Sequel plans and a lawsuit for the ''Blair Witch'' filmmakers |


Sequel plans and a lawsuit for the ''Blair Witch'' filmmakers

Plus, Geri Halliwell as Mary Poppins? And get ready for Woodstock 99 recordings

”BLAIR WITCH” FALLOUT ”The Blair Witch Project”’s plot was truly unpredictable, but here’s something that wasn’t: In the wake of the movie’s astronomical success, its makers are meeting with distributor Artisan Entertainment next week to plan for a sequel. The Hollywood Reporter says that the filmmakers have outlined four possible plots, two of which are prequels: One focuses on how the original Blair Witch came to be, and another centers on the hermit who killed seven children under the Witch’s orders and who is mentioned in the current film…. The dark side of ”Blair Witch” becoming the summer’s biggest hit is that it means the inevitable embittered lawsuit. Orlando filmmaker Sam Barber claims that he funded most of the film and therefore deserves a producer credit and part of the profits. He also claims that one of the film’s directors, Dan Myrick, had broken into his office and stolen the master tape and some documents pertaining to the film. The filmmakers’ lawyer told AP that the suit was an attempt at harassment, and they have filed a countersuit saying that Barber had attempted to botch their deal with Artisan…. Meanwhile, one of ”Witch”’s unknown stars, Joshua Leonard, has already landed his first major studio role, in Robert De Niro’s ”Navy Divers.”

CASTING Instead of a Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell may be becoming a Spoonful of Sugar Girl. A New Zealand paper has reported that she is in negotiations to star as Mary Poppins’ granddaughter (with her grandmom’s supernanny powers) in a miniseries that will start shooting there in March…. Ethan Hawke continues to flex his indie-boy powers by joining the low-budget drama ”Angels,” in which he’ll play an ex-convict who befriends a single mother who gives him a ride during her cross-country drive.

WOODSTOCK REVISITED…ALREADY Did you miss out on the Woodstock 99 experience? In September you’ll be able to live it for yourself, when Epic Records releases a double album of live recordings from the concert, as well as a video of the show. All you need to do is turn it on, jack up the heat in your apartment to 150, set your couch on fire, and you’re there, baby!

REEL DEALS Last time Mel Gibson and Chinese action star Jet Li worked together, they kicked the crap out of each other in ”Lethal Weapon 4.” Now they’re collaborating more harmoniously, coproducing a syndicated martial-arts series. Not much is known about the program, except that neither star is likely to appear on camera, and that episodes will be directed by some of the top Asian action directors…. If you’re gonna make a Western, writer Larry McMurtry (”Lonesome Dove”) is your go-to guy. HBO is close to funding a miniseries set at a trading post in the 1800s, and McMurtry will not only script many of the installments, but will also coexecutive-produce with Sydney Pollack.

LAWSUIT Sure, Charlie Sheen is working to get off drugs, but apparently he’s having a tougher time kicking that porn-star habit. Two adult-movie actresses, Charlisse L’Amour and Teri Star (believe it or not, those are stage names!), have filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he invited the two over on July 26, but wouldn’t answer his door when they arrived; when they climbed over his fence to get in, his bodyguard punched one in the face and assaulted the other, according to AP. Sheen’s lawyer says the suit is frivolous, and that the women only filed it after the actor filed a restraining order on them the day before.

TOURING Former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell will celebrate the release of his long-awaited solo album, ”Euphoria Morning” (out on Sep. 21), with a mini-tour of six shows that begin in Boston on Sep. 18, according to MTV News.

AILING Jerry Lewis, 73, has canceled the rest of his Australian tour after being diagnosed with viral meningitis. He was reported ill earlier this week, but planned on continuing his shows, but now – although his spokesperson says he is fine – he is returning to the U.S.

OUTTA THERE Robin Leach is perverta non grata at the Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas after the restaurant nearly lost its liquor license due to an incident in May when Leach was eating there with five females who began stripping while he supposedly sprayed whipped cream on them. The Delmonico, which is owned by Emeril Lagasse, fortunately emerged with only a reprimand by a county commission after an investigation, and the attorney for the restaurant told the Associated Press that Leach has been barred from the eatery. Leach said that the accusations were ”a gross exaggeration” and that ”there was a harmless whipped cream fight that lasted less than two minutes when dessert was served.”