World Trade Center
Is America ready for big-screen dramatizations of September 11? We’ll find out in 2006 — the fifth anniversary of the attacks — with Hollywood’s first 9/11 features, sure to be among the year’s most controversial: Flight 93, a real-time drama from Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) about the hijacked United Airlines jet that crashed into a field in Pennsylvania; and Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, with Nicolas Cage and Michael Peña (Crash) starring as Port Authority officers trapped beneath the Ground Zero rubble.
WE’RE PSYCHED FOR
It features live sex, but it’s not porn: ”The sex is a metaphor,” says writer-director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Set in a ”multi-sexual New York…characters converge…to find love, beauty, and connection. Some people will be scared of it.”
Untitled Beatles Project
Biopics be damned! This Beatles musical isn’t about the Fab Four. Director Julie Taymor (Broadway’s Lion King) extrapolates a tale of ’60s upheaval with Beatles tunes (Bono sings ”I Am the Walrus”). ”We only have a half hour of dialogue,” she says. ”You get the narrative through the music.”
”I don’t think there are many great unmade musicals,” says director Bill Condon, who scripted one: Chicago. Now he’s betting on this sequined girl-group drama. Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx, and Beyoncé headline, and American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson belts ”And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”
In 1972, Clifford Irving was sent to prison for perpetrating one of the biggest publishing scams ever: He penned and sold a fake biography of Howard Hughes. Kind of a darker role for the man we still think of — fondly — as the Pretty Woman guy. But Richard Gere, in the Lasse Hallström-directed film, thinks of Irving as pretty suave — in that con-man sorta way. ”When you see him in Orson Welles’ documentary F for Fake [in which the real Irving appeared], he’s perfectly charming.”