Movie File: ‘Rush Hour 3,’ Mischa Barton, Billy Bob Thornton, Heather Graham & More

Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan film in Paris; Barton hunts for a ring; Thornton plays 'gym teacher from hell.'

If Chris Tucker were a mutant, he might be called Motor Mouth. After the worldwide success of “Rush Hour” and “Rush Hour 2″ (with a gross of almost $600 million), “X3″ director Brett Ratner is hoping the star’s superhuman loquacity is exactly what audiences crave. Tucker, billed as the “biggest mouth in the West,” is reuniting with martial-arts superstar Jackie Chan for “Rush Hour 3,” which Ratner is filming in Paris now. “In the first movie, Jackie was the fish out of water,” Ratner said. “He came to L.A. He didn’t speak the language. In the second movie, Chris went to Hong Kong. In ['Rush Hour 3'], they’re both going to Paris, so they both don’t speak the language. And there’s some fantastic cast that we have in this movie that’s going to blow people’s minds.” Ratner confirmed that the cast includes Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski; the director, who fled to Europe after pleading guilty to sexual relations with a 13-year-old in 1978, is able to work on the project because it’s filming in France. Ratner, who changed the location of the climactic battle in “X-Men: The Last Stand” from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco because he was worried too many movies had been set in the nation’s capital, isn’t nervous about marching into Paris. “Obviously the Eiffel Tower is going to be a huge set piece,” he said. “[You] couldn’t be in Paris without using the Eiffel Tower. It’s been done before, but the truth is, with Jackie and Chris, it’s a whole different [story]. We’re all over Paris.” …

Mischa Barton‘s lost a ring — and she hopes Shirley MacLaine can find it. The former star of TV’s “The O.C.” recently confirmed she’ll be starring as Young Ethel Ann in Richard Attenborough‘s “Closing the Ring.” The film is about a ring that belonged to a dying gunner during World War II and one man’s quest to find the owner 50 years later. Barton praised Attenborough — who won two Academy Awards for “Gandhi” but might be best known to younger audiences for his portrayal of John Hammond in “Jurassic Park” — for the realism and attention to detail he brings to the project. “I am really excited about it,” Barton enthused. “It takes place in the 1940s, and what’s cool is that it’s very true to life because Richard lived it and remembers the war.” Barton’s Ethel Ann is played by MacLaine in scenes set in the present day. For Barton, sharing a role with the Oscar-winning actress was an honor. “I didn’t get to work with Shirley,” the 20-year-old actress sighed. “But I met her and I watched every single movie she’s ever done.” “Closing the Ring” is set for a 2007 release. …

“School for Scoundrels” director Todd Phillips said, “To look at Billy Bob Thornton is to know he’s up to no good.” The 51-year-old actor will once again use that to his advantage playing a rapscallion in “Mr. Woodcock,” a comedy due next March. “It’s a very funny movie,” Thornton said. “I play this gym teacher from hell.” The movie co-stars Susan Sarandon and Seann William Scott as a young man who returns home to stop his mother from marrying his demonic former P.E. instructor. With recent credits that include “Bad News Bears” and “Bad Santa,” Thornton calls “Mr. Woodcock” “the last one in my box of comedies.” Thornton, who was first known as much for his writing and directing as he was for acting, believes the time isn’t right for a return behind the camera. “I’ll [direct and write] again as soon as it works out,” he said. “It’s not that I’m not passionate about it; it just has to be the right thing. It’s tough getting a studio to let you direct a movie these days that’s not a big franchise thing or comedy. The things I want to direct are more character-based — those are tough to get made.” Thornton’s “School for Scoundrels” opens September 29. …

































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From vixen to virgin, Heather Graham is traveling the sexual landscape. Graham — who rose to fame as Rollergirl, the fast-living, promiscuous porn star (never without her signature skates) in “Boogie Nights” — is producing “The Accidental Virgin,” a sex comedy where she plays, well, “a girl who doesn’t have sex for one year,” the 36-year-old actress explained. According to Graham, the character isn’t completely foreign to her. “I’ve had some experience with [long stretches of celibacy] in the past,” she laughed. “Luckily, not at the moment.” Graham can be seen next in “Bobby,” Emilio Estevez‘s movie about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. …

If “Wedding Crashers” was a male fantasy about the single life at weddings, Alicia Silverstone‘s new project, “The Singles Table,” could be seen as the female response. A springtime replacement on NBC, the show follows a group of single people who “meet at a wedding … at the singles table, like table 18 way in the back by the porta-potties,” Silverstone said. “They are just sort of all quite bitter but very lovely. They are all looking at everyone around them who are married and have kids, and they are just in different stages of their singleness.” The show co-stars “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” star John Cho, who, according to Silverstone, plays a divorcé whose wife “shows up [to the wedding] with another guy, and she’s at table one, and he gets hysterical over it. He wants to wreck the whole wedding.” Silverstone currently stars in the movie “Alex Rider: Stormbreaker” based on the best-selling children’s books by Anthony Horowitz. …

Focus Features recently announced that filming has begun in Rhode Island on “Evening,” an adaptation of Susan Minot‘s book of the same name. With an all-star cast that includes Meryl Streep, Claire Danes, Vanessa Redgrave and Glenn Close, “Evening” centers on elderly Ann Grant, who reveals to her daughters the turning point of her life while she was a young woman. The film was adapted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham, whose “The Hours” was made into a movie in 2003.

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