Hewitt: Ed Geller/Retna
Clarissa Cruz
October 17, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Why wait for the movie to come out before passing judgment? Always ahead of the curve, EW grades the very latest crop of high profile casting news and calls it a day.

FILM A remake of the 1941 Faustian classic ”The Devil & Daniel Webster”
STAR Jennifer Love Hewitt as a distaff devil
STATUS Scheduled to start shooting Jan. 15, with costars Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin
OUR VERDICT Sultry Elizabeth Hurley makes a decent Beelzebub in ”Bedazzled” — but giggly, bubbly teen queen Hewitt? What soulless executive greenlit this? C

FILM The sequel to Jane Fonda’s 1968 racy sci-fi romp ”Barbarella”
STAR Drew Barrymore as the titular space babe
STATUS She’s attached, but there’s no script.
OUR VERDICT Barrymore’s already exhibited a penchant for skin exposure (see her naughty ”David Letterman” performance a few years back), and, just like Fonda, she’s showbiz royalty. In short, a sexcellent match. A

FILM ”Johnny Eck,” the true story of ”Freaks” star Johnny (born without the lower half of his body) and his twin brother, Robert
STAR Leonardo DiCaprio in both roles
STATUS He’s interested but waiting for a script.
OUR VERDICT Leo’s return to edgy, ”Gilbert Grape” territory would be welcome. The hard part: imagining the model escorting star with nothing going on below the waist. B

FILM The biopic of cape wearing, cult kitschy pianist Liberace
STAR Robin Williams
STATUS Williams is mulling it over.
OUR VERDICT? Both are known for their fur (though Williams’ happens to be on his body); plus, Williams successfully stretched his sexuality in ”The Birdcage.” And we like anything that keeps him from making more mawkish movies like ”Patch Adams.” B+

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