Movie File: Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Charlize Theron, Paris Hilton, Will Ferrell & More

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg are teaming up to

relaunch a stalled remake of "The War of the Worlds." The powerhouse

tandem has hired screenwriter David Koepp

("Spider-Man," "Mission: Impossible," "Jurassic Park") to rewrite

Josh Friedman's ("Chain Reaction") script based on H. G.

Wells' classic 1898 alien-invasion novel. Cruise will star in the

film, which is not expected to shoot until late 2005. The first movie

based on "The War of the Worlds" opened in 1953, but the best-known

telling of the story was Orson Welles' famous 1938 radio

broadcast, which ignited a nationwide panic when listeners believed it

to be true. ... In the meantime, Cruise is preparing to film "Mission:

Impossible 3" this summer with "Narc" director Joe Carnahan and

has "Collateral" opening in August. Spielberg is completing work on

"The Terminal" with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


Charlize Theron will star in "Aeon Flux," a futuristic assassin

drama based on the eponymous animated MTV cult favorite. Karyn

Kusama ("Girlfight") will direct the movie, which begins filming in

June. ... Theron will first follow her Oscar-winning role in "Monster"

with "Head in the Clouds," a romantic drama co-starring beau Stuart

Townsend. She also shot "The Life and Death of Peter

Sellers" with Geoffry Rush for HBO. ...

"Coyote Ugly" star Piper Perabo will play Justin Timberlake's love interest in "Edison," the singer's movie debut. Shooting is under way in Vancouver with Kevin Spacey, LL Cool

J and Morgan Freeman also onboard. ... Paris Hilton

has joined Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray in the

cast of "House of Wax," a remake of 1953 3D spooker "House of Wax." The

hotel heiress will play one of a group of friends who fall prey to

demented killers. ... "The Passion of the Christ" star Jim

Caviezel met with Pope John Paul II on Monday to discuss his

role as Jesus in the hit film. The pontiff then blessed the devoutly

Roman Catholic actor. ...

Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman have begun work on a

big-screen version of the classic '60s TV show "Bewitched." Nora

Ephron ("Sleepless in Seattle") wrote and is directing the July

2005 release. ... In other small-to-big-screen news, a live-action

"Thunderbirds," based on the '60s puppet series, opens in August with

Bill Paxton starring. And a "Magnum, P.I." movie is in the

works, although no roles have been filled, according to a Universal

Pictures spokesperson. ...

Meanwhile, "The Lord of the Rings" hobbit Dominic Monaghan is making

the opposite move and heading to the small screen. He and Ian

Somerhalder ("Rules of Attraction") will star in the ABC pilot

"Lost," from "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams. "It's the most

expensive pilot ever filmed. I think it's like a $10 million pilot," Monaghan boasted. "It's about survivors of a plane crash who

manage to get themselves on a deserted island with a lot of freaky

stuff going on, animals they've never seen before. It's how they

survive in that situation." ... Monaghan will next appear in "Shooting

Livien." "It's a story about a rock and roll band obsessed with the

Beatles that is on the brink of breaking up, even when they're

releasing their first album," he explained. "The lead singer ["Roswell"

's Jason Behr] is kind of lost in his own head. It kinda follows

the story of a John Lennon meeting his Yoko Ono and how

the rest of the band responds to that. It's an interesting look at how

when you're getting close to success, the kind of things that come in

on either side of your head distract you from what you're really going

for." ...

After Ben Affleck complained he had not received his Worst Actor

Razzies last month for "Gigli," "Paycheck" and "Daredevil," or for

"Pearl Harbor" a few years ago, the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation

had Larry King deliver a trophy to the actor Tuesday on his CNN

show. Affleck responded by giving it back to King as a gift. "It's a

piece of crap," King responded. ... "Without a Trace" star Enrique

Murciano has signed on to play Sandra Bullock's love

interest in "Miss Congeniality 2," which begins shooting in April.

John Pasquin ("The Santa Clause") is directing the movie, which

will find Bullock's FBI Special Agent Gracie Hart traveling to Las

Vegas on a new case with a fellow agent played by Regina King.


"Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story," starring Jamie Foxx as the soul singer, is due in theaters October 29. Taylor Hackford ("The Devil's Advocate") directed. ... The release of

Russell Crowe's "Cinderella Man" has been delayed three months,

until March 2005. Universal Pictures claims it needs more time to

market the movie, which reunites Crowe with director Ron Howard

and producer Brian Grazer, the Oscar-winning team behind "A

Beautiful Mind."