super spy Matt Helm back to the big screen. The character, originated in a series of novels by Donald Hamilton, was used as a star vehicle for Dean Martin back in the 60's by Columbia Pictures.

Luketic hopes to update it but give it some proper moviemaking values: "It would be a character-based, action adventure-driven franchise of films, unlike contemporary spy genre films where there really isn't any emotional attachment. "If you remember Spielberg's Indiana Jones, he bled and he was so real, and you were with him during the adventures. You really felt peril for him. So I think that's something we want to try".

Luketic's lead choice for the role? Former "All my Children" soap hunk turned TV's "Las Vegas" and 'Tad Hamilton' himself Josh Duhamel.

Thanks to 'Fanhalen' & 'Mark'