Jill Jackson’s Hollywood March 1st

HOLLYWOOD … Leonardo DiCaprio is looking at a script titled “Beat the Reaper,” about an emergency-room doctor in a Manhattan hospital whose life becomes complicated when he is recognized by a mobster from former times, when he was in a witness-protection program. It’s based on the book by Josh Bazell. As for his private life, Leo keeps it that way (most of the time). Hopefully, this new script will end up a “big one,” but it will be tough to ever beat his role in “Titanic.”

 

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Mickey Rourke’s career is soaring following his performance in “The Wrestler,” and the scripts are rolling in. His next venture could be the heavy in “Iron Man II.” He would play a heavily tattooed Russian arms dealer considered to be an evil version of Iron Man because he battles the hero in a nuclear-powered suit of armor.

 

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Susan Sarandon and Sarah Jessica Parker are teaming to star in a reality series for NBC titled “Who Do You Think You Are?” Lisa Kudrow, who exec produces, also will appear in the series, which will examine people’s ancestors. You’ll be seeing this sometime in April.

 

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The name of Spike Lee’s Production Company is “40 Acres and a Mule,” and that company has bought the rights to Brendan Koerner’s book “Now the Hell Will Start.” It’s about a black soldier who, after shooting another soldier, went on the run and went native in the Southeast Asian jungle and became assimilated into the tribal culture. I assume Lee will play the character. That has not, as yet, been announced.

 

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AND you’ll be getting more of Woody Allen. It’s titled “Whatever Works,” about an older man and a younger woman and the entanglements he encounters with her parents. As for “The Woodster’s” private life, all seems to be serene since his marriage to his stepdaughter Soon-Yi.

 

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Chris Pine, the star of the new “Star Trek,” is reaping all kinds of honors. One of the biggies is “Male Star of Tomorrow” at ShoWest 2009. Pine’s other credits include “Battle Shock” and “Smokin’ Aces.” And say you read it here first: Pine is going to be one of the screen’s big, big stars! He is one sexy somebody.

 

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BITS ’N’ PIECES: After almost a year, rain came to Hollywood, and it’s always a joke to see people who only know dry weather trying to cope with the wet streets. … Drew Barrymore has sheared her long, long locks. Recently on the Jay Leno show, she appeared with a short, short bob. No matter how she wears her hair, she is blessed with that classic Barrymore profile. … And from Reader’s Digest’s “Laughter, the Best Medicine” book: “Did you hear about the dentist who married a manicurist? They fought tooth and nail.”

 

© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.