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Broderick, Everett gear up for ‘Gadget’

Rupert plays diverse roles back-to-back

Matthew Broderick and Rupert Everett will star in “Inspector Gadget” for Walt Disney Pictures. Broderick will play the title character and Everett his arch-nemesis.

“Gadget” marks the second consecutive lead role for Broderick in a potential summer blockbuster. He toplines “Godzilla” for Sony — which is expected to be huge and has helped him score a career-best payday for “Gadget,” which sources put in the $5 million range.

Since the film is Disney’s tentpole summer pic, heavy special effects are expected. In one early sequence, Gadget chases down the villain and is blown to pieces in the process, with Everett’s character losing a hand. Latter becomes known as Claw, a villain with a prosthesis that has more gizmos than a Swiss army knife.

Gadget, meanwhile, is reassembled by Brenda, a sexy surgeon who gives Gadget a human appearance, but arms and legs that can extend and that contain a multitude of useful accessories. A love story ensues between Gadget and his reanimator.

The film uses the animated TV series produced by the Disney-owned DIC as a launching point, but will be considerably different. In his animated incarnation, Gadget is a Clouseau-like bumbler. In the live-action film, he’s smarter, but Jimmy Stewart-earnest.

The film went into overdrive when Walt Disney president David Vogel got the commitment from Broderick. Vogel then moved to close Everett, and has offered the female lead to Cameron Diaz.

Diaz is already booked to play the female lead this fall in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday,” so it’s unclear whether or not she will do “Gadget.” Diaz and Everett worked together in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”

“Gadget” will be directed by David Kellogg, a commercials director whose credits include the Jerry Seinfeld/Superman ads for American Express.

The busy Everett will also join Gabriel Byrne, Minnie Driver, Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett in “An Ideal Husband,” an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde play to be directed by Oliver Parker (“Othello”) (Daily Variety, May 4).

“An Ideal Husband,” a comedy set in turn-of-the-century England, centers on a rising politician who’s forced to face a secret from his past, which, if revealed, will ruin him.

Everett will play the politician’s dashing friend, who comes to his rescue and falls in love in the process.

The film is produced by Barnaby Thompson and Bruce Davey, with Icon handling foreign sales. Susan Landau is exec producer. Production starts in the U.K. on June 22.

Everett, in high demand after “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” has been sorting through studio offers. Currently starring in the Michael Hoffman-directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Fox Searchlight, he will do the two films back-to-back before joining Madonna in “The Next Best Thing” for Lakeshore, probably in early 1999 (Daily Variety, May 6).

Everett is repped by ICM’s Nick Styne and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and managed by Marc Epstein of InHouse Entertainment. Broderick is repped by CAA and managed by 3Arts Entertainment’s Erwin Stoff.

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