Mr. Ed and Alan Young

By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD — “A horse is a horse, of course, of course, / And no one can talk to a horse of course / That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed,” went the theme song of the 1960s TV series “Mr. Ed.” The show, about the first talking horse, ran from 1961-66, and starred Alan Young as his owner, Wilbur, and Connie Hines as his wife, with Allan Lane providing the voice of Mr. Ed. In 2004, a film version with David Alan Basche as Wilbur and “The Jefferson’s” Sherman Hensley as the voice of Mr. Ed came and went unnoticed.

Now David Friendly, best known for “Little Miss Sunshine,” and Fox 2000 are planning to produce a new Mr. Ed movie. No casting mentioned as yet, but considering that Friendly produced “Doctor Doolittle” with Eddie Murphy and “Big Momma’s House” 1, 2 and 3 with Martin Lawrence, it’s probably a safe bet that one or the other of those two comic stars will wind up playing Wilbur!
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James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have invested $18 million to turn the second-highest grossing movie of all time, “Titanic” (1997), into a 3D spectacle. Cameron estimates it will be better than most conversions: “It will be 90 percent of what would have been if it was shot in 3D.” The big question is, of course, will moviegoers pay top dollar to see a movie already seen by the second greatest number of people in movie history, as well as being released on DVD and shown on television, just because they can now throw people, places and things at us in 3D? What do you think?
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Hollywood insiders always claim movies about Hollywood don’t do well at the box office, but Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who won for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), is writing, producing and directing the musical project “Frank or Francis,” which has Steve Carell as Frank and Jack Black as Francis, and Nicolas Cage and Oscar-winner Kevin Kline in, not one but two, supporting roles. If you never caught Kline in “In and Out,” rent it. It’s a laugh-riot classic!
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As reported earlier, Kiefer Sutherland will return to series TV at his “24” network, Fox. Fox has ordered 13 episodes of “Touch,” in which Kiefer plays a widowed, single father of an 11-year-old mute/autistic son who communicates, not with words, but with numbers, and has a genius for connecting seemingly unrelated events. Adding star power to the mix is Danny Glover, as a professor and expert on children possessing special gifts relating to numbers. Fox should have shown its confidence in Kiefer Sutherland’s drawing power by ordering not 13, but “24” episodes!

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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.