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FORK HIM OVER Talk about cashing in: Identical-twin actor-filmmakers Mark and Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho), who portray casino workers opposite Nick Nolte in the heist flick The Good Thief (opening April 2), used that connection to wrangle the actor for a role in Northfork, their upcoming low-budget absurdist drama. ''We became good allies because of our view of indie film,'' says Mark, ''and Nick asked if there was a part for him.'' Mark promptly cast him as a priest who aids a dying boy, but there was one problem: Nolte was committed to Ang Lee's Hulk. ''Thanks to that monster movie and our conflicting schedules, trying to get him was tough,'' Mark says. ''We eventually made our deal on a napkin, and it got to the point where his assistant was faxing me Nick's [wardrobe] sizes from the Hulk set.'' There shouldn't be as many snags on the Polishes' next project: the sci-fi flick ID, which they hope to make this fall for Warner Bros.

FIRE DRILL Brian Grazer may be one of the most successful producers in Hollywood, but he's not above repeating himself. Having made 1991's Backdraft, Grazer says he's now heating up a film based on Sean Flynn's 3000 Degrees, about a 1999 Massachusetts warehouse blaze that killed six firefighters. How will this film differ from his previous pyrocentric epic? ''Backdraft was a melodrama,'' he says, ''but this is a story of courage, a thriller in which the fire transmogrifies over the course of real time, which makes it very intense.''

FURTHERMORE X2's Kelly Hu is attached to yet another comic adaptation, Jade, to be directed by Ronny Yu (Freddie vs. Jason). Hu describes her superheroine as ''an old lady -- a 1,000-year-old immortal vampire who does martial arts.'' So it's just like Blade -- only foxier?... Jerry O'Connell is in talks for a sequel to his surprise hit, Kangaroo Jack. Reveals the actor: ''[Jack] goes to Vegas, steals money, and gets caught in the circus.'' Now, do we really need to make a joke?

Originally posted Apr 04, 2003 Published in issue #703 Apr 04, 2003 Order article reprints