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Elston Gunn's WEEKLY SCRIPT REPORT (Major Sales, Events, and other News!)

- Cheryl Edwards scripted AGAINST THE ROPES about female boxing manager Jackie Kallen. Sandra Bullock is in talks to star for Paramount. Cheryl Edwards scripted.

- David Hare adapted Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE HOURS for Parmount. Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Gwyneth Paltrow are in negotiations to star in the pic that follows three female characters in different periods of the 20th century: Virginia Woolf writing MRS. DALLOWAY while recovering from depression, an L.A. housewife in 1949 who evaluates her life as she waits for her first child and a woman in present day New York who is planning a party for her former lover who has AIDS.

- Mark Perez has written THE COUNTRY BEARS as a live-action pic for Disney based on the Country Bear Jamboree attraction at Disneyland. The script includes several country music numbers by singing bears and cameos by country music stars. The story follows a 10-year-old who is raised by a human family then leaves home to find his purpose in life. He ends up in Tennesse where he finds out the Country Bear Hall is doomed for demolition. He tries to reunite the Country Bears band for a benefit concert to the save the hall. Shooting is expected to begin before spring.

- William Goldman will script THE DREAMCATCHER for Castle Rock based on the upcoming novel by Stephen King about four friends who were given a strange gift as a reward for a heroic act. Years later, the boys reunite to use that gift to defeat a mysterious enemy.

- Gary Lennon has written and will direct the dark comedy .45 with Heather Graham attached to star. It's about a BONNIE AND CLYDE-esque couple who turn on each other in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen. Lennon has also sold his autobiographical script CONCHETTE to Banner Ent. about a grandmother who is a bookie and runs a numbers racket with her grandson. Lennon also sold an
untitled pitch set in the world of DJs to Fox Searchlight.

- A writer will soon be hired to pen a script based on Steven Puri's pitch THE REALLY FAKE MOVIE (aka OH BROTHER, HOW TO BE A SURVIVOR IN THE REAL WORLD), a spoof of television reality programs. Interlight Pictures will produce.

- Richard D'Ovidio (upcoming ACE IN THE HOLE, EXIT WOUNDS) will write a remake of WESTWORLD, the 1973 flick by Michael Crichton, for Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver.

- Jeff Copeland has written THE LONG HAIR DEPRESSION, a love story set in southern Missouri in the early 1970s. Mad Guy Films picked up the script as a possible starring flick for Madonna.

- Oliver Butcher wrote the FUGITIVE-like thriller IN THE WIND. Stephen Herek (MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) is in talks to direct for Warner Bros.

- T.J. Scott and Kevin Lund have scripted AIRTIGHT, picked up by Miramax, about the U.S.S. Squalis, which sank in 1939 off the Russian coast. A trapped U.S. sailor was rescued from the vessel.

- New Line is in final talks to pick up SHUDDER by Matthew Odgers and David Markus about a wartime photo-journalist who's haunted by the ghosts of the victims whose misery he has chronicled and exploited.

- Glen Morgan and James Wong will write and then produce and direct, respectively, the sci-fi alien-landing thriller AFTER THE VISITATION for Columbia Pictures. It's based on a 1970s Russian novella entitled ROADSIDE PICNIC. The story centers on a man whose daughter is ailing due to an alien landing that happened 20 years earlier on some nearby land controlled by the U.N. He rounds up a group of treasure hunters to search the land for a solution to save her and other children who have been affected.

Some good stuff this week. I'm pretty excited about William Goldman writing another script based on a Stephen King book, but my pick of the week has to be THE HOURS. The material must be pretty strong to attract the three actresses in talks to star in the pic. Maybe I should read the novel.

-- Elston Gunn

(Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

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