Movie File: Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ And More

Biel explores love's dark side in 'London'; Lucas faces disaster flick; Pedro hints at second 'Dynamite.'

If you’ve seen “Wedding Crashers,” one of your favorite new actresses is likely Isla Fisher, the red-headed beauty who memorably harasses Vince Vaughn throughout the film; if you’re a red-blooded male, another of your favorite actresses is likely Jessica Biel, the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” standout. Soon, the two will unite for “London,” an independent film that stars a plethora of up-and-comers including Chris Evans (“Fantastic Four”), Joy Bryant (“Antwone Fisher”) and comedian Dane Cook (“Torque”). “It’s all set at a party so it’s like a short story,” Fisher said of the unique film structure that attracted the eclectic cast. “It’s a love story,” added Biel, “about two people that fall in love with each other, and their relationship is really passionate. It’s first love, but at the same time it’s really kind of violent, and it’s not really a positive thing for either person. … It’s very dark, but funny and kind of odd and wonderful, and I think it’s going to be really interesting.” Fisher said her character is “very fruity and very straight. She wants the party to be as nice as possible. She doesn’t want anyone to come and misbehave, or crash.” Let’s just hope Vaughn and Owen Wilson don’t show up. …

Actor Efren Ramirez bounced around Hollywood in bit parts for nearly a decade before “Napoleon Dynamite” audiences made him an overnight cult icon, electing to “Vote for Pedro” in surprising numbers. Now the actor has plans to share his newfound stardom with his twin brother, Carlos Ramirez. “This comedy came about, and I said, ‘Let me shoot this with my twin brother,’ Ramirez revealed, referring to an upcoming film that tells the story of four small-town stoners who accidentally run over their drug dealer’s dog. “It’s ‘Potheads’; it’s self-explanatory,” he laughed, comparing the movie to “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.” Ramirez said the film is due in theaters later this year, and added that some top-secret news may soon be on the way that will make “Dynamite” fans scream “Sweet!” at the top of their lungs: “I can’t say anything about the sequel or anything, if there is going to be one or not,” Ramirez explained. “All I can say is that the studios have heard the audience. … That’s all I can reveal at this moment.” … The remake of the 1972 classic “The Poseidon Adventure” has begun to set sail, and Josh Lucas is eager to give fans a peek at what should be the highest-profile role of his career to date. “Right now I’m doing ‘Poseidon,’ which is the story of ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ in a sense,” Lucas revealed. “It’s a retelling of that movie, where a big cruise ship gets hit by a wave and flips upside down. … I play this poker player, this hustler, who lives on the ship and basically tries to get people’s money,” Lucas said, flashing the smile that wooed his “Sweet Home Alabama” co-star, Reese Witherspoon. “In the process, [my character] meets this woman, and the sparks fly!” Lucas and co-stars Kurt Russell and Richard Dreyfuss are currently shooting the film, in anticipation of a May 2006 release. …

After recent appearances in hit videos by the Killers and Mariah Carey, 49-year-old film veteran Eric Roberts is riding the wave of a career renaissance among teenage moviegoers. Now Roberts is lending his newfound street cred to “D.O.A.: Dead or Alive,” a currently filming action movie based on the hit videogame of the same name. “I believe in ‘D.O.A.,’ ” Roberts said of the project. “It’s taken from a very intricate, exciting video game. The cast is very happening right now: Devon Aoki from ‘Sin City,’ Jaime Pressley, Sarah Carter.” Directed by Hong Kong action choreographer Corey Yuen, the film was born of “a two-month shoot in some hidden places in China,” Roberts revealed, adding that it was due in 2006. … 16-year-old Alexa Vega came of age in the “Spy Kids” movies but looks forward to the next stage of her career, when more weighty subject matter will help her grow up onscreen. “We’re shooting ‘Walkout,’ ” Vega recently said of a drama she’s working on with veteran actor Edward James Olmos and “Selena” producer Moctezuma Esparza. “It’s a true story about the 1968 East L.A. walkouts; it’s about these young kids who were tired of Mexican-Americans [having to deal with racism], and how they weren’t getting enough education and they weren’t being accepted into colleges. So what happened is this one 17-year-old girl decided to start a walkout.” Vega, who speaks Spanish fluently, hopes that the movie will serve as an inspiration for today’s young minorities. “It’s not in history books; it’s not out for everybody to hear about. … This is definitely going to be a little controversial, which is always a good thing.” Vega said that the film, which is being made for HBO, will make its debut sometime next year. …

With his trademark shiny bald head and intensely deep, resonant voice, Hollywood has viewed the six-foot-five actor Michael Clarke Duncan as the perfect fit for action films (“Daredevil” and “Scorpion King”), voice-overs (“Racing Stripes”), and roles involving otherworldly power in an unsuspecting form (“The Green Mile”), but can he make it in suburbia? The Oscar-nominated actor, who plays the easily manipulated Starkweather in the new sci-fi thriller “The Island,” would love to be the next neighbor on Wisteria Lane. “I called my manager and said, ‘You have got to get me on ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ” he revealed. “I’ve missed premieres before I’ve missed ‘Desperate Housewives.’ The muscular star admits to being a sucker for “Housewives” and other borderline soaps like it. “I love those shows. Those shows, for me, are like the top shows that I never ever miss.” … The box office has gone through its asteroid phase (“Armageddon” vs. “Deep Impact”) and its motorcycle phase (“Biker Boyz” vs. “Torque”), but are movie fans ready for Hollywood’s newest obsession: deceased writer Truman Capote? Sony Pictures Classics will help launch this year’s awards season with “Capote,” starring Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the enigmatic author. Next year, “Have You Heard?” will follow, with Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeff Daniels supporting Toby Jones (“Finding Neverland”) as Capote. Both films center on “In Cold Blood,” Capote’s vivid bestseller that led to him developing a close relationship with two convicted murderers as he researched the book, redefining the journalistic process. Capote fever makes its first attempt at sweeping the nation when the Hoffman-Keener movie is released September 30, which would have been the author’s 81st birthday.

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