Karen Valby and Gregory Kirschling
July 23, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

MOVIES A couple of hours before meeting Jennifer Aniston for their very first rehearsal, ”American Beauty”’s Mena Suvari phoned the Deal Report. She’s playing Aniston’s little sis in a still-untitled comedy by ”Ocean’s Eleven” writer Ted Griffin, which follows Aniston as ”she starts to discover that her family was the basis of ‘The Graduate.”’ What? ”It’s complicated,” admits Suvari. Mark Ruffalo plays Aniston’s fiance, and Kevin Costner ages gracefully as the Ben Braddock type who might be her real dad. ”It’s just so twisted,” says Suvari, soon to be seen in ”Beauty Shop” and currently arcing on ”Six Feet Under.” And is her character gonna get with Claire on that show or what? ”I can’t remember,” she cracks…. That Superman movie, the one Tim Burton was supposed to make with Nicolas Cage 10,000 years ago, is like a big hunk of kryptonite. An un-deal: ”Charlie’s Angels” director McG just detached himself from it…. The Fantastic Four are cast. ”The Shield”’s Michael Chiklis is the Thing, ”Dark Angel”’s Jessica Alba is the Invisible Woman, ”King Arthur”’s Ioan Gruffudd is Mr. Fantastic, and ”The Perfect Score”’s Chris Evans is the Human Torch. The movie’s a ”sizzling” July 4, 2005, tentpole…. Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore may team up for ”Fever Pitch,” adapted from a memoir by ”About a Boy”’s Nick Hornby. Have you read Hornby’s ”Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column in The Believer magazine? It’s great.

BOOKS A big thumbs-up for Augusten Burroughs, the guy who wrote ”Dry” and ”Running With Scissors.” Now — on top of two essay collections he has coming out in ’04 and ’06 — he’s getting seven figures from St. Martin’s to write a Christmas essay collection, a full-length essay collection, and a whatever-Augusten’s-next-book-is. ”I’ve sold a publisher every action and thought of mine for the next three years,” Burroughs says. ”What I’m not sure they realize is that my only action is sitting, and all my thoughts revolve around candy, dogs, or TV.” That takes Burroughs through 2008, ”at which time,” says his agent, ”he will spontaneously combust.”

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