Movie File: Rosario Dawson, ‘Hellboy 2,’ Steve Carell & More

Dawson plays Lindsay Lohan's makeup artist in 'Grindhouse'; Guillermo del Toro promises bigger budget for next 'Hellboy.'

Quentin Tarantino has been known to bring out the best in his cinematic muses, who have included Uma Thurman, Pam Grier and Bridget Fonda — but is his latest obsession with Lindsay Lohan? Well, kinda. “I play a makeup and hair artist for Lindsay Lohan — that’s pretty insane,” actress Rosario Dawson revealed this week, talking about her character in Tarantino’s upcoming double-feature with Robert Rodriguez, “Grindhouse.” But here’s the weird part: Lohan isn’t actually in the movie at all. “[We] talk about her, but she’s not in it,” clarified Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who co-stars with Dawson in Tarantino’s half of the movie. “[Dawson] plays Lindsay Lohan’s makeup artist, and I play her co-star in a fictional movie.” Even weirder is the fact that neither star could confirm whether Lohan even knows her name is being used in the film. “I know [Lohan] met Quentin on a few occasions, but I don’t know if he’s actually told her about it,” Winstead said. With or without the “Mean Girls” star’s consent, “Grindhouse” will open April 6. …

“It’s gonna be a biggie,” grinned Jason Bateman this week, thrilled to break the news that he and Charlize Theron have joined the cast of the superhero blockbuster “Tonight, He Comes.” The film stars Will Smith as an unhappy hero who’ll make Christian Bale‘s Batman look like Richard Simmons. “I’m going to start in a few months,” the “Arrested Development” actor revealed. “Will Smith plays a down-and-out superhero guy who has a bad image with the public because there’s a lot of collateral damage when he solves crime, and he’s an alcoholic. He saves my life in the beginning of the movie, and to pay him back I say, ‘I’m going to revamp your image,’ because I’m in corporate PR and I know how to do that kind of thing. And then he shortly thereafter bangs my wife, Charlize Theron.” Smiling in his deadpan style, Bateman added, “And so, we have a bit of a love-triangle problem. It’s very funny and very dark, and a lot of action.” Directed by Bateman’s friend and occasional co-star Peter Berg, the actor said his role in Berg’s upcoming Middle East drama “The Kingdom” convinced the director to cast him in “Tonight,” which is being targeted for a 2008 release. …

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a “Dallas” movie starring Luke Wilson, Meg Ryan, Shirley MacLaine and Jennifer Lopez? Well, that’s what various Hollywood filmmakers have thought over the past few years, as each actor has flirted with and then vanished from the project like characters in a bad horror movie. Now, only two stars remain: John Travolta and Katie Cassidy. “Hopefully, next year, we’ll know more about what’s going on,” explained Cassidy, who would play the part of Lucy, Miss Ellie’s saucy granddaughter from the classic ’80s TV drama. “It’s still happening. Obviously, some of the castmembers aren’t a part of it anymore. John Travolta is.” Adding, “those people were great, and I’m sure they’ll get people just as great,” the “When a Stranger Calls” beauty insisted that the show will go on, and that she never even considered jumping ship with J. Lo and the rest. “No! From day one I’ve been a part of it, and I’m behind this project,” she said. “I think it’ll be cool, and I think it’ll be fun. Working with John Travolta would just be amazing.” …

The original “Hellboy” movie developed a small but loyal following when it brought the comic book of the same name to the big screen in 2004, and series director Guillermo del Toro promises bigger things that’ll appeal to a wider crowd with the sequel. “It’s a story about how the world is eroding fantasy, how magical creatures and magical beings have been pushed to the side by society,” del Toro said of his script for “Hellboy 2: The Golden Army.” “[Such fantastical creatures] say, ‘Why should we fade quietly? Why don’t we take over and kill the humans?’ — and they’re right,” he laughed. Promising “everyone that didn’t die in the first movie is back,” del Toro regretfully added that he can’t begin filming until a final budget is approved. “[My] movies look huge, but the budgets are pretty conservative,” he said. ” ‘Hellboy’ was done for $60 million. The new one is twice as big, three times as big. We’re trying to adjust the budget, to have the freedom to do the movie the way it needs to be done.” The “Pan’s Labyrinth” filmmaker added that he hopes to get the greenlight sometime in 2007. …

Buzz — and bafflement — are already surrounding next year’s Bob Dylan biopic, which will find Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett all playing the legendary musician in the same movie. “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” star Ben Whishaw recently explained how the unique concept of “I’m Not There” will reveal that the actors, they are a changin’. “I’m one of the Bob Dylans,” he said. “Seven actors play different versions, or different facets, of Bob Dylan’s personality,” he said. “[Every segment] is inter-cut, throughout the movie, with the other strands.” Whishaw’s Dylan picks him up circa 1966, after “Like a Rolling Stone” made him famous, when the singer/songwriter began contemplating his controversial decision to plug in. “I’m sort of a hybrid of Dylan and [19th-century poet] Arthur Rimbaud,” Whishaw explained. Directed by Oscar-nominated “Far From Heaven” helmer Todd Haynes, the flick is due in theaters next year. …

Recipe for a remake? Take one beloved foreign film, mix in liberal amounts of Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones and add a splash of a “Little Miss Sunshine” star, and you’ve got a romantic comedy about a chef (Zeta-Jones) who inherits her rebellious niece. “It was fun to be in the kitchen and fun to be in a romantic movie,” Eckhart said of “No Reservations,” which is based on an award-winning 2001 German flick. “It’s based on a movie called ‘Mostly Martha,’ ” he said. “It was fun to play with Catherine Zeta Jones and Abigail Breslin.” The veteran actor added that, after starring in dark fare like “Thank You for Smoking” and “The Black Dahlia,” it was nice to film something as sweet as a pastry from Martha’s kitchen. “I think it’s a good direction for me,” he grinned, “actually having an audience walk out of the theater uplifted.” The movie is being targeted as next summer’s big romantic flick, with a July 27 release date. …

Two men enter, one man leaves: Two of the world’s hottest comedians are about to face off, onscreen, and the results have one co-star dancing with joy. “We had a dance-off together,” laughed “The Devil Wears Prada” star Emily Blunt recently, talking about a scene from the currently shooting “Dan in Real Life,” starring Steve Carell and Dane Cook. “It was me and Steve versus Juliette [Binoche] and Dane. We win! No one can dance as crazy as Steve Carell, he was hilarious.” The movie, which centers around a widower (Carell) who falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend (Binoche), stars the cashew-loving Cook as Carell’s competitive brother Mitch. As for Blunt, her character “has always been in love with Steve, who used to babysit her,” and she “takes them to this dingy bar” for a double date when the dance-off goes down. So go ahead and dust off your tap-dancing shoes, as “Dan in Real Life” will hit theaters in late 2007.

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