Perfect, Skeleton Begin Production

By Garth Franklin Friday May 28th 2004 02:00PM

Universal Pictures has just released two start of shooting announcements for two of their upcoming high-profile projects featuring young blonde starlets (hey, I had to come up with some sort of segway). Here's the official details: "The Perfect Man" Principal photography recently began on the Universal Pictures comedy "The Perfect Man," starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear. Mark Rosman ("A Cinderella Story") directs the screenplay by Gina Wendkos ("The Princess Diaries"). Teenager Holly Hamilton (Duff) is tired of moving every time her single mom Jean (Locklear) has another personal meltdown involving yet another second-rate guy. To distract her mother from her latest bad choice, Holly conceives the perfect plan for the perfect man ... an imaginary secret admirer who will romance Jean and boost her shaky self-esteem. When the virtual relationship takes off, Holly finds herself having to produce the suitor, borrowing her friend's charming and handsome Uncle Ben (Chris Noth) as the face behind the e-mails, notes and gifts. Holly must resort to increasingly desperate measures to keep the ruse alive and protect her mom's newfound happiness ... almost missing the real perfect man when he does come along. "ThePerfect Man" also stars Mike O'Malley ("28 Days"), Ben Feldman ("When Do We Eat?") and Vanessa Lengies (television's "American Dreams").

"Skeleton Key" Principal photography recently began on Universal Pictures' "The Skeleton Key," a contemporary supernatural thriller, that stars Academy Award(R) nominee Kate Hudson ("Raising Helen") and Peter Sarsgaard ("Shattered Glass"). Iain Softley ("K-PAX") directs and produces the motion picture, which is written by Ehren Kruger ("The Ring"). Joining Softley behind-the-camera of "The Skeleton Key" are director of photography Dan Mindel ("Spy Game"), editor Joe Hutshing ("Something's Gotta Give"), production designer John Beard (the upcoming "Thunderbirds") and costume designer Louise Frogley ("Man on Fire"). The cast also includes Oscar(R) nominee and Emmy winner Gena Rowlands, Academy Award(R) nominee John Hurt, and Joy Bryant ("Antwone Fisher") Set largely in the dark atmospheric backwoods just outside of New Orleans, "The Skeleton Key" stars Hudson as Caroline, a live-in nurse hired to care for an elderly woman's (Rowlands) ailing husband (Hurt) in their home ... a foreboding and decrepit Gothic mansion in the Louisiana delta. Intrigued by the enigmatic couple, their mysterious and secretive ways and their rambling house, Caroline beings to explore the old mansion. Armed with a skeleton key that unlocks every door, she discovers a hidden attic room that holds a deadly and terrifying secret. Peter Sarsgaard portrays Luke, the local attorney working on the couple's estate, and Joy Bryant plays Jill, Caroline's best friend. Thanks to 'The Only Way is Up'