Hollywood – that big tease – got us all atwitter by announcing the juicy projects listed below. But so far it’s been all talk and no lights, camera, action. So what the heck’s going on? Entertainment Weekly snooped behind the scenes to find out what ever happened to…
Project The Fugees’ next album, a follow-up to 1996’s ”The Score”
Status Fans have been in a frenzy ever since Wyclef Jean hinted earlier this year that another Fugees album was on its way. Unfortunately, says the group’s spokesman, Miguel Baguer, ”he was premature. They’re all doing their separate projects.” Among them: a starring role for Pras in the upcoming film ”Ghetto Superstar” and a solo album from Jean in the spring. As for Lauryn Hill, Baguer says ”she’s always writing music.” But he won’t say if that means she’s begun a follow-up to her Grammy-winning solo album, ”The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Of course, Hill already has a pretty full to-do list: R&B crooner D’Angelo’s new album is supposed to feature a duet with her, but it’s been held up: ”We’re still waiting for the Lauryn track,” says a publicist for Virgin, the album’s label. ”They definitely want it on there.” All of which makes a Fugees album unlikely any time soon.
Prognosis Killing us softly with their procrastination.
Project ABC’s Matthew Perry-created sitcom ”The Shrink”
Status The network’s having commitment issues. Last spring ABC ordered a script for the show, created by Perry and writing partner Andrew Hill Newman; it’s about a psychiatrist who’s more neurotic than his patients. After Perry and Newman turned in their first draft for the pilot, ABC asked for more character development. ”We’ve done a rewrite, the network is reading it [now] and deciding its fate,” says Newman. ABC says it’s too early to talk about the show, but Newman hopes that if all goes well, ”The Shrink” could pop up on the lineup next fall. And though Newman describes the titular character as ”an insecure, good-looking 30-year-old like Matthew,” Perry won’t star. (Apparently, he’s got some other acting job.)
Prognosis We’d call it 50-50. And as an analyst might ask, is the glass half full, or half empty?
Project ”The Women,” the remake of George Cukor’s 1939 classic, starring Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan
Status When Roberts and Ryan signed up for New Line’s high-profile vehicle in ‘94, ”Women ”looked to be one of the showstoppers of the decade. Oscar winner James L. Brooks (”As Good as It Gets”) agreed to direct, and ”Murphy Brown” creator Diane English signed on to update the script, a daunting task considering the number of power players she’d have to satisfy. Notes Richard Saperstein, New Line’s senior exec VP of production, ”There are a lot of chefs in this brew.” After English completed a third draft, Brooks bolted for other commitments. Meanwhile, English got bogged down with TV projects, including CBS’ ”Ink” and Fox’s ”Living in Captivity.” But English says she’s finally close to finishing a FIFTH draft. For its part, the studio is cautiously optimistic and is in negotiations to bring on director Oliver Parker (”An Ideal Husband”). As for Roberts and Ryan, they’re still officially attached to the film – though the longer the wait, the more likely other obligations will tie them up. As it is, Ryan’s slated to shoot ”Proof of Life” early next year and Roberts has been working on ”Erin Brockovich.”
Prognosis This one’s so far in the future, it might as well be called ”Robo Women.”
(Additional reporting by Peter Landau)