Movie File: John Travolta, Reese Witherspoon, Brad Pitt, Michael Vartan, Ving Rhames, Kevin Bacon & More

Actor/pilot/dancer/Sweathog has four movies on his 2004 slate.

In between “The Punisher” opening April 16 and the “Get Shorty” sequel “Be Cool” hitting theaters in the fall, John Travolta will star in two other films: “Ladder 49″ (“with Joaquin Phoenix and a bunch of terrific actors playing firefighters”) and “A Love Song for Bobby Long” (“definitely an art movie that’s worth seeing”), according to the actor. “I’ve never had quite so many movies within one year, but it was just one of those things that I liked the material so much in each of these scripts that I felt that I wanted to do it,” Travolta said. “Lately I’ve been making my own decisions with these things.” …

Reese Witherspoon will play a wife who becomes a football expert to get attention from her husband in the upcoming romantic comedy “Sports Widow.” Witherspoon will also produce, and David Mirkin (“Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion”) will direct. … Brad Pitt will narrate a documentary on Nick Drake next month for Britain’s Radio 2. The singer/songwriter, who died of a drug overdose in 1974 at 26, is apparently one of the actor’s musical idols. …

Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney‘s sister, is looking to follow Nick Cannon and Amanda Bynes in jumping from Nickelodeon’s “All That” to the big screen. “I would be up for anything, I mean, as long as it’s not cheesy,” said Jamie Lynn, who played a younger version of her sister’s character in “Crossroads.” … Michael Vartan, Jennifer Garner‘s “Alias” and real-life love interest, will be the object of another Jennifer’s affection in his next movie, “Monster-in-Law.” The movie stars Jane Fonda as an evil mother-in-law who tries to derail her son’s relationship with his fiancée, played by Jennifer Lopez. Robert Luketic (“Legally Blonde”) is directing. …

In between shooting “Back in the Day” with Ja Rule and “Mission: Impossible 3″ with Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames will make “Night Train: The Sonny Liston Story,” a biopic about the troubled 1960s heavyweight boxing champion. “We just got James Woods and we’re in contract negotiations with Sarah Michelle Gellar,” said Rhames, who is developing the movie with director William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”). “We look to be shooting May 15.” Rhames played a boxer once already in 2002′s “Undisputed” with Wesley Snipes. “I think that film helped me really with this, ’cause now I’m a better boxer, I’m more relaxed, I know how to bob and weave a little bit better,” he said. “I know how to take punches better.” …

“Punk’d” prankster Ryan Pinkston will play a new kid in town who is mistaken for having beaten up the local bully in “Slay the Bully.” The actor, whose credits include “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” and “Bad Santa,” will next appear in “Soul Plane.” … Pinkston’s “Punk’d” co-star Dax Shepard, meanwhile, has landed a role in the Mike Judge comedy “3001″ starring Luke Wilson. “Saturday Night Live” actress Maya Rudolph has also been cast as a prostitute. …

Kevin Bacon has signed on to play a flamboyant owner of a competing hair salon in Queen Latifah‘s “Beauty Shop,” which is due in theaters in November. Bacon is coming off his second directorial effort, “Loverboy,” starring himself, wife Kyra Sedgwick, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Marisa Tomei, Campbell Scott and Oliver Platt. … Production on a “The Simpsons” movie will not start until the series is over in at least two years, Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, told reporters recently. Smith said it will then take a few years to make the movie because “animation takes forever.” …

“Barbershop” director Tim Story has signed on to bring Marvel Comics’ “The Fantastic Four” to the big screen. The movie, chronicling Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing and the Human Torch, will shoot in August. … “Traffic” director Steven Soderbergh and star Benicio Del Toro are re-teaming for “Che,” a biopic about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”), who co-wrote the script with Del Toro, was originally set to direct but dropped out to make “The New World” with Colin Farrell. Ryan Gosling, Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem will likely remain on board when shooting starts in South America in August 2005. …

Kevin Smith recently told AP Radio that Jason Mewes, the Jay to his Silent Bob character, has been sober for a year and that the two are considering a reunion on the big screen. “He’s actually much, much funnier now because he’s crisp and he’s not all dulled,” Smith said. “Now that he’s kind of back from the land of the dead and back to the land of the living, I can totally see us going down a Jay and Bob road again.” … Todd Haynes (“Far From Heaven”) has agreed to write and direct the Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan.” …

In other director news, Quentin Tarantino recently told reporters he has met with Pierce Brosnan about remaking the James Bond spoof “Casino Royale.” The “Kill Bill” mastermind said he would like to make it low-budget and set in the ’60s. … John Woo (“Paycheck”) has bought the rights to bring Nintendo’s “Metroid” to the big screen. …