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High Noon - 17th December 2003
                         
  Liam In Heaven
Having played pops to Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs Of New York, Liam Neeson is fathering another pretty boy: the luvverly Orlando Bloom. The Love Actually star will play Godfrey of Ibelin, dad to Bloom's hero in Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of Heaven. The Crusades-set romantic epic will start shooting in Morocco in January.
  Cato Recast?
Steve Martin says there will be no Cato in his Pink Panther remake, saying a new karate-chopping sidekick will be introduced. "The new sidekick is Pon Ton," he said. "He's Clouseau's cop partner. They spontaneously attack each other to keep their reflexes fresh." Of course, this being Martin, he could be making this up. We can only hope...
  Mona Lisa Bile
Rumours are floating about that new Julia Roberts-starrer Mona Lisa Smile was re-cut without the involvement of director Mike Newell. MSNBC quotes an unnamed source at Revolution Studios as saying, "They called in a new editor towards the end for some rescue work. They wanted to make it more commercially viable." Officially Revolution denies this, although if High Noon was Mike Newell we'd be A) Quite pleased to distance ourselves from the putrid picture, B) Wondering what the hell happened to our career after the brilliant Donnie Brasco.
  Tim's Dog
Tim Allen will play a lawyer who becomes a dog (yes, you read that right) in a remake of Disney's 50s family flick The Shaggy Dog. According to Variety, "his transformation into a dog hampers his career, but teaches him to be a better father and husband." Aww, gee, shucks etc. Hardball helmer Brian Robbins will direct.
  Novel Approach
Booker Prize-winning novel Vernon God Little is heading for the moviehouse, with Last Resort director Pawel Pawlikowski at the helm. The black comedy, about a boy whose best friend has just shot-up a school, is either a work of genius akin to Catcher In The Rye, or overrated tripe, depending on which paper you read. FilmFour is producing, as well as developing another Booker Prize nominee, Monica Ali's coming-of-age novel Brick Lane.
  Savage Scores
Acclaimed TV filmmaker Dominic Savage is moving into feature films. The director of 2002 Edinburgh Festival favourite Out Of Control will make Love And Hate, before moving onto Time Of Our Lives. Love... is a riff on Romeo And Juliet, about a romance between a white boy and an Asian girl. BBC Films and the UK Film Council are providing the $3.5 million budget.

Lives is a $4 million project (part-funded by FilmFour) about eight friends who go on a Spanish sun'n'sex holiday, which is complicated by an unexpected romance. Savage "trades in a raw improvised realism" according to Variety, but will adapt Margaret Atwood's novel Alias Grace after these two, with Cate Blanchett on board to star.
  London Calling
The nominations are out for the London Film Critics' Awards, with Young Adam leading the pack. The Scottish drama received seven nods, with director David Mackenzie up against Michael Winterbottom (In This World) and Stephen Daldry (The Hours), among others, for the best British director award. The Magdalene Sisters has five noms, while Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King are among the contenders to win film of the year. The gong-giving will take place on 11th February.
  Abel Strips Off
Geni-arse maverick filmmaker Abel Ferrara (the brilliant Bad Lieutenant, the terrible The Blackout) will next make... a screwball comedy. Not what you'd expect really, although Go Go Tales is set in a strip-club, which is typical Ferrara territory. Harvey Keitel is attached to star as club owner Ray Ruby, while xXx star Asia Argento will play one of the lap dancers. Supermodels Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova are attached too, while Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are in talks to stare... sorry, star. Shooting/stripping starts in March.