British actress Kate Beckinsale (“Brokedown Palace”) is in talks to assume the female lead in Disney’s “Pearl Harbor,” the high-profile Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer project set to begin lensing April 8 in Hawaii.
Pic is based on an idea offered to Bay by Buena Vista Motion Picture Group co-prexy Todd Garner at a meeting with the director when he was looking for his next project.
If, as expected, Beckinsale lands the role, she will play a Navy nurse who meets Rafe (Ben Affleck) during a medical exam. After they fall in love, she is shipped off to sunny Pearl Harbor, to join the Pacific fleet — where nurses and the Navy thought they were as far as possible from the fighting.
Beckinsale has appeared in “The Last Days of Disco,” “Shooting Fish” and “Haunted,” among other film and television roles.
Bay, Bruckheimer and the Mouse House are also talking to at least three other actresses for the role, though Beckinsale is the frontrunner.
— Charles Lyons
‘Potter’ helmer field narrowed to 4
The race to see who will direct the first installment of Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” franchise has entered the final stretch. From an original lineup that included nearly a dozen would-be helmers, the field has narrowed to just four. Brad Silberling and Chris Columbus have long been vetted as top contenders, but the finalists now include two previously unmentioned dark horses: Alan Parker and Terry Gilliam.
Silberling directed “City of Angels” for Warner Bros., while Columbus’ most recent film was “Bicentennial Man.” Parker and Gilliam each would presumably offer a darker tone: Parker’s most recent films were “Angela’s Ashes” and “Evita” while Gilliam last helmed “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Twelve Monkeys.”
Among those who were previously placed under “Harry Potter” consideration were Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Jonathan Demme, Mike Newell, Tim Robbins, Sam Mendes, Wolfgang Petersen and Robert Zemeckis.
— Dana Harris
More stations excommunicate ‘God’
Today may be judgment day for “God, the Devil and Bob.”
Seventeen stations have now joined the boycott bandwagon, preempting “God” in 4.23% of the country. That’s even more than the number of stations that preempted “NYPD Blue” in that show’s first season.
“It’s troubling for so many reasons,” said “God” executive producer Harvey Myman. “I hope it doesn’t have much of an impact on our numbers because I don’t think it should be a show that goes quietly away.”
“God” debuted last Thursday to decent reviews but so-so ratings. If Tuesday’s episode, the show’s second, doesn’t fare well in the Nielsen ratings released today, the show may be in trouble.
Lastest stations to yank “God” include WPMI Mobile, Ala., which took the bizarre step of airing the show last night but running a disclaimer beforehand announcing that “God” would no longer be seen.
Also, WPSD Paducah, Ky.; KTVE Monroe-El Dorado, La.; KCEN Temple, Texas; KETK/KLSB Tyler, Texas; and KSNF Joplin, Mo. have dropped the show in the latest round of preemptions.
In some cases, pressure from extreme right-wing Christian orgs have scared stations from airing the show.
“What’s real troubling to me is the discomfort that people have with their own religion in terms of being afraid to examine it, open it up,” Myman said.
— Michael Schneider