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Reel World

This week in Hollywood: Britney Spears to play Alice? Oct. 29, 1999

Airdate How hard is it to snag a ticket to a movie premiere? Last month, it was as simple as booking a flight on US Airways. Instead of a theatrical retread, passengers were shown MGM’s Molly, which had yet to hit theaters. ”We planned to release the movie in the spring; when we moved the release date to October, we didn’t bother to change the airline date,” says an MGM exec. In-flight audiences also saw more of the drama, which stars Elisabeth Shue as a mentally challenged woman, than folks will on land: The running time has since been whittled down from 109 minutes to 89.

Dave’s World Rocker Dave Matthews begins filming his movie debut next week in Oklahoma, playing the father in a remake of 1974’s Where the Red Fern Grows. While the jam master had been interested in a film project for some time, ”this script struck a chord,” says his spokesperson, ”and the band was planning to take some time off this fall anyway.” The drama, based on Wilson Rawls’ children’s book about a boy and his two hunting dogs, does not yet have a distributor.

Alice Aforethought MTV Films wants to send a diva down a rabbit hole for Alice, a Y2K update of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The story line for the live-action musical calls for a young singer to be walking through a modern metropolis, only to get hit by a VW Rabbit. ”After that, it’s chaos,” says screenwriter Sarah Thorpe. ”She’s in the midst of a rock & roll, hip-hop musical that’s far from anything Lewis Carroll imagined.” An early draft has the Mad Hatter as a talent scout, the Queen of Hearts as the Queen of Pop, the tea party as a rap concert, and the Caterpillar as a stoner. ”It has room for incredible cameos,” Thorpe says. ”Ricky Martin could be the Mad Hatter. Britney Spears could certainly play Alice.” Spears’ agent confirms, ”She is considering the script but hasn’t committed to it yet.”