HOGAN’S SOPH PIC A BONE OF CONTENTION

Following the success of debut pic “Muriel’s Wedding,” helmer P.J. Hogan is being heavily courted. But as suitors gather around him, there seems to be a certain amount of confusion over what his next project will be.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Hogan had teamed up with producer Scott Rudin to lense Paramount Pictures’ “The First Wives Club” next autumn in New York.

The report surprised execs at Gallic production company Ciby 2000. Hogan is contractually committed to direct his next pic with them and is already working on the project “Across Country With Sister Margaret,” which shoots in Australia next year.

Ciby 2000 insiders say there is no way Hogan, who is said to be perplexed by the Hollywood rumors, will direct anything before “Across the Country…”

One possible explanation for the crossed wires is that when Paramount and Rudin approached the director with the script for “The First Wives Club,” Hogan was so flattered that he didn’t get round to making it clear that he was tied to Ciby 2000.

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