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The Deal Report

MOVIES Jennifer Jason Leigh just shot Rag Tale, a ''completely improvised'' indie about those crazy British tabloids costarring The Office's Lucy Davis. And what did Leigh, who plays an editor, learn about this particular form of journalism? ''You can say anything you want as long as you say somewhere that it's fabricated!''. . . Remember Alex Winter? He was Bill to Keanu Reeves' Ted. Now he's set to write Napster: The Shawn Fanning Bio Project for Paramount/ MTV Films. Winter penned a version of the script as a TV movie in '03, but the story of the college dropout who developed music-file-sharing was so rich that Paramount decided to make it a feature. It's about ''a punk kid with a lightning-bolt moment,'' says Winter, ''who takes that dream into the shark-infested deep end of the big-business world and then has the whole thing blow up in his face.'' Winter also plans to direct Acts of Charity, an indie political satire with Alan Rickman, this year. Excellent!

TELEVISION Dominic Purcell was in Blade: Trinity, an action flick about vampires. Wentworth Miller was in Underworld, an action flick about vampires and werewolves. Now the two are starring in Fox's tentatively titled Prison Break, a pilot. . .with no vampires or werewolves! It's about a dude (Miller) trying to bust his brother (Purcell) out of the pokey. ''We worked at a real state prison near Chicago,'' says Brett Ratner, who directed the pilot (and the movie Red Dragon). ''The governor got involved. It was a major deal.''

VIDEOGAMES ''I want to have the No. 1 album, the No. 1 movie, and the No. 1 videogame,'' boasts a modest 50 Cent, who'll follow up his new CD with a Jim Sheridan-directed biopic (filming this year) and Bulletproof, a ''really aggressive'' game set in NYC's underworld and featuring three new tunes (due this fall). ''I was going to do Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but then Jimmy [Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M] said, 'Why don't you create your own?' So that's what we did.'' (Additional reporting by Geoff Keighley, Michelle Kung, and Adam B. Vary)

Originally posted Apr 05, 2005 Published in issue #810 Mar 11, 2005 Order article reprints