Movie File: Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jason Behr & More

'Splash' star may team with Ron Howard again for 'Da Vinci Code.'

Tom Hanks is in talks with Ron Howard, who directed him in “Splash” and “Apollo 13,” to star in the movie version of “The Da Vinci Code,” which has spent 86 weeks on the New York Times‘ best-sellers list. Hanks would play Robert Langdon, the professor who unravels the mystery of the Holy Grail in Dan Brown‘s novel. Uber-producer Brian Grazer and Howard hope to start shooting next year. …

Tobey Maguire, who produced “25th Hour” and has three other producing projects in development, is signed on to produce “Blackbird,” a thriller about a CIA agent working during the 1960s, when the agency performed LSD experiments. David Auburn, who recently adapted his Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play “Proof” for the big screen (starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins), is writing the script, based on a book proposal by Eric Olson. For 20 years Olson believed that his CIA-agent father committed suicide until learning that he was given LSD a week before his death. Maguire might also star in the movie. …

“Surviving Christmas,” which was in and out of theaters by early November (grossing a dismal $10 million), is being rushed to DVD to capitalize on the movie’s holiday theme. The Ben Affleck comedy is due on shelves December 21, eight and a half weeks after its theatrical debut, the fastest turnaround ever for a major studio release. … Catherine O’Hara, who found her holiday hot streak (with the “Home Alone” movies) sputter with “Surviving Christmas,” has a chance to rebound before the end of 2004. She has a small role in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, opening December 17. “It was fun just to watch Jim Carrey,” O’Hara said of the shoot. “He doesn’t do the same thing from take to take. It’s amazing. It’s like this endless dark hole of humor — it just keeps coming. And the sets and the costumes were unbelievably beautiful.” …

Catherine Zeta-Jones has signed on to star in “The Ivy Chronicles,” about a New York businesswoman who, after losing her Wall Street job and finding her husband in bed with the wife of her replacement, establishes a kindergarten referral service. The comedy is based on the novel by Karen Quinn. Zeta-Jones, meanwhile, is filming “Legend of Zorro,” the sequel to “The Mask of Zorro,” and has two other movies in the works, “Smoke & Mirrors” and the rugby movie “Coming Out.” She’s due in theaters December 10 in “Ocean’s Twelve.” … And speaking of “Ocean’s Twelve,” co-star Don Cheadle is promising the movie will live up to “Ocean’s Eleven.” “I think it’s better,” Cheadle said while doing press for “After the Sunset.” “It’s a lot more cinematic, it’s a lot more Technicolor. The music is more exciting. Everything about it is [better]. We went all over the world. You’re really getting to see these geographic locations, and they’re all incorporated very well into the story.” …

Meiert Avis, the veteran video director who most recently helmed New Found Glory’s “All Downhill From Here,” will make his long-awaited return to movies (following the 1989 Drew Barrymore drama “Far From Home”) with “Wannabe,” a romantic comedy about a struggling musician and an aspiring model. Ashlee Simpson, Shannyn Sossamon, Pell James (“Uptown Girls”), Steven Strait (the upcoming “Sky High”), Carrie Fisher and Kip Pardue are signed on for the movie, which began shooting this week in Los Angeles. …

Joaquin Phoenix “beat himself” training to be a firefighter for “Ladder 49,” but he spent more time preparing to play Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line,” due in April. “I did three months, and it was amazing,” Phoenix said. “The obvious things are guitar lessons and vocal lessons and then just a ton of reading materials and watching videos and stuff.” … Kerry Washington, in theaters now in “Ray,” recently revealed she has signed on for three “Fantastic Four” movies, hinting that sequels are likely. “[After the first] I’m looking to go back and do another indie,” she said. Washington plays the blind Alicia Masters in “Fantastic Four” and said she learned a lot watching Jamie Foxx play Ray Charles. …

Jason Behr, red-hot after the success of “The Grudge,” will return to the big screen early next year in the independent drama “Shooting Livien,” which co-stars Dominic Monaghan. “It’s about a rock star who’s just on the brink of success who is wrestling with his sanity and personal demons and drugs and [an obsession with] John Lennon,” Behr explained. “I had to learn to play guitar. I lost 20 pounds. I did all this research on John Lennon because he was basically raised on the Beatles and John Lennon. And as he was growing up and creating this character for himself as a musician, he was either ripping off or paying homage to John Lennon. So in the story, the more involved he gets into the drugs and the underground music scene in New York, the more blurry that line is between Lennon and Livien.” …

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