Movie File: Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, Sharon Stone, John Waters & More

'Jackass' creator set for role in 'The Dukes of Hazzard' movie.

Move over, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson: Two young film stars are reprising the roles of another legendary small-screen duo. Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott are slated to play Luke and Bo Duke, respectively, in the film version of the 1980s TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Jessica Simpson has screen-tested for the role of Luke and Bo’s cousin Daisy, and comedy troupe Broken Lizard (“Super Troopers”) will write the film. While plans are in motion, the studio has not yet officially green-lighted the film …

After just one week in stores, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment reports that nearly 9 million combined DVD and VHS copies of “The Passion of the Christ” were sold, marking the highest-ever debut week for a live-action film, surpassing sales of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The film sold more than 2.4 million copies in its first few hours of release. …

Sharon Stone is slated to reprise her infamous role in “Basic Instinct 2″ now that the film, which has been having development problems, may have a new director. Michael Caton-Jones (“City by the Sea,” “Rob Roy”) is in negotiations to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Richard Linklater (“School of Rock”) will shoot a remake of the 1976 film “The Bad News Bears” for Paramount Pictures, with Billy Bob Thornton reprising the role of Little League team manager originally played by Walter Matthau. Linklater has also signed on to direct “The Smoker” for Paramount. …

Sony Pictures Entertainment recently settled a class-action lawsuit filed by two moviegoers claiming they were tricked into seeing the widely panned film “A Knight’s Tale” after reading a positive review. The review, which was attributed to film critic “David Manning,” was actually written by a Sony Pictures employee. Sony agreed to pay $1.5 million into a fund to settle the case. …

The 10-day Toronto International Film Festival began on Thursday with a screening of “Being Julia,” which stars Annette Bening. While the themes of the films being screened at the festival are diverse, several have political messages, including the documentary “Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry” and “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.” Also premiering at the festival will be the much-talked-about John Waters film “A Dirty Shame,” which stars Knoxville and Tracey Ullman. …

Speaking of Waters’ latest effort, the film, which opens in theaters on September 24, was recently given an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America for its “pervasive sexual content.” Speaking out on the rating at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema on Monday, the film’s producer, Christine Vachon, reportedly said she felt the rating was an example of the MPAA feeling the pressure of “the current administration and this encroaching feeling of the notion of family values.” …

After much highly publicized deliberation, Michael Moore has decided not to seek a Best Documentary Oscar for “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and is instead looking to have the film air on television for greater exposure. In a lengthy letter posted on his Web site on September 6, Moore explained that he hopes the film will air on TV in order to increase its exposure to American audiences. Should he achieve this, the film would not be eligible for an Oscar for Best Documentary since the rules forbid airing a documentary on TV within nine months of its theatrical release. “If there is even the remotest of chances that I can get this film seen by a few million more Americans by Election Day, then that is more important to me than winning another documentary Oscar,” Moore wrote. The DVD and VHS versions of “Fahrenheit 9/11″ are being released on October 5. …

After more than two decades as CEO of Walt Disney Co., Michael Eisner will step down in 2006. The 62-year-old Eisner has led the company to many successes but has come under fire in recent years. Eisner told the company’s board that he will retire after he helps them to choose his replacement. …

Steven Spielberg, already one of the kings of Hollywood and a knight in England, was recently given a similar tribute in France. President Jacques Chirac knighted the director in the French Legion of Honor on September 5 for his achievements in fighting hatred and intolerance in his films. …